Mia Palencia In Good Company is a unique collaboration between two islands. While pursuing her music degree on the Island Of Tasmania, Australia, songstress Mia Palencia, who hails from Malaysian, Borneo, approached Tasmanian Jazz arranger and keyboardist Kelly Ottaway with the idea of forming an ensemble to explore both her original music and improvised jazz. The duo recruited double bassist Hamish Houston and drummer Liam O’Leary, thus completing the line-up.
Kelly Ottaway is a pianist, keyboardist and vibraphonist specializing in Jazz and improvised music. He has been the recipient of two Arts Tasmania Grants and a Musicians Union of Tasmania study scholarship, and won the 2006 Jack Duffy award for outstanding musicians. In 2008, Kelly was a finalist in the 2008 APRA-Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra Big Band Composition Competition.
Kelly’s primary interests are jazz composition/arranging and leading his jazz nonet, Modern Operative. He has performed for more than 10 years with leading Australian artists in jazz, funk and soul. Recent collaboration include work with big band leader, David Theak, jazz singer Kristin Berardi and trombonist Dan Barnett. Kelly holds a bachelor of Music and Graduate Diploma of Music from the Tasmanian Conservatorium and has a post-graduate qualifications in arranging through Berklee College USA.
At the age of 16, drummer Liam O’Leary burst unto the scene as winner of the Young Jazz Players Award at the Clarence Jazz Festival in 2007. Since then, he regularly features as part of numerous bands, including The Organ Doctors, Billy Whitton & The Swinggin’ Heapcats and the Fiona Stewart Quartet. In 2011, Liam was awarded the Jack Duffy Awards for outstanding musicians. Liam is the private drum tutor at the prestigious Hutchins and St Virgils Jr. Schools. In July 2012, he attended the world-renown Medeski Martin and Wood Jazz Camp in New York, USA to expand his musicianship skills.
Proficient on both the double and electric bass, Hamish Houston graduated from the Tasmania Conservatorium of Music in 2009. He has since been playing in Tasmania and Melbourne with modern groups such as Joni’s Plastic’s Sunday, Dean Stevenson & the Arco Set and the Rockdrops. He also works closely with orchestras in musical theater. Most recently, Hamish has been involved in the original instrumental jazz group, The Julius Schwing Quartet. The ensemble released their first full length album in 2012, and embarked on a subsequent Australian National tour.
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