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Jed Danyel Kurzel (born 1976) is an Australian singer-songwriter-guitarist and film composer. He is a founding member of The Mess Hall (from 2001), a blues rock duo. His older brother Justin Kurzel is a film director and screenwriter.

Jed Kurzel
The Mess Hall @ Amplifier Bar (31 12 2009) (4256661406).jpg
Jed Kurzel live with The Mess Hall in 2009
Background information
Birth nameJed Danyel Kurzel
Born1976 (age 42–43)
Gawler, South Australia, Australia
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Associated actsThe Mess Hall


Life and careerEdit

Kurzel was born in 1976 and, with his older brother Justin Kurzel (born 1974), grew up in Gawler, South Australia.[1][2] Their father, Zdzislaw Kurzel (1946–2006), was from Poland and had migrated to Australia in 1960, where he became a taxi driver.[3][4][5] In the 1990s, Kurzel moved to Sydney, where Justin was studying at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).[2]

In 2001 Kurzel on lead vocals and guitar, Anthony Johnsen on drums and a bass guitarist formed a blues-rock group, the Mess Hall in Sydney – the bass guitarist soon left but was not replaced, they continued as a duo.[6] Kurzel recalled "When the clubs asked us where our bass player was, we used to lie and say he was sick."[6] Their debut album The Mess Hall was released in June 2003. In early 2004 Johnsen was replaced by Cec Condon on drums and vocals.[7] Their third album Devils Elbow (October 2007) won the Australian Music Prize.[8]

In 2000 Kurzel composed the film score for the short subject, Sammy Blue, at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, with Kim Farrant directing.[9][10] He worked for Farrant again: providing the score for Naked on the Inside (2006), a feature film documentary on body image.[10] In 2009 he composed music for Castor & Pollux, a short film, directed by Ben Briand.[11]

In 2011 Kurzel provided the music score for the directorial debut feature film by Justin, Snowtown.[12] At the APRA-AGSC Screen Music Awards of 2011 Kurzel won Feature Film Score of the Year.[13] It was nominated for Australian Film Institute Award for Best Original Music Score.[14] The related soundtrack album was nominated for ARIA Award for Best Original Soundtrack, Cast or Show Album in that same year.[15][16]

Kurzel also wrote the scores for Son of a Gun, Slow West and the documentary All This Mayhem. In 2015, he worked again with his brother on Macbeth, followed by Assassin's Creed in 2016. He replaced Harry Gregson-Williams as the composer of Alien: Covenant.[17]

Selected filmographyEdit

External linksEdit


  1. ^ Quinn, Karl (1 October 2015). "Jed Kurzel on why Macbeth echoes Snowtown and how the score was almost electronic". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b Ross, Annabel (29 November 2014). "Two of us: Justin and Jed Kurzel". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  3. ^ Gibbs, Ed (21 May 2015). "Cannes 2015: After Snowtown and Macbeth, Kurzel brothers to make sports comedy". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Item details for: A12009, 1011-1015". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  5. ^ Winterford, Brett (1 May 2008). "The Mess Hall – Gig Reviews". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  6. ^ a b "It takes two … to play the blues". The Age. Fairfax Media. 15 June 2003. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  7. ^ Jed Kurzel Archived 26 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine,, access date 2 November 2015
  8. ^ Winners Archived 17 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine,, access date 2 November 2015
  9. ^ "Sammy Blue". Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS). National Library of Australia. Archived from the original on 2 February 2006. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Naked on the Inside" (PDF). Compétition Longs Métrages Documentaires (in French). International Festival of Films de Femmes de Créteil. 2008. p. 41. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  11. ^ "TIFF52 – Screenings" (in Greek). Thessaloniki International Film Festival. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  12. ^ Interview with Jed Kurzel,, access date 2 November 2015
  13. ^ "Feature Film Score of the Year". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australian Guild of Screen Composers (AGSC). 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Jed Kurzel's Snowtown Score Nominated for AACTA Award". Ivy League. 1 December 2001. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  15. ^ "The Countdown Begins....Nominations Announced". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). 11 October 2011. Archived from the original on 16 October 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  16. ^ "2011 ARIA Awards Winners By Year". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Jed Kurzel to Score Ridley Scott's 'Alien: Covenant'". 25 December 2016.