BIOGRAPHY

AUSTRALIAN JAZZ VOCALIST AND COMPOSER, CHELSEA-LEE SMART GRADUATED FROM THE ELDER CONSERVATORIUM OF MUSIC IN 2016 WITH A FIRST-CLASS HONOURS DEGREE, SPECIALISING IN JAZZ PERFORMANCE.

IN 2015 CHELSEA WAS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE 'BETTY CARTER'S JAZZ AHEAD' RESIDENCY BASED IN WASHINGTON, D.C., USA. HER MENTORS INCLUDED CARMEN LUNDY, JASON MORAN, J.D. ALLEN, ANDRE HAYWARD, CYRUS CHESTNUT, ERIC REVIS AND ERIC HARLAND. THE RESIDENCY CULMINATED WITH 3 PERFORMANCES OF COLLECTIVE ORIGINAL COMPOSITIONS AT THE KENNEDY CENTRE IN WASHINGTON, D.C. 

 

HELPMANN ACADEMY AWARDED CHELSEA THE 'HELPMANN ACADEMY FOUNDATION AWARD FOR TOP JAZZ VOICE UNDERGRADUATE OF 2015' IN MAY, WHERE SHE RECIEVED THE HONOUR OF PERFORMING GREAT JAZZ STANDARDS AND TWO OF HER ORIGINALS ALONGSIDE JAMES MORRISON. 

SITUATED IN NEW YORK CITY FOR A MONTH IN EARLY 2017, SHE STUDIED WITH GUITARIST PETER BERNSTEIN, FOCUSING ON ORIGINAL COMPOSITIONS.

AWARDED THE MIKE STEWART MEMORIAL AWARD, FUNDED BY HELPMANN ACADEMY AND JAZZ SA, CHELSEA AGAIN TRAVELLED TO NEW YORK CITY FOR TWO MONTHS IN 2018 TO STUDY WITH SAXOPHONIST WILL VINSON AND BOSTON-VOCALIST DOMINIQUE EADE; ALONGSIDE PERFORMING HER ORIGINAL MATERIAL AS A BANDLEADER AT VARIOUS VENUES AROUND MANHATTAN.

RECEIVING A HELPMANN ACADEMY GRANT FOR 2019, CHELSEA WILL STUDY AND LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY FOR THREE MONTHS TO IMMERSE HERSELF WITHIN THE CREATIVE CULTURE, ALONGSIDE CONTINUING MENTORSHIP WITH WILL VINSON AND RECORDING AN ALBUM WITH BOTH AMERICAN AND AUSTRALIAN JAZZ MUSICIANS.

CHELSEA CONTINUES TO PERFORM ORIGINAL CONTEMPORARY JAZZ COMPOSITIONS AS A VOCALIST AND GUITARIST WITH HER TRIO INCLUDING DOWNBEAT RECIPIENT DYLAN KUERSCHNER AND AWARD-WINNING, ECLECTIC DRUMMER STEPHEN NEVILLE, IN A PROJECT TITLED 'THE FRISELL EXPERIMENT'.

 

CHELSEA LEE'S DEBUT WIZARDTONE JAZZ ALBUM 'MIDNIGHT COWBOY', FEATURING NYC SAXOPHONIST WILL VINSON, WAS RECENTLY RELEASED ON JUNE 1ST, 2018, FOLLOWED BY A MINI-AUSTRALIAN TOUR.

 

HER SOPHOMORE ALBUM 'FARGO' RELEASED IN JUNE 2019, SHOWCASES A DARKER SIDE TO JAZZ MUSIC, INFLUENCED BY EARLY BILL FRISELL WORK, ALONG WITH ALAN HOLDSWORTH, LAGE LUND AND NEW YORK CITY ITSELF.

CHELSEA'S THIRD ALBUM 'BLUE CANDY', RECORDED IN NEW YORK CITY, WILL BE RELEASED LATE 2019.