Australian percussionist Vanessa Tomlinson is active in the fields of solo percussion, contemporary chamber music, improvisation, installation and composition.
She has performed at festivals around the world such as Wien Modern, London Jazz Festival, Green Umbrella Series LA, Bang-on-a-Can Marathon NY, The Adelaide Festival of Arts, and Shanghai Festival. She is the recipient of 2 Green Room Awards, the 2011 APRA/AMC Award for Excellence by an organization or individual, and has been awarded artist residencies through Asialink (University of Melbourne), Civitella Ranieri (NY/Italy), Banff (Canada) and Bundanon (NSW).
She has recorded on numerous labels including Mode Records, Tzadik, ABC Classics, Etcetera, Clocked Out and Innova.Vanessa is co-founder and artistic director of Clocked Out, one of Australia’s most important and eclectic musical organisations, artistic director of percussion quartet Early Warning System and the percussionist for The Australian Art Orchestra.
She was a founding member of percussion group red fish blue fish, and is also founder and director of Ba Da Boom, the in-residence percussion ensemble at Queensland Conservatorium, and the training ground for a wide cross-section of the percussion community in Australia.
She is particularly well-known for her interpretations of the music of Pateras, Griswold and Globokar, her improvisational language that incorporates sonic investigations of found objects, nature, and toy instruments, and her tireless advocacy for awareness of the plethora of high quality music-making happening in Australia. Over the years Vanessa has commissioned, inspired and premiered more than 100 works, worked alongside countless wonderful improvisers, an collaborated with visual artists, dancers, and actors in a variety of settings.
Vanessa studied at the University of Adelaide, Hochschule fur Musik in Freiburg and received her Masters and Doctorate from the University of California, San Diego where she worked closely with Steven Schick and George Lewis. In addition Vanessa has studied Sichuan Opera with Master Zhong Kaichi in Chengdu, China. She is currently Associate Professor in Music at Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University.