The inaugural Adelaide Jazz Festival set to surprise, inspire, and delight

[from the media release]

The Adelaide Jazz Festival (AJF) is a weekend-long program of live performances celebrating the  city’s diverse music scene and UNESCO’s International Jazz Day. Presenting a broad range of jazz  genres, the program showcases some of South Australia’s finest emerging and established jazz,  funk, soul, R&B and swing artists. 

“As well as appealing to regular jazz fans, our aim is to surprise, inspire and delight audiences  who might think jazz is not really their thing,” says AJF founder and producer, Kaya Blum. “It’s a  festival for people with passion for music, not just jazz.”

This is the first time Adelaide joins other Australian capital cities with an annual jazz festival on  the calendar. The event will be held across several CBD music venues and provides a vital  platform for over 40 local musicians. Central locations and staggered start times for each  performance make it possible to catch more than one gig in a day.  

The line-up includes Soylent Green, nominated for the SoundMerch Australian Music Prize for Best Australian Album 2022 and equal winners of the national ‘Next Gen’ selection at  Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues; 10-piece jazz-funk outfit Bend; swing sensation Lucky  Seven; instrumental nu-funk band The 6Ft Pelicans, neo-soul/R&B/jazz artist Kara Manansala, and more, including a rare performance from Adelaide Jazz icon Penny Eames. The singer has been part of the Australian jazz scene since the 1970s, making a significant contribution to jazz both locally and nationally. As well as leading her own bands, she toured nationally and internationally with Bob Barnard’s Jazz Band; and was vocalist on Dave Dallwitz’s classic Australian jazz album, The Ern Malley Jazz Suite.

Festival highlights also include guitarist Django Rowe, performing at the Grace Emily (his residency is one of the staples of the Adelaide’s jazz scene), joined by saxophonist Tom Noonan, bassist Dylan Paul, and drummer Stephen Neville.

Drawing influence from the greats such as John Scofield, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Ornette Coleman, this band’s energy and conversation is infectious and inspiring. The quartet will perform a set of modern jazz originals and interpretations, then host the Late Night Jazz Jam. Get your ticket here.

Adelaide Festival Centre is also on board as a Creative Partner. Adelaide Festival Centre have  hosted a jazz concert for UNESCO’s International Jazz Day celebrations since 2017 and will do so again this  year as part of the AJF program: on Sunday 30 April Women in Jazz Adelaide collective (vocalists Eliza Dickson and Danica Lammertsma, saxophonists Vashti Tyrrell and Christina Guala, trombonists Ruby Mensforth and Jasmine Ferguson, trumpetist Charlotte Newhouse, pianist Ciara Ferguson, bassist Enne Rignanese, and drummer Andreanna Massacci) will present ‘The New Standard’ — songs from pioneering female jazz composers through to fresh contemporary releases, uncovering the underacknowledged hidden gems in the jazz repertoire.

They will be joined by the electronica/ jazz outfit ER@SER DESCRIPTION, and upbeat duo Up, Up & Aue.

Get a ticket to the Adelaide Jazz Festival’s International Day Concert: ER@SER DESCRIPTION & Women In Jazz Adelaide

The AJF is supported by the South Australian Government’s Music Development Office See It LIVE program and the City of Adelaide.

“As Australia’s only UNESCO City of Music, it is fantastic to see the inaugural Adelaide Jazz  Festival celebrate our state’s talented musicians,” says Minister for Arts, The Hon Andrea Michaels MP.

“Our Government is committed to boosting the South Australian live music industry and, as a  grant recipient of our $10 million See It LIVE package, the Adelaide Jazz Festival is providing an  incredible platform for more than 40 established and emerging local musicians,” Michaels adds.

“South Australia is home to a diverse music scene and the Adelaide Jazz Festival is just one of  many exciting events popping up on South Australia’s music calendar in 2023.”

Details of the AJF program can be found at