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Australian jazz group to tour Russia and Korea

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DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS Δ Μ Π Τ Ο Δ Π Ρ ____________________:_____________________________________________________

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D2 25 Januarv 1995

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One of Australia's leading exponents of jazz, pianist and composer Mark Isaacs, will undertake a ground-breaking tour of Korea and Russia next month with the support of the Australia-Korea Foundation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australia Council. -

The tour will feature concerts by Mark Isaacs with his Australian jazz trio, featuring Adam Armstrong (bass) and Simon Barker (drums).

The first concert in Russia will feature also Isaac's performance of his own piano concerto with Vladivostok's Pacific Ocean Orchestra under the baton of young Australian conductor Andrew Wheeler, the orchestra's Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. The extensive Russian itinerary - 24 concerts in 17 cities - spans the breadth of Russia from Vladivostok to St Petersburg finishing on 16 March.

The tour of Korea, commencing 4 February, will comprise three concerts and a television appearance. It will be the first major tour of Korea by an Australian jazz group, although jazz trumpeter James Morrison has appeared in concerts in Korea.

Mark Isaacs combines both classical and jazz music skills. He has been commissioned to write music for many of Australia's renowned classical ensembles and performers, including the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Australia Ensemble, as well as being one of Australia's

finest jazz pianists.

The tours, which are being supported financially by the Australia-Korea Foundation (AKF), the International Cultural Relations Branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Performing Arts Board of the Australia Council, will be assisted on the

ground by the Australian Embassies in Seoul and Moscow.

Support for the concert tour continues the long tradition of involvement by the International Cultural Relations Branch of DFAT of promoting performances of leading Australian artists - both performing and visual - overseas particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. As well as enhancing the reputation and experience of the artists themselves, these events demonstrate Australia's cultural diversity, sophistication and excellence thus raising the level of awareness of Australia in those countries.

For further information, please contact: Mark Isaacs (02) 589 0289 Paul Molloy (DFAT) (06) 261 3207