Swing to the first International Women’s Jazz Festival


For ten days this November Sydney will play host to the first International Women’s Jazz Festival at The Sound Lounge and Courtyard at the Seymour Centre in Chippendale.

“The program has an amazing line-up which will appeal to both a broad music audience as well as committed jazz fans”, says Programme Director Peter Rechniewski. The impressive international component, presented courtesy of the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues comprises outstanding bands making their first visits toAustralia.

As well, there will be free Courtyard Concert sponsored by the City of Sydney featuring artists Zoe and the Buttercups and Jess Green and the Pre-Loved. 

Performing along the visiting musicians will be Australian artists such as Sandy Evans and Andrea Keller and Cuban/Australian Marialy Pacheco, winner of the Montreux Jazz Festival Prize for July 2012.

“Marialy Pacheco delivers commanding performances of pure musical joy, whether solo performances or as for the SIWJF, as part of the Marialy Pacheco Trio  Steeped in the rhythms of her native Cuba and influenced by her love of the jazz tradition Marialy infuses a vibrant spirit and unwavering passion for the music of her birthplace” says Rechniewski.

Myra Melford who co-leads the collective Trio M has a reputation as one of the most important composers and improvisers of the last twenty years, who encompasses both improvised and composed music. Critic Francis Davis has described her as “the most original pianist/composer to emerge from jazz since Anthony Davis”.

Since making the finals in the prestigious Thelonious Monk competition in New York, New York based French singer Cyrille Aimee is making heads turn in both the US and Europe with her fresh sound and communicative style.

German band No Tango Quartet, led by Cologne based saxophonist and composer Christina Fuchs, is a genre bending and blending group that combines contemporary jazz with ethnic music and new music. The band represents an important current of European jazz that seeks to create new sounds fashioned from sources beyond the American tradition.

(Trio M, Cyrille Aimee and No Tango Quartet are in Australiato perform at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues. No Tango Quartet tours with the support of the Goethe Institute)

Sandy Evans is one of the most important jazz musicians who emerged in the 1980s. A mainstay of Australian contemporary jazz, she has led or co-led some of our most innovative ensembles such as Women and Children First, Clarion Fracture Zone, the Sandy Evans Trio and Sextet.  Evans has won numerous awards most recently and notably, a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to Australian contemporary jazz as a composer and a musician: a rare honour for a jazz musician.

Originally from Sydney, Melbournebased pianist/composer/band leader Andrea Keller is probably the most formidable female jazz talent to emerge inAustralia after Sandy Evans. She works across a wide variety of formats from solo piano to duets with bass (or recorder – with Genevieve Lacy), her own quartets and quintets, and the Bennett’s Lane Big Band.

At the SIWJF, the Andrea Keller Quartet will be joined by Melbourne improvising vocalist Gian Slater. The two have worked together many times inMelbourne but this will be the first time they have performed together for a Sydney audience.

Recipient of the Jann Rutherford Memorial Award 2011 for young female jazz musicians, Hannah James’ career has gone from strength to strength with performances at The Brisbane Powerhouse, Kinetic Jazz Festival,Bennett’s Lane Melbourne and more, plus studio performances and interviews for the ABC. These are outstanding achievements for such a young artist and SIWJF is pleased to include such an exciting young jazz talent in its first festival.

Also appearing will be the Aberdeen Youth Festival touring band aka The Alex Silver Quintetwho will perform a short set. The band consists entirely of young Australian women jazz musicians led by trombonist Alexandra Silver who directs SIMA’s annual ‘Young Women in Jazz” workshops with the Sydney Conservatorium.

Tickets: $10 – $30

Bookings: 02 9351 7940 or www.sydney.edu.au/seymour/







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