Brisbane International Jazz Festival has announced its 2017 program with Hall of Fame heavy-weights and home-grown talent promising to heat up city venues this winter. The fifth installment of the festival runs from May 26 to June 4 and features local and international performances, collaborations, workshops and free events.
Headlining this year’s festival is nine-time Grammy nominated pianist and American Jazz Hall of Fame inductee Kenny Barron. Scouted by jazz giant Dizzy Gillespie as a teen, Barron has since collaborated with the biggest names in jazz including Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz and Roy Haynes. His deep love of the jazz tradition and warm, lyrical style has kept Barron at the front- line of jazz for 50 years. Described by the The LA Times as “one of the top pianists in the world”, the 73-year-old Philadelphian will be joined on this tour by his long standing and masterful trio.
On his anticipated first visit to Australia, prolific Armenian pianist Tigran Hamasyan seamlessly blends traditional Armenian folk music with jazz, rock and classical forms. Having caught the attention of the music world after winning a swag of awards including the coveted North Sea Jazz Festival’s Grand Prize and the Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition, Hamasyan continues to garner critical acclaim, growing his global audience with his unique and soulful approach.
Collaborative projects will be on show as native New Yorker vocalist/composer Kavita Shah joins forces with local piano master and Head of Jazz at Queensland Conservatorium Dr Steve Newcomb for a thrilling multicultural. multi-lingual and musically dexterous feast. Shah combines jazz repertoire and traditional Indian music with Brazilian and African influences resulting in Downbeat Magazine description as “breath-takingly beautiful”.
Three of Brisbane’s most respected jazz artists (Kristin Berardi, Sean Foran and Rafael Karlen) collaborate with European percussionist Pascal Schumacher in an intimate performance exploring modern jazz, folk and contemporary classical music. Showcasing the sublime melodic improvisations of peerless Brisbane vocalist Kristin Berardi, who has been lauded by the Sydney Morning Herald as the “finest jazz singer Australia has produced”, Berardi has received every credible award in Australian jazz including the multiple Bell Awards, a Freedman Fellowship and the National Jazz Award as well as the prestigious Montreaux International Jazz Competition.
Festival Director Lynette Irwin says of the program “In addition to showcasing international stars such as Kenny Barron and esteemed local artists such as Toby Wren, our job is to introduce audiences to the new vanguard of jazz. I want to encourage people to take a punt on the incredibly talented young French/Canadian pianist Emie R Roussel or the Estonian ensemble Peedu Kass Momentum. You will leave the show having discovered something new, and be richer for it”.
The Brisbane International Jazz Festival is proudly sponsored by the City of Brisbane. For tickets and the full program visit www.bijf.com.au.
The Kenny Barron Trio (USA), Wednesday 31 May (7:30PM), Queensland Conservatorium Theatre, Southbank
Tigran Hamasyan (ARM) solo piano, Friday 2 June (7:30PM), Queensland Multicultural Centre
Emie R Roussel Trio (CAN), Thursday 1 June (8PM), JMI Live, Bowen Hills
Peedu Kass Momentum (EST) and Toby Wren Trio, Thursday 1 June (7:30PM) Queensland Multicultural Centre
BFK + Pascal Schumacher (LUX), Sunday 4 June (7:30PM), Queensland Multicultural Centre
Kavita Shah Quartet (USA/AUS) and Continental Deli, Saturday 3 June (7:30PM), Queensland Multicultural Centre