Hilary Geddes is a guitarist, improviser and composer based in Sydney. She is the 2019 recipient of the Jann Rutherford Memorial Award, which aims to assist the professional development of a young woman jazz instrumentalist who demonstrates excellence in performance, improvisation and composition. This award will facilitate Hilary to record and release her debut jazz album, featuring all-original compositions written for quartet (due for release later this year).
Over the course of the past year, Hilary has been working as an in-demand guitarist in the Australian jazz and improvised music scenes, performing alongside jazz luminaries such as Mike Nock and Barney McAll. She is a member of Pharos (formerly known as the Sydney Women’s Jazz Collective) and performs in Underwards – a duo project with trumpeter Ellen Kirkwood.
Hilary was also a recipient of the Woollahra Municipal Council’s 2018/2019 Community and Cultural Grants Program, through which she was able to launch her soundmapping project SCAPES with a series of pop-up improvisations throughout the Woollahra precinct in March. These performances were recorded and will be released in the coming months.
In 2018, Hilary graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with First Class Honours, studying under renowned guitarists Carl Dewhurst, James Muller and Steve Brien. She also spent a year living in Germany, studying with esteemed guitarist Andreas Wahl at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen during 2016 and 2017. After a competitive selective process, Hilary took part in the Australian Art Orchestra Creative Music Intensive in 2018, working and performing with artists such as Il Dong Bae, Daniel and David Wilfred and Sunny Kim.
Hilary is also part of a number of Sydney-based bands such as Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides, Jackie Brown Jr. and The Buoys, who are about to embark on a national tour supporting Spacey Jane.
Hilary has performed at venues such as MONA, Taronga Zoo, Venue 505 and at a myriad of festivals such as Party in the Paddock, Farmer and the Owl, Festival of the Sun, Echuca Blues Festival and Fairgrounds.