Guitar virtuoso Bill Frisell leads a line-up of almost 500 international and Australian jazz artists
Widely regarded as one of the world's greatest electric guitarists, Bill Frisell's oeuvre spans three decades and more than 50 albums as leader and collaborator, covering genres as diverse as jazz, folk, country, bluesgrass, rock, avant-garde and classical. A jazz musician with pop sensibilities – he is occasionally gently chided for not being 'weird' enough – his recent work has included forays into 1960s pop (like this dreamy version of The Beach Boys' 'Surfer Girl') and the music of cinema and TV.
Marking his first visit to Australia since 2009, Frisell plays three shows during the Melbourne International Jazz Festival: two club shows with the Bill Frisell Trio (regrettably sold out) and a special opening night performance of his latest album, When You Wish Upon a Star. He is also the subject of the documentary film Bill Frisell: A Portrait, which has its Australian premiere during the festival.
Other artist highlights of the 2017 program include jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves (USA), Kenny Barron (USA) and genre-hopping pianist Tigran Hamasyan, whose inimitable style blends jazz and progressive rock with the folk music of his native Armenia. The program also features a Jazz Out West concert series in Footscray, Yarraville and Moonee Ponds, a New Orleans-style second line street parade through Southbank, and a Play School jazz performance for children.
Now in its 20th year, the festival has expanded to include more than 120 events over 10 days in 27 venues around Melbourne. Hit the website for the full program and to purchase tickets.