Jazz Up Your Winter!
There wouldn’t be a Melbourne winter without its infamous International Jazz Festival. Known for bringing international and homegrown jazz talent to Melbourne to connect with audiences in some of the city’s most iconic spaces, every year the crowd grows in numbers and variety while coming together to experience jazz tunes from around the world.
This year’s line up features some of the greatest international and Australian musicians of our time, performing over 10 days from May 31 – June 9 in nearly 100 events, including 10 Australian premiers and 8 Festival exclusives.
A number of exclusive Australian premieres are included in the Modern Masters program. From the legendary vocalist Cassandra Wilson in her first Australian appearance in almost a decade, the multi-Grammy-Award winner Chucho Valdés and his Afro-Cuban Messengers, to a highly sought-after contemporary big band composers Maria Schneider and Darcy James Argue, followed by the quintessential New Orleans masters Rebirth Brass Band, and the world premiere of Australia’s own Joe Camilleri, Vince Jones, and Vika Bull performing Here Comes the Night: Songs from the Van Morrison Songbook.
As always, there is plenty more to choose from. For more low-key crowd, Melbourne’s jazz clubs will play host to a stellar line-up of Club Sessions over ten nights featuring an extraordinary array of talented musicians. A vibrant new series, Explorations in Jazz, will bring together musicians at the forefront of contemporary jazz including the Australian premieres of hot new collective Snarky Puppy, indie-rock, hip-hop, jazz combo Kneebody and 2012 Festival sensation Jamire returning with his new band ERIMAJ. Another new initiative, Unleash the Best, will see schools entering the ultimate online and live rock, pop, big band, jazz and blues, world music and electronic beats band competition with $50,000 to be won in prizes.
Regular festival-goers can look forward to the annual favourite events returning to the schedule this year, such as the ACMI Jazz on Film, and more than 25 free events including the much-loved The Cave.
Finally, there are freebees galore. With daily free concerts at Federation Square, the hugely popular Soundwalks walking tours, and master classes with visiting international musicians you can’t miss your chance to get up close and personal with some of the biggest names in the Jazz world.
To view the full program, visit Melbourne International Jazz Festival website.
Written by Martina Ellis