Lillian Albazi

Attended Elwood College 2007 - 2012

Lillian Albazi performed in many Elwood College musical productions and was awarded the lead role in “Oklahoma” when she was in Year 9, following an audition process. She studied a Bachelor of Music majoring in ‘Jazz Performance’ at the Sir Zelman Cowen Conservatorium of Music at Monash University and whilst still a student there, was invited to perform at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival with her newly formed jazz outfit. She is now well-established on the Australian scene, playing in many clubs and at many festivals around the country. Lillian has two bands, Lillian Albazi Quintet (LAQ) and her new alt-indie rock band, Great ~ Falls. She composes and curates the arrangements and shows for LAQ as well as plays guitar, organ and harmonica in Great ~ Falls where she is the front woman. Revered Australian jazz pianist Tony Gould AM, commented that Lillian has the “qualities of a very fine artist – a beautiful voice, excellent presence and commitment to her art”.

Since her early days at St Kilda Park Primary School, Lillian has wanted to be a musician. Lillian says that she “owes her career” to the really special culture in the Elwood College music department and the professional teaching and support she got from her Music and English teacher Briallen Darlow. She appreciated Ms Darlow’s honest feedback, support and professional approach to her development as a musician. She says this held her in good stead for the very rigorous training she went through at the Conservatorium. She feels very privileged to have gone through Elwood College when she did, and still feels very thankful for the professional development gained from being able to rehearse on stage at the Phoenix Theatre, and for participating in school musicals and events with very supportive teachers and fellow students.

She remembers the Phoenix Theatre’s revered Stage Manager Gordon very fondly; “I think about him most days actually” because of the way in which he supported her from the wings and behind stage. The night of the Year 11 Talent Night, she told Gordon how nervous she was, and he reassured her by saying that being nervous was a sign that you cared about your craft and that caring about what you do is a positive never a negative. Lillian passes on this same message today to her own music students in other state schools.

She also singles out the incredible support she got from past Principal Rhonda Holt, who always encouraged her to pursue a career in music. Rhonda wrote a letter of reference to the Conservatorium of Music summarising Lillian’s already stellar performances at Elwood College and within the community. “She called me a jazz singer”, Lillian said, “I think this was the first time anyone had called me that”.

Lillian, at 22 years old, made her debut performance at Littlefoot in Footscray as part of the 2016 Melbourne International Jazz Festival’s ‘Jazz out West’ series. Since then she has headlined at many venues around Australia; such as, Doo-Bop Jazz Bar (QLD), MONA Museum (TAS) and the Melbourne Recital Centre (VIC). Lillian is just about to release her debut album, a 12” which she has been working on for the past six months, and has seen her work with some of the best in the Australian arts industry.

Her performance at the Melbourne Recital Centre featuring special guest, pianist Tony Gould AM, featured her modern arrangements of seminal standards from The Great American Songbook, celebrating the pioneers who laid down the foundations for the 21st century jazz scene which Lillian believes “at its roots is ever-changing, evolving and adapting’.

Lillian’s rock band; Great ~ Falls, just recorded an upcoming 7” EP; and the B-side single from this album, “Thirty Thousand Feet” was premiered on PBS in June 2020.

Since 2017, Lillian has been teaching voice, piano and various contemporary ensembles in the music departments of two state schools in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. She loves teaching music and inspiring young people to grow and develop their unique voice in the music industry as she was able to. She is a strong supporter of state schools and sees them as fabulous places to build a career in music and the arts, just as she did during her time at Elwood College.