Melbourne International Jazz Festival unveils mammoth 2021 program

Melbourne International Jazz Festival unveils mammoth 2021 program

Words by Kate Streader

Featuring Fat Freddy’s Drop, The Bamboos, Ngaiire, Gordon Koang, and loads more.

Melbourne International Jazz Festival has lifted the lid on this year’s program, with over 400 artists set to perform across the festival’s ten days.

The mammoth 2021 event will feature three world premiere commissions, 13 album launches, 20 Australian premieres, the launch of a new Jazz Hub in Melbourne’s CBD, and over 120 performances across 30 venues.

What you need to know

  • Melbourne International Jazz Festival is happening from Friday October 15 until Sunday October 24
  • One third of the events will be free to attend
  • The full 2021 program has been revealed

Keep up with the latest festival news, reviews and interviews here.

The festival will kick off with the Opening Night Gala, a collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center‘s Christopher Crenshaw, Vanessa Perica and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO), featuring a lineup of Australian vocalists including Katie Noonan, Vince Jones, Harry James Angus, Kylie Auldist and thando, who will perform iconic jazz standards.

The festival’s Artist In Residence program will highlight the talent of multi award-winning pianist, composer and arranger Paul Grabowsky AO, featuring collaborations with Paul Kelly and Ngaiire.

You can also expect to catch the likes of Ausecuma Beats and Cool Out SunGordon Koang30/70Ellie Lamb, and many, many more beloved acts across the festival.

There will also be a slate of In Conversation events, panels, workshops, masterclasses, and so much more to enjoy.

Closing out this year’s Melbourne International Jazz Festival is Big Sunday, going down at Sidney Myer Music Bowl with performances by Fat Freddy’s DropThe Bamboos, Emma Donovan and Paul GrabowskyHarry James Angus and Freyja Hooper.

“After a testing period for live music, Australia’s jazz community continues to thrive,” said Artistic Director Michael Tortoni. “Central to this resilience is the genre’s inherent collaborative quality – a refreshing antithesis to the isolation we have endured over the past 18 months.

“As George Gershwin once said: ‘Life is a lot like jazz. It’s best when you improvise’, so as we hurtle towards our 24th festival, collaboration – coming together – remains at the heart of our program,” he said.

Melbourne International Jazz Festival is happening from Friday October 15 – Sunday October 24. Head to the festival website for the full program, tickets, and more information.