Stellar jazz and blues festival in the works
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.