BIOGRAPHY

Anita Mathews Pollard grew up in Perth, Western Australia.

She was exposed to jazz from a young age through her father’s record collection which featured Oscar Peterson, Benny Goodman and bands from the Big Band era. Living in France briefly at age eighteen she discovered other Jazz icons she enjoyed; Duke Ellington, Keith Jarrett and Stan Getz.

Anita’s childhood love of singing was confirmed at high school, performing the role of ‘Calamity Jane’. By twenty she studied singing with private classical teacher Raymond Long, Shirley Bassey’s formal musical director.

University studies took over from weekly singing lessons while Anita studied for a Bachelor of Arts in Communications at Curtin University. Comedienne Judith Lucy and actor Francis Connor were fellow theatre students of the period.

Mathews Pollard worked in the film industry for several years as a camera and production assistant before moving to Sydney and starting a vocation as a portrait photographer; many of Anita’s subjects being musicians and actors. Her work has been exhibited in Hyde Park, at the inaugural “Art & About”, and in several shared exhibitions including “Hidden” at Blender Gallery in Paddington, NSW. She has been published in Rolling Stone, The Sydney Morning Herald, MODE, Drum Media and The Age and her work has been featured in a six page spread in ‘Photo Review’.

Overwhelming positive feedback from her teachers and classmates in local singing classes led to Anita’s enrollment at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Jazz Vocals Course, where she began to learn jazz singing with teacher and singer Joy Yates. Further private tuition has been with Amanda Colliver (Moulin Rouge vocal coach) Joy Yates and Kerrie Biddell and Grammy award-winning vocalist Kurt Elling. Pollard has also attended workshops run by Kurt Elling, Mark Murphy, Diane Reeves and in New York by Jay Clayton. In 2011 she attended the Jazz Residency at Stanford University, California where she studied under Madeleine Eastman and Dena DeRose.

Anita was selected as one of eight performers to have their work developed at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s Cabaret and Performance Conference in August 2013. Her one-woman musical “‘Round Thelonious” is currently in development. It tells the story of a rebellious Rothschild woman who fell under the musical spell of legendary jazz composer and pianist Thelonious Monk.

Anita has performed for many audiences ranging from ex-Prime Ministers to newly-weds. She has also studied Cuban percussion, Stand-Up Comedy and Playwrighting and Tango dancing. She sings in English, French, Italian and Brazillian Portuguese. She is based in Sydney, Australia where she hosts a weekly jazz radio program at Eastside Radio, and where she is the jazz music representative on the programming committee. Eastsidefm.org

Anita is a member of:

Australasian Performing Right Association

 

Jazzgroove Association

 

Professional Musicians’ Club