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NMIT Music graduate gets Real with book of Jazz classics

25 Mar 2013

Musicians will soon have a book of Australian jazz compositions at their fingertips thanks to Melbourne musician and former NMIT student Tim Nikolsky.

Tim, who completed the Advanced Diploma of Music at NMIT Greensborough in 1998, is currently compiling an Australian version of the Real Book, a compilation of jazz classics, for his PhD at RMIT University.

The book, which will be used by educational institutions and professional musicians, will give bands and performers a shared knowledge of music. “It's almost like a currency. The more you know the more you can play and the more employable you are,” says Tim.

After three years working on the project, Tim has compiled a list of 380 tunes for the book including songs by Katie Noonan, James Morrison and Paul Grabowski. “In Australia jazz is quite a broad church encompassing different styles. It relates to our multicultural heritage. It's got all these different elements going on like bebop, bossa nova, reggae and funk, even country.”

While various real books exist in other countries, no Australian Jazz Real Book has ever been produced. Tim, 32, teaches fulltime and plays guitar in a jazz duo with his wife, singer Margot Leighton who he met at NMIT. He also plays double bass with the Esstee Big Band, once a fixture at Manchester Lane. Tim plans to self-publish the book before promoting it both in Australia and overseas.

Background: ABC Jazz - Australian Real Book? (Nov 20, 2009)

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Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on seven campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.

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