The Ken Weatherley Jazz Scholarship was established following a generous bequest by passionate jazz lover and former 2MBS Fine Music Sydney presenter, Ken Weatherley. It supports young, outstanding jazz musicians to further their careers in jazz. Our 2024 scholar is double bassist and songstress, Lauren White. 

Lauren White is a bassist and vocalist who spent her school life playing in orchestras, choirs, state music ensembles and the Schools Spectacular. At 18, she received the Jann Rutherford Award, and was mentored by jazz bassist Zoe Hauptmann, the inspiration for a career in jazz. She was a finalist for the James Morrison ‘Generations in Jazz’ Vocal Scholarship in 2018, and graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2020 in Jazz Performance.

Along the way, she has also studied at the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA, and the Siena International Jazz Workshop in Italy. And then there is a family connection to the birthplace of jazz, with her mother growing up in Louisiana, and her uncle playing blues in New Orleans. Not only a bassist, she is also a talented vocalist. You might well have heard her at the Sydney Opera House’s Bennelong Restaurant, Restaurant Hubert, Melbourne Jazz Festival or Johnston Street Jazz.

Her Weatherley Scholarship project is recording an album that reflects her American and Australian roots, fusing the inspiration of classic swing, bossa nova and New Orleans blues. It will reflect the essence of Australian jazz, synthesising influences from all over the world, while creating new compositions to add to the Australian jazz landscape with a goal to entertain, tell stories, take listeners on a journey, and leave them inspired.