Melbourne International Jazz Festival announces Take Note leader

Get the latest from Beat


Melbourne International Jazz Festival announces Take Note leader

Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) has today announced its Take Note program leader for 2023 - composer and saxophonist Cheryl Durongpisitkul.

Now in its fifth year, the Take Note program is an ongoing initiative from MIJF that addresses the underrepresentation of women and gender-diverse musicians in jazz by celebrating and promoting women and gender-diverse leaders on stage and in high schools across Victoria.

A dynamic artist in the Australian landscape—known for her innovative style and ability to weave a captivating narrative into her work—Cheryl is a VCA Honours and WA Academy of Performing Arts graduate. Her list of accolades includes an invitation to the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, a SIMA Young Composers award and a Freedman Fellowship nomination. She has released her own album Follow Me Through The Red Ash, two albums with collaborative trio Koi Kingdom, has co-lead the JazzLab Orcheztra, and received several commissions for large-ensemble works.

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

“I am incredibly grateful and humbled to be named the Take Note leader in 2023. Being awarded Take Note will give me the opportunity to compose my next large-scale work – a deeply personal project that has been percolating over the last three years,” says Cheryl of her new role as Take Note program leader.

“Cultivating diverse spaces within our community is a passion of mine and I am excited to be working with the Melbourne International Jazz Festival to carve out more opportunities for those that may not fit the status quo. I look forward to working with and empowering students to create music in safe and inclusive spaces in the hope of developing a place where they all feel they can belong within their own communities.”

“We are thrilled to have Cheryl Durongpisitkul as our Take Note program leader for 2023. Her talents as a saxophonist, composer and emerging leader are extraordinary and she exemplifies everything that MIJF’s Take Note initiative is about.” says Melbourne International Jazz Festival’s CEO and Program Director, Hadley Agrez. “It not only excites me to see what Cheryl presents for the festival in October, but also the impact she will have on the next generation of jazz, and the important relationships she will develop throughout the year.”

Cheryl will receive a $5,000 cash bursary to support the development of a new work to premiere at the 2023 Melbourne International Jazz Festival and a five-day residency at Four Winds (Bermagui, NSW). She will also undertake a dedicated Victorian high school tour, leading improvisation workshops and inspiring the next generation of Australian jazz.

The Melbourne International Jazz Festival returns 20 – 29 October 2023. The 2023 program will be announced later in the year. For further info head to