picture of Cécile McLorin Salvant
Photograph: Supplied/Common State
  • Music, Jazz
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Melbourne International Jazz Festival

The annual city-wide celebration strings together the biggest and best names in international jazz


Time Out says

It’s time for a vamped season of sax in the city with the return of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) this October. 

Since 1998, MIJF has taken the underground above ground and celebrated the best of jazz culture by showcasing leading and emerging contemporary artists from home and abroad.

Running from October 20-29, MIJF will become the epicentre of Australia’s vibrant and buzzing jazz scene in late October, with music taking over the streets, concert halls and clubs.

As already disclosed, music legends Chaka Khan and Nile Rodgers and Chic will commence the jazz festivities with a launch event at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Saturday, October 22. They'll be supported by ARIA-winning neo-soul queen Kaiit and Horns of Leroy. Tickets are now available, and you can get them here. 

Described by Spin as “her generation’s most imaginative and thrilling jazz interpreter”, American multi-Grammy Award-winning artist Cécile McLorin Salvant will perform. Also featured on the line-up is America’s most critically acclaimed jazz supergroup SFJAZZ Collective, who will commemorate their 20-year anniversary at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

Using his spirituality and deep ancestral history as a rhythmic touchstone, the revered South African composer, producer and Blue Note pianist Nduduzo Makhathini will collaborate for the first time with Kalkadungu composer and didgeridoo musician William Barton in an exclusive performance for MIJF. 

Also for the first time ever, the award-winning actress and Grammy-nominated Jazz vocalist Lisa Simone will grace the Hamer Hall stage to honour her mother’s imperishable legacy. Genetically blessed with the same velvety voice as her mother Nina, this is a deeply personal performance you don’t want to miss.

Hailing from the UK, the cinematic “break-beat trio” GoGo Penguin will perform in Australia for the first time in what will be a high-octane experience at the Forum.

This is a mere snippet of the MIJF 2023 program; for a greater delve into this year’s offerings, visit the website here.

Love sax? Here are the best jazz bars and clubs in Melbourne.


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