Bernie McGann and Bundeena: mythologizing an Austral jazz icon

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This article argues that the Australian saxophonist Bernie McGann was a catalyst in the shift towards the emergence of an Austral jazz scene, and that from 1970 until his death in 2013, McGann became a major creative force within that scene. The article sets out several factors that contributed to McGann's gradual acceptance and eventual rise to iconic status within the Australian jazz scene and the larger Austral community. It questions aspects of the McGann narrative, in particular the suggestion that McGann's distinctive musical language was forged during extended periods of daily practice in the Australian bush during the 1970s and 80s, arguing that this is a simplification of McGann's biography and not an accurate reflection of his complex and sustained creative development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-201
Number of pages25
JournalJazz research journal
Issue number2 (2017)
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2018


  • Austral jazz
  • Australian jazz
  • Bernie McGann
  • jazz
  • saxophone


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