Announced by the festival’s artistic director Michael Tortoni are the USA’s actor and singer Robert Davi making his Australian debut with a Frank Sinatra tribute, and multi instrumentalist Charles Lloyd pairing with Greece’s “voice of resistance” Maria Farantouri and with his own fearless Sky Trio.
Also from America are swing blues interpreter Mary Stallings, tenor sax virtuoso Joshua Redman’s red hot Quartet, the next generation Derrick Hodge and Chris Turner as part of a Blue Note showcase, the 38-piece Glenn Miller Orchestra celebrating its 77th year, and the Australian premiere of Chris Dave (whom ?uestlove calls “probably the most dangerous drummer alive”) and his The Drumhedz which have a revolutionary approach to rhythm with an amalgamation of R&B, funk, rock, jazz, hip-hop and electronica.
Acts from other countries include tenor saxophonist and flautist Jorge Pardo making his Australian debut with his jazz flamenco fusion (Spain), Django Bates Beloved (UK, Denmark, Sweden) with a Charlie Partker homage, Jukka Perko Avara Tro (Finland) and Daniel Zamir & Tomer Bar (Israel).
Australian masters include the Allan Browne Quartet, Jamie Oehlers, Paul Grabowsky, the Ross McHenry Future Ensemble, Ian Chaplin Trio, Sam Keevers Sextet, Paul Williamson Quartet, Stephen Magnusson Trio, Andrea Keller Quartet The Hunters and Pointers, Alister Spence Trio (on a double bill with Brooklyn’s Dawn of Midi), Fem Belling, pianist Mike Nock and formidable drummer Laurence Pike on a double bill with the Julien Wilson Quartet, Sydney-based koto virtuoso Satsuki Odamura and Brisbane’s Trichotomy featuring UK saxophonist Julian Argüelles. After the success of 774’s Roaring Swing in 2013, Hilary Harper hosts 774’s Swing Noir, featuring dance diva and DJ, Miss Sugar Puss and Melbourne bands Ultrafox and Swingville
They are among 300 artists who will perform in 100 events.
“This year’s artistic program is the broadest, most inclusive and most exciting in the history of the Festival,” Tortoni declared. “Jazz continues to be an important chronicle of modern life, relentless in its search for authenticity, for capturing the moment through improvisation. That relentless search is reflected in this year’s incredible lineup.”
The 10-day festival is the largest of its kind in Australia and includes club and theatre shows, and film screenings (among them, The Man With The Golden Arm, Charles Lloyd: Arrows into Infinity and Bayou Maharaja about New Orleans pianist James Booker. There are events for families and children and a range of free events including lunchtime concerts, the Festival’s late-night art party The Cave, the premiere of the 2014 PBS Young Elder of Jazz Commission, artist talks, soundwalks, the new Jazz Out West series in Footscray, 12 Australian premieres, four festival exclusives and 30 free events.