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Time to jazz up your CV

Richard Watts

Passionate musicians and jazz devotees seeking to move into festival management should jump on this opportunity.
Time to jazz up your CV

Stonnington Jazz, image by Timothy Burgess.

The number 13 is normally considered unlucky but for the right applicant, the 13th annual Stonnington Jazz festival could usher in an exciting new direction in their career.

Based in the City of Stonnington in Melbourne’s inner south-eastern suburbs, the Council-run festival is seeking an Artistic Director for Stonnington Jazz 2018, running from 10-20 May next year.

‘It is an exciting opportunity for people from the music industry, festival programmers, jazz educators, musicians and aficionados to work on this established and well-loved festival,’ said the City of Stonnington Mayor, Cr Jami Klisaris.

‘The festival has grown and expanded significantly over the past 13 years and this is a chance to explore the parameters of not just the Stonnington Jazz festival but the Stonnington community and broader audiences,’ Cr Klisaris added.

The position is ideal for someone experienced in arts management, as long as they have a passion for jazz and are ready to embrace the leadership role the position entails.

‘2016 and 2017 delivered a rich, fun and diverse program and for 2018 we are seeking to again engage an Artistic Director with a strong vision and ability to promote jazz to new and existing audiences.’

City of Stonnington’s Festivals and Events team will be on hand to assist the new Artistic Director with programming and administrative decisions.

‘It’s a highly collaborative role and whoever is leading the artistic direction is very much supported by the Festivals and Events team at Council,’ Cr Klisaris said.

Stonnington Jazz, image by Timothy Burgess.

Unlike equivalent events such as Melbourne International Jazz Festival and Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival, Stonnington Jazz is exclusively dedicated to Australian talent.

Significantly, 2018 marks 100 years since Australia’s first known jazz group, formed by Billy Romaine and fronted by Sydney singer Belle Sylvia, debuted at Fuller’s National Theatre in Sydney in 1917 – one of many potential programming strands the new Artistic Director could explore.

‘At its heart, Stonnington Jazz is 100% Australian which sets us apart from other jazz festivals across the country. We are open to and encourage new ideas that will push the festival into new spaces and places,’ added Cr Klisaris.

As Artistic Director of Stonnington Jazz 2018, the successful candidate will need to consider the festival’s existing audience while also expanding its reach to cater for new audiences. A keen interest in emerging jazz practitioners as well as a familiarity with established performers is paramount.

‘With all of our festivals we aim to develop a program with a broad appeal that can reach a wide demographic and inspire new audiences,’ Cr Klisaris said. 

Stonnington Jazz 2018 runs from 10-20 May 2018.  

About the author

Richard Watts is ArtsHub's Performing Arts Editor and Team Leader, Editorial; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on community radio station Three Triple R.

The founder of the Emerging Writers' Festival, Richard currently serves on the board of literary journal Going Down Swinging and on the Committee of Management for La Mama Theatre. He is a former member of the Green Room Awards Independent Theatre panel, a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and in 2017 was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Festival Living Legend.

Follow Richard on Twitter: @richardthewatts

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