Bookings are strong but there’s still much to enjoy in this year’s Melbourne International Jazz Festival, which started last weekend and runs until June 12. It promises everything from headliners to intimate club gigs, late-night jams, close encounters, workshops, family events and free concerts. The range of performances is intended for those with a deep love of jazz, as well those who are new to this ever-evolving artform.
The Festival brings together Australian and international musicians and also fosters collaborations between artists and showcases the creation of new works.Many illustrious artists who have been defining and redefining jazz for generations – these include Wayne Shorter, Gary Bartz, Eddie Palmieri, Mulatu Astatke and Tomasz Stanko. In addition to Esperanza Spalding other artists who represents the current and future directions of jazz include Robert Glasper, Marcus Strickland, Keyon Harrold, Snarky Puppy and Hiromi.
The Festival is also proud to showcase many outstanding Australian artists this year, with new works by Kristin Berardi, Stu Hunter, Barney McAll, Peter Knight’s Way Out West and Joe O’Connor. The club sessions will continue throughout the Festival with Bennetts Lane Jazz Club programming a tribute to Allan Browne, the Shai Maestro Trio and late night jams with the Hue Blanes Trio.
Free events throughout the Festival include personalised Sound Portraits, Transitive Cycles – a new commission by Barney McAll at the Federation Bells in Birrarung Marr and the Close Encounters program with some of the world’s leading jazz artists in a series of intimate conversations, inspiring workshops and live demonstrations.
Other events in the Festival feature the Jazz Out West program that includes the popular Jazz-a-Bye Baby with Mister Ott and also free concerts at Federation Square on the opening weekend, the Julliard Free Lunchtime Jazz at on Bourke Street and in a new collaboration with the Queen Victoria Market, Los Cabrones will play at the Winter Night Markets.
The picture is of Tomasz Stanko. “One of the world’s most original and innovative jazz trumpet players” — The New Yorker
In a world-premiere collaboration between Paul Grabowsky of the Monash Art Ensemble – a project of Monash University’s Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and the Australian Art Orchestra – and European jazz icon Tomasz Stanko, the musicians will explore the music of Krzysztof Komeda, the legendary Polish film composer and jazz musician who was Roman Polanski’s composer of choice, creating scores for such iconic films as Rosemary’s Baby and Knife in the Water.
Saturday 11 June 2016, 6:30pm (Merlyn Theatre)
The information in this profile was supplied by the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.