Chris O'Dea

Meet Chris O’Dea, our current Ken Weatherley Jazz Scholar

Since age 15, he has been performing professionally both nationally and internationally with a diverse array of jazz ensembles including Scotch and Soda Circus (with Matthew and Eden Ottingnon, Lucian McGuinness, Benjamin Hendry), The Milk Crate Bandits (with Brad Shigeta who was a member of the Ellington Orchestra) and Swing Rocket, (Daniel Barnett, Mark Elton, Stephen Grant, Anthony Howe) with whom he performed at the Havana Jazz Festival in 2017.

About the Scholarship

The 2MBS Fine Music Sydney Ken Weatherley Jazz Scholarship supports young, outstanding musicians to further their careers in Jazz. This annual scholarship is made possible through the generous bequest of passionate Jazz music lover and former 2MBS Fine Music Sydney presenter, Ken Weatherley.


Valued at $10,000, The 2023 Ken Weatherley Jazz Scholar will receive:

  • A $5000 cash component.
  • A $5000 in-kind support component for promotional and broadcast support on 2MBS Fine Music Sydney.
  • Access to the Fine Music Founders’ Studio for rehearsals.


Volunteers and Staff of 2MBS Fine Music Sydney are not eligible to apply for the scholarship.

Applicants must be:

  • Between the ages of 18 and 30 on 1 July in the year of application
  • An Australian citizen, with a principal residence in Sydney and its environs

Selection Criteria

The scholarship is not a performance competition and will be awarded to the applicant who best meets the following criteria:

  1. The applicant has actively demonstrated the interest, commitment and potential to have a viable career in the performance or composition of jazz music.
  2. The applicant has identified a detailed project or activity with the potential to significantly enhance the applicant’s career.
  3. The applicant has effectively demonstrated the potential value of the scholarship in terms of realising their project and proceeding with the project on a timely basis.
  4. The applicant has demonstrated how they envisage involving 2MBS Fine Music Sydney in the project in addition to broadcasting opportunities and how they will acknowledge the station’s support.

Application Guidelines

Applications close on 31 October 2022. Applicants must complete and submit all materials using the online entry form. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

  • Applicants must provide the names and contact details of two referees who have worked with the applicant in an educational or professional field. Written references and testimonials will not be accepted.
  • A budget indicating how the $5000 cash component will be spent, highlighting any other support the applicant has secured or aims to secure for the project.
  • Provide a link(s) to unedited recordings of the applicant’s performance or broadcast. It must demonstrate the applicant’s ability to perform in relation to the application. It does not need to be part of a proposed final concert performance or project work.
  • Supporting documentation including musical sketches and compositions to show proof of concept for a proposed project.
  • If selected as a finalist, the applicant may be invited to a follow-up interview or audition. If the applicant is not able to attend an interview in person due to extenuating circumstances, an alternative telephone, Zoom interview may be arranged (at the discretion of the Chair of the Judging panel).
  • The applicant must sign an agreement with 2MBS Fine Music Sydney acknowledging and accepting the Terms and Conditions governing the Ken Weatherley Jazz Scholarship.