Keyna Wilkins

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Keyna Wilkins is a pioneering Australian/British composer-musician. Characterised by an ongoing fascination with astronomical phenomena and the incorporation of jazz harmonies, improvisation, electroacoustic elements and dance forms into her compositions, her works are engaging, diverse and linked to her personal spirituality. Her music as been described as "Arresting, genre-blurring, disquieting music with massive breadth and high drama." John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald and "Full of sonic textures and infinite possibility." - Peter Wockner, Jazz and Beyond (Ephemera's Orbits and Riffs album).

She was one of three finalists in the nation-wide APRA/AMCOS Art Music Awards for Excellence by an Individual 2018. Published by Wirripang, her works have had numerous international performances including the World Saxophone Congress (Zagreb, Croatia), Cork School of Music (Ireland), Victoria Rooms (Bristol, UK), Hildesheim Audimax Theatre (Germany), Singapore Saxophone Symposium, as well as Sydney venues City Recital Hall, Art Gallery of NSW, the Basement, Royal Easter Show Main Arena, Seymour Centre and Sydney Conservatorium's Verbruggen Hall, Melbourne Conservatorium's Melba Hall, Adelaide University's Henze Recital Room by ensembles such as Preston Symphony Orchestra (Melbourne), Australasian Saxophone Quartet, Collide Trio (Melbourne), Ensemble Muse (Sydney), Sydney Conservatorium Sax Orchestra, Spanish Encounters International Piano Symposium Ensemble, flamenco ensembles Pena Flamenca and Arrebato and soloists saxophonist Joseph Lallo (AUS), pianist Elodie Sablier (France), flautist Alison Mitchell (UK/AUS), Kosmas Lapatas (Greece) as well as performing her own works as a soloist and in her ensemble Ephemera ( She is an Associate Artist with the Australian Music Centre, has four tunes in the Australian Jazz Realbook and writes music for independent films.

In addition, Wilkins is a versatile improvising flautist and pianist. With international classical training (Bristol University UK, Bath Spa University UK, Hildesheim University Germany, Sydney Conservatorium) she has branched into jazz, experimental live theatre, flamenco fusion and improvisation in a wide range of ensembles. In 2015 she formed her own trio, Ephemera, and after a series of successful shows around Sydney, were invited to feature at the Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival in 2017 and at Extended Play Festival of New Music at City Recital Hall in 2018. In 2017 Ephemera released their debut album Orbits and Riffs to critical acclaim. In the same year she presented her Keys Across the Sky solo piano album as a lecture/recital at the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference held at Adelaide University and launched her flamenco and jazz-infused solo flute album, Air in Motion, at the Flute Tree Studio (Leichhardt). In 2013 Sydney Conservatorium Spanish Encounters Piano Symposium commissioned her to devise one of her own pieces Luna Llena for their ensemble and Marquez Laundry Theatre Company commissioned her to write the music for the abstract play Fred and Ginger at Sydney Fringe Festival. Other highlights include opening the Adelaide Fringe Festival with Flamenco Australia in 2012 and opening the Picasso Exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW with French noir trio Les Violettes in 2011.

Having completed her Master of Music Composition at Sydney Conservatorium in 2016 under the supervision of Professor Anne Boyd and Doctor Rosalind Page, she also studied composition with Sadie Harrison (Bath Spa University, UK), Jessica Wells and Martin Wesley-Smith (Sydney Conservatorium), jazz piano with Oliver Gross (Hildesheim University, Germany) and flute performance with Nicholas Vallis-Davis including completing her MA Flute Performance at Bristol University in 2008 and BA Mus in 2003. 

Photograph by Phyllis Photography

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