Jazz students at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University got the chance to play alongside some of their idols, participating in a masterclass with top flight musicians from New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra(JLCO).

The exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ opportunity was part of the Queensland Conservatorium partnership with the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.

Queensland Conservatorium Director Professor Scott Harrison said the collaboration had provided remarkable opportunities for students.

“We were delighted to support the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra tour, which provided once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for our students,” he said.

“Our program has a focus on industry engagement and we believe it is vital that young performers build their professional networks and gain exposure to the industry while they study.”

Bachelor of Music (Jazz) students got the chance to perform and workshop material with two musicians from Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra.

JLCO trombonist Vincent Gardner and pianist Dan Nimmerwere in town for a series of sell-out concerts at QPAC, and shared their knowledge and artistry with the young musicians.

Bassist Julia Beiers, 19, got a chance to perform for the JLCO musicians as part of The Con Artists Big Band and work in smaller ensembles as part of the masterclass with JLCO members.

“It was an incredible experience,” she said.

“We were getting amazing advice, and theywere so generous with their time and so humble.

“It was fantastic to see musicians at that level at work – it’s something I’ll never forget.”

Head of Jazz Dr Stephen Newcomb said it was a “life-changing” experience for students.

“It was a great success, we all learnt so much,” he said.

“Griffith was really supportive of this tour – in fact, the band probably wouldn’t have visited Brisbane if it wasn’t for that support.

“As well as the masterclasses, students also got to sit in on soundcheck before the shows, and the band were using it as a chance to rehearse, just like they would in New York.

“These guys are the best in the business, they are so open and honest, and the feedback they provide is delivered with passion and enthusiasm.”

The Con Artists will appear in concert at the Jazz Showcase, 7:30pm, 26 April at the Queensland Conservatorium, South Bank.