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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Bernie McGann, 1999

Sage

gelatin silver photograph, selenium toned on paper

Bernie McGann (b. 1938), alto saxophonist, is widely regarded as one of the most creative jazz musicians in Australia. He founded a trio and a quartet in the early 1970s while working as a suburban postman, playing his first gigs at the Mocambo Club in King Street, Newtown. By the early 1980s the trio was supporting US jazz greats Freddie Hubbard, Lester Bowie and Dave Liebman and McGann was playing and recording with US saxophonist Sonny Stitt. In 1983 McGann received an Australia Council grant to study in New York and a few years later he toured Australia with Dewey Redman. In 1988 the trio played at the famous Ronnie Scott's in London and toured European jazz festivals, while McCann's other outfit, The Last Straw (formed in 1974) also won accolades overseas. McGann won ARIA awards for Best Australian Jazz Record in 1992, 1995 and 1997

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 1999

Accession number: 1999.63

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Sage (age 36 in 1999)

Bernie McGann (age 61 in 1999)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Sage (5 portraits)

Related information

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Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

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The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.