For the wild and free wanderers at heart, there’s no place like Australia for a heady dose of natural wonders, world-class wines, dazzling cities and delightful culture. While each of the coastal cities flaunt their unique character and allow you to immerse in their unique travel experiences, the Australian wild is just as intriguing with so many exotic animals, enchanting ocean roads and enticing rainforests. While scintillating Sydney charms with its stylish cityscapes and gorgeous beaches, Melbourne is the cultural heartland with quaint alleyways, delectable cuisine and art & music running through its veins.
It’s not surprising then that Melbourne also leads the way for the country’s love for music by hosting one of the best Jazz festivals in Australia. The history of jazz goes back a long way in Australia and almost all cities have popular jazz clubs and festivals. Join us on our hunt for the best Jazz festival in Australia as we hop along this magical country for the love of great music.
Top 10 Jazz Festivals In Australia
Planning to attend an electrifying Jazz festival? Check out these Jazz festivals In Australia that you can attend and have an amazing trip. Keep scrolling down!
1. Melbourne International Jazz Festival
This annual musical extravaganza is one of the leading Jazz festivals in Australia and the world, first held in the year 1998. Carrying forward the spirit that ‘jazz can happen anywhere’, the international jazz festival in Melbourne Australia aims at making jazz accessible to all and providing a platform for performances, collaborations and engagement with this fantastic musical style at all levels. The festival takes place across concert halls, art venues, jazz clubs and also the streets of Melbourne which come alive with the spirit of jazz in the air. The festival is marked with a diversity of performances that showcase modern masters as well as budding talent, through free shows, late night art events and ticketed shows.
Dates: 31st May-9th June 2019
2. Jazz By The Bay Festival
This feast for music lovers is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and anticipated Jazz festivals in Australia owing to its outstanding line-up of jazz masters and the picture-perfect setting. Nothing can match the experience of treating yourself to the dulcet notes of jazz as you sip a fine wine and savour gourmet food. Surrounded by beaches & wineries, jazz lovers can soak in the mellifluous music and gently sway to the lilting notes of the piano, saxophone and drums that transport you to musical heaven. Exceeding its own expectations every year, this spectacular event lures jazz loyalists from far off corners for an out of this world experience in one of the most beautiful parts of Australia.
Dates: 31st May-3rd June 2019
3. Port Fairy Jazz Festival
One of the newest entrants to the list of Jazz festivals in Australia the Port Fairy Jazz Festival aims to be a celebration of both traditional and contemporary jazz. Voted as the world’s most liveable community, the beautiful Port Fairy area is the perfect setting to bring alive the magic of jazz in all its intoxicating avatars. The festival also has the distinction of being a not for profit effort managed entirely by volunteers dedicated to the cause of promoting and popularising jazz in the country. The first instalment of the festival in 2017 was a smash hit and the organisers plan to stick to the same format year after year. The festival moves along its journey this year with the promise of a stellar line-up and an Open Mike session.
Dates: 8-10 February 2019
4. Newcastle Jazz Festival
Regarded as one of the top Jazz festivals in Australia, the Newcastle Jazz Festival is organised by the Newcastle and Hunter Jazz Club that aims to promote live jazz performances in the region throughout the year. With its first instalment in 1988 the festival has come a long way and earned an enviable reputation with more than 40 bands performing this year, including local musician and big international ensembles. With a rich variety of music ranging from traditional to contemporary jazz, blues, swing and jazz orchestras the festival attracts music lovers from all states of the country as well as New Zealand.
Dates: 23rd-25th August 2019
5. Manly Jazz Festival
Once a year the world-famous Manly beach plays host to the shining stars of jazz from around the world for one of the most popular Jazz festivals in Australia. Manly Jazz Festival is a befitting celebration of jazz with packed performance across various indoor and outdoor stages along the gorgeous beach. Jazz enthusiasts throng the more than 100 free performances to soak in the myriad flavours of jazz presented by world-renowned artists and bands. What sets this festival apart is not just the beautiful location but also the diverse hues of music that it presents, ranging from New Orleans jazz to fusion, blues, swing and roots to enthral music lovers of all tastes.
6. Wangaratta Festival Of Jazz & Blues
Running in its 30th year, this stalwart amongst Jazz festivals in Australia has played a pioneering role not only in shaping the course of jazz in the country but also keeping its flag flying high on the musical landscape. Over the years the Wangaratta Festival has maintained its commitment to showcasing new talent with outstanding potential as well as presenting large-scale events featuring leading names in the world of jazz. This dynamic festival perfectly balances large ensemble performances amidst thousands of spectators with intimate sessions in charming settings like the Holy Trinity Church. With its innovative and consistent efforts, the festival has succeeded in generating a loyal base of jazz aficionados that throng the festival annually.
Dates: November every year
7. Perth International Jazz Festival
Finding a place amongst the top seven Jazz festivals in Australia, the Perth International Jazz Festival was initiated in 2012 by the visionary professor Graham Wood. Since its inception, the festival aims at making this genre of music popular amongst the local and international community. The PIJF endeavours to bring both fresh talent and acclaimed jazz musicians from Australia and around the world to an enthusiastic audience of music lovers. There is a perfect blend of ticketed as well as free community events across a range of venues in Northbridge, each offering a unique experience. Performances vary from intimate to boisterous depending on the audience and their understanding of jazz.
Dates: Usually in November every year
8. Brisbane International Jazz Festival
Held every year over a 6-10 day stretch this is one of the most anticipated Jazz festivals in Australia with an impressive line-up of internationally renowned jazz stalwarts and new-age performers along with talented Australian jazz artists and composers. Spread over multiple venues, the Brisbane International jazz Festival takes pride in presenting new talent, encouraging international collaborations and organising workshops as well as free events. The vocal and instrumental workshops allow serious jazz lovers to interact with and learn from the doyens of the genre, making it a truly memorable experience.
Dates: May-June every year
9. Murray Bridge Jazz Festival
This ‘not for profit’ musical event is considered the leading Jazz festival in south Australia and makes an important contribution towards keeping the jazz flag flying high with its superior performances. This annual celebration of traditional jazz and Dixieland music features bands from across the country as well encourages promising local talent in the region. This popular annual jazz event held every year October, offers the unique experience of listening to your favourite jazz bands on a river cruise as well at the Town Hall and Murray Bridge Hotel.
Date: 18th – 20th October 2019
Ticket price: Early birds can avail a price of $35/person for the entire weekend.
10. Devonport Jazz Festival
One of the iconic winter Jazz festivals in Australia, the Devonport Jazz is held every year in the north-western Tasmanian coast since 2002. With more than 200 performers enthralling audiences across more than 30 venues, this award winning festival celebrates various genres and styles of jazz. The program each year aims to win the hearts of not just ardent jazz lovers but also to those seeking introduction to this versatile form of music. Young and old music lovers throng to the diverse venues including churches, art venues, pubs, cafes and community halls for a rendezvous with outstanding local and international jazz artists. Workshops and international collaborations add to the immersive jazz experience.
Dates: July every year
Considering the incredible jazz scene in the country, this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as Jazz festivals in Australia go. As you experience the magic of Australia, do not miss out on attending one of these for some truly unforgettable musical moments.
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