Listen back to the Young Elder of Jazz performance Displacement by saxophonist and composer, Josh Kelly.


Displacement was performed by Kelly together with Niran Dasika, Aviva Endean, Mary Rapp, Jacques Emery and Maria Moles at the Jazz Lab, Brunswick as part of the 2019 Melbourne International Jazz Festival. It was premiered on air on Jazz on Saturday on Saturday June 8

The 2019 Young Elder of Jazz Commission premiere is proudly presented by PBS 106.7FM in association with the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. PBS Young Elder of Jazz Commission is made possible through the support of Mark Newman.



Australian Book Review - Des Cowley

“The PBS Young Elder of Jazz Award has become an important fixture at MIJF. Awarded to a Victorian musician under the age of thirty-six, and funded via patronage, it fosters the development of a new composition to be premièred at the Festival. Saxophonist Josh Kelly became the seventh recipient, following on from Tamara Murphy, Tim Willis, Tilman Robinson, Gian Slater, Joe O’Connor, Hue Blanes, and Brenton Foster. His new work, Displacement, draws upon his own family’s experience of migration and reflects upon contemporary Australia. Scored for a sextet, it is a long and complex composition, full of knotty passages and rhythmic surges. Mary Rapp’s cello thrummed a consistent drone, while Aviva Endean’s bass clarinet provided a steady pulse throughout, allowing bass and drums to constantly vary the tempo. There was a wave-like momentum to this music, cyclically ebbing and flowing, from gentle to furious and back again, until it finally came to an end with series of plaintive squalls and cries from Kelly’s alto and Niran Dasika’s trumpet. This was adventurous music, recalling the work of jazz mavericks such as Henry Threadgill and Julius Hemphill. While the piece, at nearly ninety minutes, was a shade too long, it was studded with energy and focus.”


The Age - Jessica Nicholas

“Young Melbourne saxophonist Josh Kelly premiered his ambitious new work Displacement. Commissioned by the festival and inspired by stories of migration, the suite was thoughtfully conceived and brilliantly executed. Bursts of chaotic freedom gave way to passages of melancholy introspection, highlighting the dark colours offered by chordless sextet (particularly the cello, bass and bass clarinet). There were several mesmerising solos, but the focus was more on sustaining the mood and narrative arc of the piece than on individual showmanship.”


The Melbourne Jazz Cooperative - Martin Jackson

“One emerging artist who really 'stepped up' was saxophonist/ composer Josh Kelly, who produced a very impressive work with 'Displacement' as the recipient of the PBS Young Elder of Jazz Commission.”


PBS Young Elder of Jazz 2019 - 'Displacement' by Josh Kelly - Melbourne International Jazz Festival


Audio only:

Audio recorded and mixed by Garry Havrillay.