Stel­lar jazz and blues fes­ti­val in the works

North East Tourist News - - AROUND THE REGION -

OFF the back of a hugely suc­cess­ful 2015 pro­gram, the Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Fes­ti­val is pre­par­ing to wel­come back jazz cats, blues en­thu­si­asts and mu­sic lovers to jit­ter­bug and jive for an­other stel­lar fes­ti­val in 2016.

Now in its 27th year and with a 2016 line-up that is sure to hit all the high notes, the Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Fes­ti­val is the per­fect op­por­tu­nity for mu­sic en­thu­si­asts to un­wind and en­joy a jam-packed long week­end of pre­mium jazz and blues from a stel­lar line-up of Aus­tralian and in­ter­na­tional mu­si­cians.

Over the last week­end in Oc­to­ber – Oc­to­ber 28-30 - fes­ti­val go­ers will be treated to the mu­si­cal de­lights of more than 300 mu­si­cians in over 80 con­certs, across seven con­cert lo­ca­tions.

More than just a mu­sic fes­ti­val, the 2016 pro­gram will also see the streets of Wangaratta come alive with live art events, a buskers’ boule­vard and win­dow art – mak­ing Jazz and Blues a fam­ily af­fair.

Artis­tic di­rec­tor Adrian Jack­son says the di­verse pro­gram of lo­cal artists, along­side a host of up and com­ing in­ter­na­tional acts, makes this year’s pro­gram par­tic­u­larly unique.

“The in­ter­na­tional line-up fea­tures some out­stand­ing up and com­ing artists, in­clud­ing the re­mark­able tal­ent that is the Mis­sis­sippi Diva, JJ Thames (USA), Chilean na­tive and sax­o­phon­ist Melissa Al­dana, and the con­tem­po­rary jazz de­lights of the Ro­nan Guil­foyle Trio (IRE),” said Mr Jack­son.

“The Aus­tralian line-up is equally strong with the hugely pop­u­lar James Mor­ri­son, the un­stop­pable Pierce Broth­ers, ARIA award win­ning pi­anist Bar­ney McAll, vet­eran blues soloist, Geoff Achi­son, ris­ing jazz chanteuse Kimba Grif­fith and soul­ful nine-piece out­fit, The Bam­boos.

“This year’s pro­gram also fea­tures a plethora of ex­tremely tal­ented fe­male band­leaders and soloists, in­clud­ing, Shan­non Bar­nett, Sandy Evans, An­drea Keller, Bri­die King, Kellie Santin, Zoe Black, Tamara Mur­phy, Belinda Woods and Mary Doumany,” he added.

Fes­ti­val chair Paul Squires says the range of tick­et­ing op­tions and the seven per­for­mance venues en­sure that all mu­sic tastes and bud­gets are catered for.

“We have a range of tick­et­ing op­tions that start from as lit­tle as $30.

“A Week­end Pass at our King Ge­orge Gar­dens stage will set you back $50 and in­cludes an out­door en­ter­tain­ment, cross-over mu­sic on the open air stage and ac­cess to lo­cal food and wine.

“For those after the full Jazz and Blues mu­sic ex­pe­ri­ence, the highly sought after fes­ti­val Gold Pass of­fers un­lim­ited ac­cess, guar­an­teed seat­ing, and no queues, in all seven con­cert venues.”

Vis­i­tors to the high coun­try can also take ad­van­tage of the flex­i­ble Fes­ti­val Pass, which pro­vides ac­cess to all shows with the flex­i­bil­ity to build in re­gional ac­tiv­i­ties over the week­end.

Tick­ets for the 2016 Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Fes­ti­val are on sale now and can be pur­chased from www. wan­garat­ta­jazz.com.

SCAT TO IT: Aus­tralian jazz leg­end James Mor­ri­son is among the per­form­ers at this year’s Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Fes­ti­val.

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