ARIA award winning and APRA nominated artist/composer, producer, label owner and session bassist (electric bass guitar and acoustic upright bass), Michael has two decades of national and international touring experience. From original projects such as The Java Quartet, Karma County and The Millionaires, to providing bass for artists such as indigenous legend Jimmy Little and international festival chanteuse Camille O'Sullivan, Michael remains a part of the contemporary music industry in both a creative and academic capacity.
Well-known in Sydney as one of 'the' piano player to watch, he joined the Java Quartet with Mike Quigley in 1995. With 8th grade classical piano [AMEB] under his belt even before he hit the jazz scene, Greg brings a wealth of musicality with him every time he sits at the piano. Whether it be solo at Sydney's leading hotels, as a sideman for some of Sydney's best players, such as Paul McNamara, Craig Scott and Steve Hunter, or fronting his own ensembles, Greg always astonishes both player and audience with the potency of his vision.
After studying jazz at Sydney’s Conservatorium Of Music, Mike Quigley co-founded the Contemporary Music Studies (CMS) school in Sydney’s northern suburbs, where he directed student ensembles from 1994 to 2003. During this time Mike performed and recorded with various jazz and indie rock projects before joining metal band Tourettes in 2000. With Tourettes Mike recorded 3 releases and toured Australia, Canada, California and Europe. Tourettes disbanded in 2008, and in 2010 Mike founded an experimental post rock/choral project called The Jean Letters, due to record their debut in late 2010.
Mike’s performance highlights include the Monterey, Montreux and North Sea jazz festivals, the Big Day Out in Sydney, Wacken Open Air in Germany, and numerous other festivals across Germany, the UK and Belgium.
His saxophone has been described as being a classic tenor sound as wide as a double-frontage terrace. He has appeared on the recordings of Katie Noonan, Jackie Orszazcky, and Mike Nock and has appeared on stage with international legends Lou Reed, Brian Wilson, Steve Cropper and Donald Duck Dunn.
Ever since moving to Sydney from his hometown of Auckland NZ, Matthew has been in demand for his ability to add something special to bands, dj’s and recording artists from all over the world, in particular having spent some time with jazz master Mike Nock. His skills as a multi instrumentalist have landed him in triple aria winning band Monsieur Camembert, and is often seen on stage with Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian.
His own jazz trio project ‘Informal Troupe’ released their debut album Urban Parkland in 2007 to critical acclaim.
Matthew is currently Artistic Director for Sydney’s Jazzgroove Association and is involved in the following bands: ‘Compass’ Sax Quartet; Ben Walsh’s Crusty Suitcase Band; the Hipstones; the Splinter Orchestra; Java Quartet; John Pochee’s Space Cadets; NSW Musica Viva in Schools Touring program; and is teaching at the Jazz Workshop Australia.
The Java Quartet's first release Slumber For Nordic Wonder (a tribute to the musical chanteuse Bjork), garnered the group local acclaim as an improvising ensemble devoted to creating beautiful music. The ensuing album Glow launched an international profile with the group being invited to perform at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland) in 1997. The group’s global presence flourished with the albums Glow, Passages and Dark Garden being included in the pivotal publications The Penguin Guide To Jazz on CD and Cadence Magazine (New York).
"The Java Quartet is well schooled in the Jazz tradition and has built on those concepts in presenting music with dash and a contemporary flair… These Aussies seem to have something brewing".
Frank Rubolino, Cadence Magazine, New York
On the local front they have played at every major jazz venue and festival in the country including; the Manly Jazz Festival, Darling Harbour Jazz Festival, Wangaratta Jazz Festival - the home of the National Jazz Awards, Thredbo Jazz Festival, Bellingen Jazz Festival, Queensland Music Festival, Darwin Festival, The Basement in Sydney, Bennetts Lane in Melbourne, The Governor Hindmarsh in Adelaide etc. The Java Quartet has been recorded in concert several times by the national broadcaster (ABC radio) and are critically recognised as at the forefront of the contemporary Australian music scene. The Sydney Morning Herald’s John Shand reviewed the album Dark Garden as “Album Of the Week” above all releases in any genre. The track “Shadow Dancing” was nominated for an APRA for “Most Performed Jazz Work” by the national performing rights association. Kenny Weir of The Sun Herald Sun (Melbourne) succinctly evaluated the group’s appeal when reviewing the next album Deep Blue Sea:
“Mostly, though, the Java Quartet inhabits its own space, unlike that of any other aggregation, in Australia or anywhere else - supremely melodic, full of taut, yet limpid, grooves and packed with soul”.
2010 found the group extending its musical palette with Rejavanation, a collection of remixes and new material incorporating the meditative aesthetics of contemporary dj/dance culture and Hindustani ragas. Started as a part of Michael Galeazzi’s postgraduate research at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the group has invited guests of note (including virtuosos Bobby Singh on Tabla, Adrian McNeil on sarod, lap top performer Jonathan Palmer and Hip Hop producer Morganics) to explore notions of hybridity through contemporary hypnotic landscapes.
“It was an intriguing jazz for a modern ear, and a mix of styles for a modern world. Great stuff. And very much enjoyed by performers and audience”.
Eric Pozza, Canberra Jazz.
In 2014 a new album of original compositions will be released. Recorded in the round at Studio A at Macquarie University (in the old film and television school large TV studio) it takes the next step beyond Rejavanation. Once again including guests Bobby Singh and Morganics, this album returns to the acoustic (and organic) nature of the group, blending exotic grooves and spoken word into the jazz harmonic world that is The Java Quartet.
Michael Galeazzi - acoustic bass
Mike Quigley - drums
Greg Coffin - piano
Matt Ottignon - sax
Jonathan Palmer - lap-top performer
Bobby Singh - tabla
Adrian McNeil - sarod
Morganics - beat-boxing / free-styling