A leading figure in the jazz and improvised music scene, Carl can effortlessly slide across genres from pop to world music, rock to blues, blurring them at will.
Carl has led his own jazz trio and quartet and is co-leader of Showa 44, with drummer Simon Barker. He also led the genre defying trio The Drip Hards and was a member of the legendary free-jazz quartet NUDE with Lisa Parrott, Cam Undy and Louis Burdett. He performed for many years with Undy’s 20th Century Dog and Numerology. He recorded with Parrott on her album “Round Tripper” which earned four stars in Downbeat magazine.
He is a member of Korean/Australian ensemble Daorum, with whom he performed at The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York and Simon Barker’s Trace Sphere. Carl also plays with Scott Tinkler’s power trio DRUB, Band of Five Names, and Stu Hunter’s Migration. He is a long time member of the the Australian Art Orchestra and was a regular member of the James Morrison Quintet for over fifteen years. He has collaborated for nearly twenty years with vocalist Susan Gai Dowling.
His versatility and innate musicianship have seen Carl become a much sought-after collaborator, recording, performing and touring with an international roll-call of jazz, rock, pop and world artists including: Jim Black, Mike Nock, Tony Buck, Bernie McGann, Will Vinson, Sandy Evans, Lisa Parrott, Jonathan Zwartz, Jade MacRae, Chris Abrahams, Julien Wilson, Tina Harrod, Barney McCall, Lucie Thorne, Robbie Avenaim, Emma Pask, Michelle Nicolle, Oren Ambarchi, Dale Barlow, James Muller, Sean Wayland, Bobby Previte, Benny Maupuin, Steve Hunter, Clayton Thomas, Terumasa Hino, Jeff Clayton, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Peter Scherr, Vince Jones, Jackie Orszacsky, Synergy Percussion, George Washingmachine, Oran Etkin, Kim Dong Won, Bae Il Dong, The Young Wagilak (Arnhem Land, NT), the Sruti Laya Ensemble (India), Paul Capsis, Opera Australia, Jimmy Dowling, Ruby Hunter, Moscow Circus, Bobby Shew, Caroline Nin, Wycliffe Gordon, Archie Roach, The Potbelleez, Paul Young, Wendy Matthews, Leo Sayer, Steve Clisby, Dan Barnett, The Catholics, Uncle Jed, Glenn Shorrock, Rick Springfield.
Always seeking to explore new musical territories, Carl’s compositional skills have also segued into the theatre and cinema. He composed and performed the soundtrack for the Company B production Scorched in 2008 (directed by Neil Armfield) and the music of Showa 44 is featured in Emma Franz’s award winning documentary Intangible Asset No. 82 and Khao Do’s feature film Missing Water. He was a co-composer on the Legs on the Wall / Asia Now production Tale Of Samulnori.
Carl is an accomplished songwriter; his material has been recorded by several artists including Lily Dior, Susan Gai Dowling, Lucinda Peters and Dewey. He has studied songwriting with Berklee professor Pat Pattison.
Carl began teaching guitar at age fifteen. He taught at Guitar Institute in London, Thames Valley University and the Australian Institute of Music, and has led masterclasses at the ANU School of Music, Victorian College of the Arts, Southern Cross University and Auckland School of Music. He also worked for many years at Moriah College and Sydney Boys High.
He has a Diploma of Music and a Masters Degree of Music from the Australian National University.
Carl is a lecturer in jazz and improvisation at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and at the James Morrison Academy of Music.
Carl was the winner of both the judges’ and people’s choice awards at the Ike Isaacs International Jazz Guitar competition in 1998 and was runner-up at the National Jazz Awards in 2000. He was president of the Jazzgroove Association from 2008 to 2011 and was founding member in 1998.
During his thirty year professional career Carl has lived and worked in Sydney, New York, London and Amsterdam.
“Dewhurst is an exceptional guitarist. He reinvents himself and his sound for different contexts, always playing with commitment, imagination and heart.”
Sydney Morning Herald (SMH)
“..one of the warmest and most versatile jazz musicians to emerge here in the past decade” SMH
“In this age of convergent politics and convergent art it's refreshing to know anarchy still has a champion, and his name is Carl Dewhurst…he is such a pure, intuitive improviser… Like a liquid, Dewhurst fills any context, but never blandly so.” SMH
“ (Dewhurst)… is the hallmark of contemporary creativity.” Drum Media
“His sound carves the raw edge between jazz, blues, rock and funk.” Drum Media
"A great young guitarist" Martin Taylor (Sunday Observer)
"brilliant guitarist" John Claire (Sydney Morning Herald)
"Guitar hero" Cal Clugston (Revolver)
More associated reviews:
Showa 44, comprising Carl Dewhurst on guitar and Simon Barker on drums, delivered a sonic tour de force in the Playhouse Theatre. Combining ambient sounds with ear-splitting electronics, the duo carved out an adventuresome route through the world of sound. Barker set up repetitive motifs via the use of gongs, as if he were gently throwing pebbles into a lake, while Dewhurst attacked his guitar like a latter-day Derek Bailey. This was jazz in extremis, melding the experiments of English stalwarts AMM with the force-field energy of a Sonic Youth:
Des Cowley, Rhythms magazine. Wangaratta Jazz festival review 2007
“Australian guitarist Carl Dewhurst's reading of Electric Counterpoint (1987) was spectacular. Playing solo against his own pre-recorded accompaniment, his stunningly clear articulation illuminated the work's textural complexity.”
The Australian, 2010
“I found myself consistently engaged when guitarist Dewhurst was in the mix. He digs in deep in both the Hard Bop and nu-Bop camps and has a great, aggressive solo on Kirk Lightsey’s ‘Brother Rudolph’.”
March 2012 Cadence magazine, CD review of “Latitude” by Roger Manins
"While Parrott's cross-cultural band and the stylistic diversity of this music both prove to be noteworthy, the real story is about Parrott's alto work and her chemistry with Dewhurst. Those who only know Parrott as a ballasting bari player have a lot to learn. She gives that heavy horn a few spins here, but it's her adroit manoeuvres on alto that delight more often on this one. And when her alto joins forces with Dewhurst, there's magic in the air. Their dialogue during "Rosa Takes A Stand" takes the song to another level, their back-and-forth banter and imbricating lines on "Dancing Laughing" elevate the music, and they finish each other's phrases and sentences during "Um A Zero." They're a perfect match and Round Tripper is the proof."
By DAN BILAWSKY, Published January 28, 2015 I allaboutjazz.com