Biography

Shannon Mowday

Shannon Mowday (South Africa/Norway)

(saxophones, clarinets, flutes, penny whistle, piano)

 South African born performer, composer, director and arranger, Shannon Mowday was introduced to music from an early age by her father. She obtained a Bmus Honours in Jazz Performance from the University of Cape Town and completed a Masters of Improvised Music at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. She was awarded the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Jazz in 2007 and was granted a distinguished talent visa for residence in Australia. She plays all woodwinds but specializes on baritone and bass saxophones, bass clarinet and contra-alto clarinet. She relocated to Norway 2009.

 She has performed internationally with her own projects and music  (African Eyes, Galumphing ,Shannon Mowday Quartet, MØTE, The Land Inbetween, Shannon Mowday trio) as well as other local and international collaborations. She has performed on concerts and jazz festivals throughout Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Egypt, Swaziland); Europe (throughout Scandinavia, Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Paris); Australia ; Malaysia (Borneo, Genting) and America and has been an ambassador for South African jazz along with fellow Standard Bank Artist Award winners. (Lord Mayor's Gala Guildhall, London; World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, South African Expo in China). She recorded her debut cd African Eyes  in Australia along with leading Australia musicians and with multi-instrumentalist James Morrison as guest artist.

 She has also performed and recorded with some of the leading musicians in the jazz /improvised music field eg. Maria Schneider, Danillo Perez, James and John Morrison, Ensemble Denada, Sibonghile Khumalo, Busi Mhlongo, Gloria Bosman, Winston Mankuku, Bugge Wesseltoft, Johan Horlen,  Jeroen van Vliet, Nils Landgren,  Jonathan Butler, Oliver Mtukudzi, John Fedchock, Geir Lysne, Erlend Skomsvoll, Elin Rosseland, Mike del Ferro, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra etc.

 She is a member of the prestigious Norwegian group Ensemble Denada http://ostnorsk.jazzinorge.no/ensemble-denada/ and has toured internationally with them (South Africa, Italy, America,Norway ).She also arranged for Ensemble Denada in a project featuring renowned Norwegian bass player, Arild Andersen. She is also a member of 'Elin Rosseland' Quintet  and recorded with her music and the Trondheim Jazz Orkester (EKKO) . She has performed with German NDR Bigband under leadership of Geir Lysne. She is a member of Jazz Baltica  ‘All-star Bigband’ and ‘Baltica Allstars’  created by Nils Landgren and also recorded and performed in other projects he has initiated ( Peter and the Wolf, Tales of Bremen ). She is a member of BURN! which is a collaboration of Norwegian, South African ,French, German, Swedish and Danish musicians. https://m.facebook.com/thegreatestBurn/

 As composer and director, she has a strong focus on combining South African and Scandinavian music in both small and large ensemble writing and has been director, composer and soloist for many projects with bigbands and windbands. In Norway she has performed and composed/arranged for Ensemble Denada, Brazz Brothers, North Sea Bigband, Stabbsmusikk, Bajazz, Ski Bigband, Police Orchestra, Hamar Orchestra, Eikeblaas, Elverom Big Band, Jazzå, Sandvika Storband, Nes , and Norges Musikhøgskole Big bands. She composed for the 'Ballbreaker Ensemble' in Switzerland for Jazzwerkstatt festival 2012.Her arrangements and compositions have been used internationally by various leading musicians and ensembles.

 In South Africa, she performed with all the major symphony orchestras as soloist with her music.(Cape Town Philharmonic, Eastern Cape Philharmonic, Durban Philharmonic, Johannesburg Festival Orchestras).She wrote and performed music for award winning tv documentary series, Impresario and Jungle Beat. She has worked extensively South African Diva Sibonghile Khumalo and has written and arranged for her projects at local and international festivals as well as a live dvd recording.(Grahamstown National Arts, Cape Town International,Joy of Jazz)

 As educator, she was instrumental lecturer at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and has taught improvisation at Nørges Musikhøgskole in Norway. She has been involved in both Buskerud Ungdoms Storband  (BVUS)  and Akershus Ungdomsjazzorkester (AUJO) and currently leads the Akershus Ungdomsjazzorkester (AOJO) http://ostnorsk.jazzinorge.no/aujo-akershus-ungdomsjazzorkester/

She has given workshops in Africa, America and Australia and has been very involved in youth projects in South Africa, Australia and Norway. She continues to find ways to collaborate youths from across the world through music and in 2012 initiated a  collaboration of youths from Norway with several community based projects in South Africa. In 2017 she initiated AUJO and BVUS to travel to South Africa for Grahamstown National Arts festival where they also formed an International Youth Band with local musicians.

 She is still extremely active in South Africa and supporting South African music based initiatives from abroad.