Gemma Farrell is a jazz saxophonist based in Perth, WA. After 3 years of study at the WA Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), Gemma transferred her degree to the Queensland Conservatorium where she graduated in 2009. In that year, Gemma was invited by Sandy Evans to be a guest lecturer at her "Young Women in Jazz" course, run by SIMA in Sydney. Gemma is now the course leader for this program in Perth, where it is run by WAYJO.
In 2010, Gemma moved to the Netherlands to study at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. She graduated with a Master of Music degree in 2013. Before returning to Perth, she recorded at released two albums, Vicissitude, which was her debut album under her own name, and Get it Together with her quartet "Say What?!" Gemma returned to Perth later that year where she now performs and teaches regularly.
In 2014, Gemma toured Australia with her European group, "MFG," and they recorded their debut album, Live at the Brisbane Jazz Club. Gemma’s composition “Requiem,” featured on this album, was nominated for 2015/2016 WAM Song of the Year in the Jazz Category.
In 2015, she formed the "Gemma Farrell Quintet," which debuted at the Perth International Jazz Festival. This group is Gemma's main project and they perform her original compositions regularly. As well as continuing to write and perform with her quintet in 2016, Gemma toured Switzerland and Germany with "MFG" and they recorded their second album, People, Places, Lizards. Gemma's composition "Tony Umbridge," featured on this album, has recently been nominated for 2017/2018 WAM Song of the Year in the Jazz Category.
In 2017, Gemma formed the Artemis Orchestra, a predominately female big band based in Perth which performs the original compositions of Australian women. The big band exists to promote and create a platform fo women in Jazz. Gemma has performed with this band as their 1st tenor saxophonist, and as a composer, but for their gigs in the second half of 2018, Gemma will be taking over as musical director.
Now, in 2018, the "Gemma Farrell Quintet" have recently recorded "Organised Chaos," Gemma's second release under her name, and "MFG" are preparing to do their second tour of Australia and record their third album in July. Gemma is a sessional lecturer in saxophone and ensemble at WAAPA, teaches saxophone, clarinet and takes the clarinet ensemble at Seton College, and teaches saxophone and takes the big band at Christian Brothers College Fremantle.
She has played alongside Brandon Allen, the Clayton Brothers Quintet, Justin Dicioccio, Sandy Evans, Nelson Faria, John Farnham, Mat Jodrell, Sharon Jones, Branford Marsalis, Don Menza, James Morrison, Dick Oatts, Jim Pugh, Troy Roberts, Gary Smulyan, Marco Tambourini and Will Vinson.