Gai arrived in Sydney after graduating from the University of Adelaide where she studied Jazz Performance. She has worked with Carl Orr, Mark Simmonds, Paul McNamara, Sandy Evans, Jackie Orzaczky, Jann Rutherford, Lloyd Swanton, Janet Seidel, Don Burrows and Roger Frampton and others.
In 1996/7 she studied with soprano saxophonist and composer, Jane Ira Bloom in New York. Upon her return to Sydney she formed the Gai Bryant Quartet. From 1997-2000 the Quartet toured throughout Australia, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan performing concerts and conducting workshops. In October and November 1999 the Quartet completed a series of live performances with poets in Hyde Park as part of a vision to access Sydney’s open spaces for small acoustic and cross-art form performances.
“Gai is a particularly fine & subtle arranger. Her original music oft has a simultaneously ‘spare’, yet ‘richly orchestral’ quality.”
– ABC Radio National
Early 2000 Gai studied Taegum at the National Korean Performing Arts Centre in Seoul with WON Hyang-Juan, master of traditional Korean music. In September the Quartet toured Korea with WON Hyang-Juan and his family performing compositions by Gai and Won Hyang-Juan for a combined ensemble at the Korean Performing Arts Centre, Seoul. The combined ensemble toured Australia performing and giving workshops at the Brisbane Festival, Sydney’s Carnivale, the Opera House Studio, ABC and SBS radio programs as well as recording for the University of Western Sydney contemporary music program.
Gai attended Lake Placid Institute’s advanced composition and improvisation seminar in 2001 where she was tutored by jazz greats Jim McNeely and Joe Lovano. In October/November 2002 Gai’s large ensemble performed with Jim McNeely at the Sydney Opera House Studio and Wangaratta Festival playing Jim’s compositions and arrangements for tentet. During 2003 she sought out Jim McNeely and Mike Gibbs to delve further into composition and arranging via lessons and correspondence.
In 2005 Gai composed and recorded the soundtrack for previously unseen Frank Hurley footage of SS Aurora 1911-13 expedition to the Antarctic, which screened at Longest Night Film Festival. In July performed with Arkadiy Figlin Trio at the Pori Jazz Festival, Finland and mentored the Sisters in Jazz ensemble through her original compositions/arrangements for the International Jazz Educators Association. In September she performed with Swedish musicians for an Australian design presentation. She continues to perform original material in Australia with her own ensemble and as a guest with overseas groups.
Her commissions include works for the Seymour New Music Group, Bernie McGann Trio, Liverpool Council, National Archives and the Sydney Spring Festival. She has released three albums as a bandleader. Quartet albums,” High Jinx” (1998) and “Music” (2002) and large ensemble album ”Two Degrees East” (2005).