A formidable polymath who is comfortable in just about any form of music and on just about any instrument, although he has redefined the possibilities of virtuosity on the bass trombone.
Sherriff has studied with master teachers throughout Asia ...
he is a high virtuoso
Guru Karaikudi Mani is full of praise for Sherriff's knowledge of Indian scales and rhythms
Adrian Sherriff is a performer, composer, teacher and multi-instrumentalist. In his childhood amongst the Lani people in West Papua, Adrian regularly transitioned from the stone age to the information age. This flexibility of perspective has deeply shaped his life and music.
Adrian’s musical foundations are drawn from his studies of European classical, Afro-American jazz, South Indian classical, Japanese shakuhachi, Afro-Cuban bata, Balinese gamelan and experimental music traditions. In each of these traditions, Adrian has studied and performed with master musicians of international calibre.
Amongst his many teachers, the late South Indian master drummer Guru Karaikudi Mani has been a particularly potent source of inspiration.
As a touring artist, Adrian has been a frequent performer at the Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane Arts Festivals as well as regionally throughout Australia. Internationally, Adrian has performed across the Asian subcontinent, South East Asia, Australasia, North America and Europe.
Adrian's current performance projects include: the Adrian Sherriff Trio performing transcultural original works, a duo with pianist Brett Williams exploring classics of the jazz canon and an improvising electroacoustic multimedia duo with clarinetist/artist Brigid Burke.
In his career, Adrian has been an integral member of the Australian Art Orchestra, The Wide Alley, Andrea Keller’s Bartok Project and the Bennett’s Lane Big Band amongst other ensembles. He is currently employed as a Lecturer in Music at Melbourne Polytechnic in performance, intercultural music and musicianship.
Adrian was awarded a Bachelor degree in trombone and flute from the Victorian College of the Arts and Honours from Monash University in South Indian classical percussion. His Masters degree from the Victorian College of the Arts including the study, performance and exploration of connections between shakuhachi, South Indian classical music (adapted to bass trombone), gender wayang and bata.
Adrian is currently enrolled in doctoral studies at Griffith University researching transcultural expressions of musical time.
In more recent years, Adrian has developed an interest in electro-acoustic music as a vehicle to connect his diverse musical interests. A focus of this has been the exploration of the Zendrum and Theremin as open ended electronic performance instruments.
Adrian Sherriff, a formidable polymath who is comfortable in just about any form of music and on just about any instrument, although he has redefined the possibilities of virtuosity on the bass trombone.
Paul Grabowsky 4.09.23 Public Speech (used with permission)
Adrian Sheriff's bass trombone emits an extraordinary tone, deep and richly textured. His playing is exceptional, corresponding to an endless stream of ideas that never flags.
Des Cowley 17.05.23 Rhythms Magazine
stunning a capella bass trombone solo
John Kelman 7.07.10 allaboutjazz.com
What Adrian Sherriff performed on the bass trombone, an instrument not generally known for its agility, was breathtaking. His range of expression seemed to have no limits. Brilliant and sparkling in the high register to the darker hues of the contrabass range and playing with tasteful conviction, Adrian created suspenseful musical arcs.
Stefan Herkenrath 15.07.09 Munster
Throughout the evening, Sherriff’s bass trombone was capable of great delicacy, yet he could also unleash torrents of sound while hurtling across registers, and insert into the flow difficult multiphonic passages before diving to subterranean pedal tones.
Michael Webb 15.09.07 Australian National Jazz Writing Competition
Sherriff has studied with master teachers of voice, flute and percussion throughout Asia, [He also] plays the trombone, of which he is a high virtuoso.
John Clare 24.12.04 SIMA Hear and Now
The Indian definition of a good musician is one who is "learning many things". That is how Guru Karaikudi Mani describes jazz trombonist Adrian Sherriff. Mani is a mridangam or percussion expert and is full of praise for Sherriff's knowledge of Indian scales and rhythms.
Rosalind Appleby 1.09.10 The West Australian