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Discover why jazz is like boxing at this festival in Melbourne

Discover why jazz is like boxing at this festival in Melbourne
May 26
09:30 2015

Boxing great George Foreman once described boxing as being like Jazz: ‘The better it is, the less people appreciate it.’

Jazz doesn’t get much better than the huge range of performances and events that will be showcased at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, 28 May–7 June 2015.

If you’re in Melbourne, or close enough that you can get there, this is one music festival that you shouldn’t miss.

The jazz capital of Australia

Melbourne’s music scene is renowned around the country as being vibrant and accessible. Having hosted the International Jazz Festival since 1998, this event has evolved and grown so that it now effectively takes over the city for ten days of musical celebration. It’s not just in the concert halls, arts venues and jazz clubs that you’ll feel the power of this festival – the streets of the city itself come alive with the sounds and spirit of jazz.

Are you a jazz aficionado?

One of the great things about Melbourne’s International Jazz Festival is that it offers something for everyone. If you know your jazz and want to appreciate some of the masters at work then you’ve got shows such as Chick Corea & Herbie Hancock – a rare combination of jazz piano royalty; or treat yourself to powerful vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater backed by the big band sound of NOJO.

For a bit more of a jazzy club feel, feel the rhythm with drummer Eric Harland, or get sexy with saxophonist Walter Smith III.

There’s also plenty of Australian talent on offer – you’ll be familiar with the work of Paul Grabowsky,  and Wilbur Wilde, but you should also check out the improvisation of James Muller, or the horn of Paul Williamson.

If all that sounds like a bit too much commitment, then just be spontaneous and join one of the multitude of free jazz events happening across the city during the festival.

How to enjoy jazz

Since its beginning jazz has always seemed to have its own unique language. While no one really says ‘hip’, ‘cat’ or ‘daddy-o’ anymore, you might want to throw in the occasional ‘cool’, or ‘baby’, or just make up your own jazz-appreciation slang – there’s really no rules.

Jazz is the kind of music that really gets into your soul, makes you feel something, reminds you to be in the moment.

Where to find it

You will get the best out of this festival if you spend a little time planning the logistics. While much of the action will be at the Arts Centre and The Malthouse in the city’s Southbank precinct, there are also numerous venues in the city centre, plus a whole series of events being held in Footscray in the west of the city. If you’re planning your accommodation opt for somewhere central with good transport links.

Whether you live in Melbourne or are just taking the opportunity to visit this exciting city, make sure that you make the most out of this unique opportunity to experience world-class jazz musicians at their very best. Events like this are the envy of jazz lovers around the world.

Immerse yourself in Melbourne. Immerse yourself in the International Jazz Festival. Jazz so good that they make it look easy.

About Author

Gareth Johnson

Gareth Johnson

Having grown up in the Murray River town of Echuca, Gareth’s love of travel has taken him around the world. After living in the UK, Japan, and Spain, Gareth keeps returning home to Australia to refuel on coffee and sunshine before heading off again to travel the world. Gareth’s favourite international destinations include Reykjavik, Porto, Boracay and Seattle. In Australia he is happiest hanging out in Fitzroy drinking too many flat whites. Beyond travel, Gareth’s obsession is water polo. In 2015 he will be making the trip to Stockholm to compete in the EuroGames tournament.


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