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Screaming Jets land in Newy to launch Paul Woseen Memorial Music Grant

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Paul Woseen will always be remembered as one of the nation’s most prolific songwriters… and a proud Novocastrian.

That was the common sentiment bandied around The Stag and Hunter on Friday 23 February as his former band mates, The Screaming Jets, not only took to the stage for a special three-song acoustic set but had the opportunity to honour his memory in the best possible way – a scholarship in his name.

The inaugural AHA Newcastle Hunter – Paul Woseen Memorial Music Grant, officially launched to acknowledge the gifted performer’s contribution to the industry, is designed to provide never-before-seen support to local artists.

The Screaming Jets at The Stag and Hunter on Friday. Photo: Rod Thompson

Applications are now open, with an annual recipient securing $5,000 cash as well as the chance to record, produce and unveil an original single and receive mentor sessions with professionals.

“I believe this is one of the most important ‘live’ music scholarships Newcastle has done for a long time,” AHA Newcastle Hunter branch president Mick Starkey said.

“Paul’s input to the musical landscape of this city is unheralded, both within his role in The Screaming Jets and as a solo artist.

“That’s something we feel should be perpetuated in his memory.

“And, we believe this is our opportunity to hopefully foster and bring on the next Paul Woseen and, in fact, The Screaming Jets.

“I need to thank several major sponsors, such as the AHA Newcastle Hunter branch and Nikki Taylor, The Stag and Hunter and City of Newcastle.

“We’ve also picked up a lot of in-kind support, including The Harbour Agency.

“It’s a difficult business and companies like that will be vital to ensure the next up-and-coming person is successful in their endeavours as a ‘live’ music artist.

“With Tony Grace putting that forward, it’s a really big feather in the cap of any aspiring muso.

“In fact, the backing by so many ventures highlights how important this is to Newcastle.

“We are a ‘live’ music city, we believe in the arts, and we all believe in pubs.

“Newcastle has always been synonymous with nurturing original artists and hosting fantastic local acts in our venues.

“So, we want to make sure that continues to be the case.

“We believe this grant will offer stepping stones and create a support network that can truly launch the career of its annual recipient.

“Doing it in Paul’s name is a fitting way to pay tribute to him.”

The 56-year-old bass guitarist died on Friday 15 September, stunning the Australian music scene.

His illustrious career with The Jets spanned more than 10 studio albums, with over 50 songs to his credit, including the APRA Song of the Year nominee and enduring radio classic, Helping Hand.

Woseen’s influence echoed through the group’s discography, notably highlighted by five of their records, including their groundbreaking debut All For One (1991), which all hit the Top 5 of the ARIA Charts.

His last recording with The Jets before his passing, Professional Misconduct (2023), clinched the coveted No. 1 position on both the ARIA Australian albums and Vinyl albums charts.

Dave Gleeson belts out Helping Hand in honour of founding member Paul Woseen. Photo: Rod Thompson

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said City of Newcastle was proud to support the initiative.

“Paul left an indelible mark on Newcastle’s music culture and his contributions were pivotal in shaping the city’s vibrant music scene,” she stated.

“This grant will inspire generations to come and empower recipients to further their journey.

“Paul’s loss is one that was, and continues to be, felt far and wide.

“It’s widely known that he was a mentor to many young artists and, as a result, undoubtedly fostered the success of numerous careers.

“Through this partnership, we hope the Paul Woseen Memorial Music Grant will be a lasting and fitting tribute to his immense legacy.”

Applicants must be aged 18 or older and reside within the Greater Newcastle area including Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Maitland, and/or Cessnock.

To learn more about the grant, go to https://www.ahanewcastlehunter.org/paulwoseenmemorialmusicgrant

Applications close at 11.59am on Thursday 4 April.

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