Shannon Mowday

Shannon Mowday (South Africa/Norway)


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 was awarded Norsk jazz forum’s Storband prize in 2018.She plays all woodwinds but specializes on baritone and bass saxophones, bass clarinet and contra-alto clarinet.Shannon 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,LILA, QI/CHI) 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.Shannon has also performed and recorded with some of the leading musicians in the jazz /improvised music field eg. Maria Schneider, Danilo Perez, James and John Morrison, Ensemble Denada, Sibongile 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,NDR Bigband, Arild Andersen etc.

New projects include Shannon Mowday’s CHI/ Qi -an international collaboration which toured North Norway in April 2019 .Jeroen van Vliet (Netherlands) -piano, Hilmar Jensson(Iceland) -guitar and Tortsein Lofthus (Norway) -drums. Her new Norwegian project ‘LILA’ (Helge Lien-piano, Johannes Eick—bass and Erik Nylander-drums) performed in Norway and throughout Africa in 2019.LILA will release a cd Autumn 2020

As composer and director, she has a strong focus on combining South African and Scandinavian and other folk 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 , Føyka ,Bergen Ungdomstorband , Startlight Bigband 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, Sibongile Khumalo and has written and arranged for her projects at local and international festivals as well as a live dvd recording.(Makanda National Arts, Cape Town International,Joy of Jazz)

As educator, she was instrumental lecturer at the University of Cape Town in South Africa as well schools and also leading many community band projects.She has taught at Nørges Musikhøgskole as well as Cultural Centres in Norway and has given many workshops throughout Norway as well as internationally (Africa, America and Australia). She has been involved in both Buskerud Ungdomsstorband (BVUS),Nordnorsk Ungdomsstorband and Akershus og Oslo Ungdomsjazzorkester (AOJO) in both leadership and writing capacities.She currently leads and composes/arranges for Akershus og Oslo Ungdomsjazzorkester (AOJO).https://www.facebook.com/aojo.ungdomsjazzorkester/ https://ostnorsk.jazzinorge.no/aojo-akershus-og-oslo-ungdomsjazzorkester/ AOJO have had performances on Molde Jazz, Oslo Jazz, Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival (South Africa), Jazz Baltica (Germany) and throughout Norway.She also initiated a mass youth project (AOJO and Øvre Foss) which performed at Oslo jazz as well as other performances.A cd of AOJO and collaboration with Øvre Foss (Det Nye Norske Storband)entitled ‘Oasis of Bad Vibes’ was released June 2019.https://open.spotify.com/album/2Pt3syObjz8oaa6UACnXSI?si=LIfHcpcWTy-vcAbNttLwCg She also leads the North Norwegian Youth Bigband.

She continues to find ways to collaborate youths from across the world through music and in 2013 initiated a collaboration of youths from Norway with several community based projects in South Africa. In 2017 and 2019, she initiated projects from Norway to travel to South Africa and created ‘International Bands’ with the idea of sharing different life and cultural perspectives. She is currently working on setting up further collaborations internationally.Shannon is passionate about creating opportunities and platforms for musical and life ‘conversations’ with people from different cultures or life experiences.Sharing different perceptions and perspectives of life and creativity is foremost in her work.

 Her music is very much shaped around the musicians she works with and part of her aesthetic is it should be 'alive' change shape to suit the ensemble and artists that are playing it