A dynamic and compelling musician, Louisa Rankin’s artistry has been developed and refined over years of continued musical exploration. Louisa graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts as an orchestral tuba player before a keen interest in singing and improvisation lead her to complete a second music degree in jazz as a vocalist at Monash University in 2009. Louisa then returned to VCA in 2012, achieving an Honours degree in Improvisation.
The instrumental perspective of collective music-making continues to influence Louisa’s approach to composing and arranging for voice and singing within an improvising ensemble. Louisa has presented her original music at Melbourne’s premier jazz clubs and music venues and is highly regarded as a creative vocalist. She is a founding member of Gian Slater’s acclaimed group, Invenio, an innovative ensemble of improvising vocalists that continues to push the boundaries of conventional ensemble singing. Recent musical achievements include: composing and presenting new music for Septet as part of the Melbourne Women’s International Jazz festival in December 2022; the live video recording of 3 new compositions for quintet featuring Angela Davis (alto sax), Fran Swinn (guitar), Tom Lee (double bass) and Rajiv Jayaweera (drums) at WEFO studios in May 2022; a commission by Monash University to compose 4 pieces for performance within the jazz curriculum; and travel to New York in July 2018 with Gian Slater and Josh Kyle as Invenio Trio where they performed with Grammy-nominated vocal artist Theo Bleckmann and award-winning pianist-composer Matthew Sheens.
Louisa’s debut album, Papier-mâché, was released in March 2015, showcasing her original compositions and arrangements. 2023 will see her record her second album featuring her recent compositions for Septet. Louisa has also been invited to work with artists as diverse as pianist/composer Tim Stevens, The Monash Art Ensemble, Andrew Murray’s ATM15 Big Band and experimental electronic outfit Essendon Airport.
Louisa attended the Australian Art Orchestra’s Creative Music Intensive at Four Winds, Bermagui in 2022, developing collaborative relationships with artists including clarinettist Jason Noble (Ensemble Offspring). In 2013, she travelled to Canada’s Banff Centre for the International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music where she studied with artists including Esperanza Spalding, Vijay Iyer, Graham Haynes and Theo Bleckmann. She completed further study with Bleckmann in January 2015 in New York City and in 2016 was invited to participate in the California Jazz Conservatory’s Vocal Intensive, a week-long program lead by Laurie Antonioli and Theo Bleckmann.
Louisa is a passionate educator, teaching jazz and contemporary voice at Monash University and The Australian Institute of Music, Melbourne.