Whether you’re mad for Miles Davis, looney for Louis Armstrong and crazy for John Coltrane (or just looking for a fun night out), the Perth International Jazz Festival is set to hit all the right notes!
Running from November 8 to 10, the festival will see a range of free and ticketed events across Perth featuring more than 60 local, national and international artists. The main hub of the festival will be the State Theatre Centre, including its Courtyard and the Heath Ledger Theatre, as well as other venues including The Bird, The Ellington Jazz Club and Downstairs at the Maj.
Here are just a few of the acts you’ll be able to catch at the festival next weekend!
Youthful singer brings classic sounds
Bringing to your ears and mind some soulful sounds that recall classic ladies like Anita O’Day, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald, US Jazz singer Veronica Swift takes to the stage as one of the festival's top acts. The daughter of a Jazz pianist and celebrated Jazz singer, Swift has been recording and performing from a young age, with this rising singer’s first concert in Australia drawing from from her latest album, Confessions.
Revisiting a legend of the genre
Aussie trumpeter, singer and composer Roscoe James Irwin will be bringing back the smoky tones and smooth sound of Chet Baker. In a special performance of “Lost in a Dream: The Musical Life of Chet Baker,” Irwin and his 20-piece string orchestra will be exploring the life and classic music of the legendary Jazz musician set against spirit of 1950’s California.
Jazzy Japanese artists
Two international acts come from the land of rising sun this year with renowned pianist Fumio Itabashi performing with his ten-piece band of Australia’s top improvisational jazz artists. While saxophonist Akane Ezawa and her quintet, including Perth trumpeter Ricki Malet, will be performing a range of original and classic tunes from the Hard-Bop era.
Internationally performing Aussie artists return
Bringing their talents back to our shores in the midst of international careers, Australian-born artists Ben Winkelman and Tal Cohen return for the festival. WA Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) graduate and now US-based pianist Cohen will bring his musical stylings based heavily in Jewish folk and classical music, having performed all over the world alongside prominent figures like Terence Blanchard and Robert Hurst. Melbourne composer and a jazz pianist Winkelman returns from New York to perform his unique musical stylings combining Afro-Cuban, gospel and classical music.
A unique sound from South America, Brazillian trio Meretrio bring a blend jazz and classical chamber music to the festival’s stage using a loop machine and digital effects to create completely new textures and sounds.
Jazz from the silver screen
WA’s brightest up and coming talent show the depth and fun of Jazz music as they explore it through a selection of classic films including The Pink Panther, The Man With The Golden Arm, Ocean’s 11 and The Incredibles. With matinee and evening performances, the family friendly performances are a great opportunity for all ages to enjoy the festival!
Free concerts, talks and choir
Keen for a night on the town without the ticket price? Head to the Perth Cultural Centre’s Wetlands Stage, The Rechabite, and Birdwood Square for free concerts. Featuring home grown talent, including recent WAAPA graduates and bands from across Australia, head to any of the venues to get the full jazz experience on any of the festivals three days.
Have a chat with your favourite music-makers from the festival with Q&As and informal conversation events with the visiting guest artists. You can even get involved yourself, with renowned WA jazz vocalist Libby Hammer hosting the Jazz Club Choir, inviting anyone to join a jazz choir for the duration of the festival. Or for a new twist, head along to the free Junkadelic Instrument Making Workshop hosted at Birdwood Square from noon on the Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are available across at the festival ranging from $10-$45. If you purchase three or more shows at the State Theatre Centre you can get a 10 percent discount and 15 percent off if you get tickets to six or more shows. Tickets for performances at the Ellington Jazz Club are available on their website, while tickets at The Bird are sold only at the door.
For more information or to see what else is on head the festival website.