Wangaratta Festival of Jazz
|Wangaratta Festival of Jazz|
|Dates||Late October or early November|
|Location(s)||Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia|
The Wangaratta Festival of Jazz is an annual Australian festival of jazz and blues, founded in 1990 by the City of Wangaratta with Adrian Jackson as its first director. It is held at various venues in the town of Wangaratta, 260 kilometres (162 mi) north east of the state capital, Melbourne.
Since its inception the festival has grown to include 90 events and over 350 national and international artists performing each year. The Wangaratta Festival of Jazz also hosts the National Jazz Awards, Youth Jazz Workshops, master classes and events throughout Wangaratta and surrounding wine regions.
In 1999 the festival won a National Tourism Award and was inducted into the Victorian Tourism Hall of Fame. In 2000 the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz became a Victorian Hallmark Event.
In a bizarre twist however, given the apparent importance of music to the local culture, the Wangaratta City council does not allow busking, even by small children, at any time of year, without payment of an upfront AU$80 fee. Strangely though, the Council makes no attempt to verify the musical skills of the buskers it takes money from. This has led to speculation that the law is not for the purpose of maintaining performance quality or the protection of any legitimate rights or interests, but is simply and old-school cash shakedown.
The Wangaratta Festival of Jazz was conceived in 1989, when a group of local business people suggested the idea to the City of Wangaratta's Council. They funded a feasibility study which concluded that, although there were numerous music festivals in Australia, a point of difference could be achieved with one based on modern and contemporary jazz. It was recommended that such a festival be built around an international-standard jazz competition, initially for piano.
The first festival was staged on 2 to 4 November 1990. Adrian Jackson was its artistic director from 1990 to 2016. It was a much smaller event in its early years: attendances were around 2500 or so, and total box-office was around $25,000. But the event was regarded as a success, and was hailed in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald (by Sydney jazz critic John Clare) as "the best festival of its kind ever held in Australia." Such feedback helped convince the Council that the event had a future and continued supporting it.
A feature of the festival is the National Jazz Awards, a competition designed to encourage and promote young musicians. It was initially ran as a piano competition for pianists (from 1990–92), but this was changed to feature a different instrument each year. The inaugural winner of the piano competition, Barney McAll, received a prize of $5,000 and a return air fare to France to compete in the Paris Concours International Piano Competition.
The festival grew through the 1990s and stabilised in size and format through its second decade. In its first four years, it had one international guest; later several international bands or soloists are featured, often in collaborative projects with Australian artists. In its early years the festival was managed by a sub-committee organised and underwritten by the local council. In 1995 it was incorporated as a not-for-profit organisation, and has since been run as an independent body. The Rural City of Wangaratta remains a key stakeholder, as does the Victorian Government (which provides funding via Arts Victoria and Tourism Victoria), and the Australian Government via the Australia Council for the Arts. In 2000 Tourism Victoria recognised the festival as a Victorian Hallmark Event, for its cultural and economic significance to the Wangaratta region and Victoria.
National Jazz Awards History
In the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz' first year (1990), it was decided to feature an international-standard jazz piano competition, for musicians up to the age of 35. The format and rules were based on similar competitions in France (the Martial Solal Piano Competition) and the United States (the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition). At that time each contestant provided an audio tape, "from which finalists will be selected. These will be short-listed for the play-off."
The inaugural winner was Barney McAll, with Jann Rutherford winning second prize and Scott Griffiths the third prize. In 1991, Mark Fitzgibbon won first prize, followed by Jann Rutherford and Cathy Harley. In 1992, Jann Rutherford succeeded on her third attempt; Cathy Harley was the runner-up, with Jeff Usher in third place. After that, it was decided to alter the format to feature saxophone, and from 1996, to rotate the featured instrument each year.
|1990||Barney McAll||Jann Rutherford, Scott Griffiths||Piano|
|1991||Mark Fitzgibbon||Jann Rutherford, Cathy Harley||Piano|
|1992||Jann Rutherford||Cathy Harley, Jeff Usher||Piano|
|1993||Tim Hopkins||Blaine Whittaker, Graeme Norris||Saxophone|
|1994||Julien Wilson||Elliott Dalgleish, Lisa Parrott||Saxophone|
|1995||Elliott Dalgleish||Jamie Oehlers, Blaine Whittaker||Saxophone|
|1996||Scott Tinkler||Phil Slater, James Greening||Brass|
|1997||Will Guthrie||Dave Goodman, Danny Fischer||Drums|
|1998||Michelle Nicolle||Lily Dior, Martin Breeze||Vocals|
|1999||Matt McMahon||Aron Ottignon, Cathy Harley||Piano|
|2000||James Muller and Stephen Magnusson (tied)||Carl Dewhurst||Guitar|
|2001||Brendan Clarke||Matt Clohesy, Dane Alderson||Bass|
|2002||Roger Manins||Jamie Oehlers, Blaine Whittaker||Saxophone|
|2003||Phil Slater||Eugene Ball, Paul Williamson||Brass|
|2004||Felix Bloxsom||Craig Simon, Dave Goodman||Drums|
|2005||Elana Stone||Jo Lawry, Kristin Berardi||Vocals|
|2006||Jackson Harrison||Marc Hannaford, Aaron Choulai||Piano|
|2007||Aaron Flower||Ben Hauptmann, Hugh Stuckey||Guitar|
|2008||Phil Stack||Ben Waples, Sam Anning||Bass|
|2009||Zac Hurren||Phil Noy, Jacam Manricks||Saxophone|||
|2010||Eamon McNelis (trumpet)||Matt Jodrell, Nick Garbett||Brass|
|2011||Tim Firth||Ben Falle, Dave Goodman||Drums|
|2012||Kristin Berardi||Kate Kelsey-Sugg, Liz Tobias||Vocals|||
|2013||Joseph O'Connor||Steve Barry, Daniel Gassin||Piano|||
|2014||Carl Morgan||Hugh Stuckey, Peter Koopman||Guitar|
|2015||Sam Anning||Alex Boneham, Thomas Botting||Bass|||
|2016||Mike Rivett||Troy Roberts, Jeremy Rose||Saxophone|||
|2017||James Macauley (trombone)||Niran Dasika, Thomas Avgenicos||Brass|||
- Foster, Michael (31 May 1990). "June Jazz in Tea Lounge". The Canberra Times. Good Times. 64 (20, 137). p. 9. Retrieved 23 May 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- Foster, Michael (26 July 1990). "Quality Jazz from Cats Pleases Crowd". The Canberra Times. 64 (20, 193). p. 26. Retrieved 23 May 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- Morgan, Shana (21 February 2017). "Wangaratta Jazz Festival Artistic Director Adrian Jackson no Longer in Tune with the Job". The Border Mail. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
- Nicholas, Jessica (5 November 2013). "Review: Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
- Foster, Michael (26 September 1991). "Wilson Fires a Passion for Big Bands". The Canberra Times. 66 (20, 620). p. 16. Retrieved 23 May 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- (15 November 2010) "Zac Hurren takes out National Jazz Awards", archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved on 23 May 2018.
- Stanley, Mal (22 December 2013), "Kristin Berardi Meets Leonard", Program: Jazztrack, archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved on 23 May 2018.
- Wangaratta Jazz 2013 | Ausjazz Blog
- National Jazz Awards 2013 - AustralianJazz.net
- Stanley, Mal (5 November 2015), "The 2015 National Jazz Awards Live", Jazztrack, archived from the original on 28 June 2016. Retrieved on 23 May 2018.
- "National Jazz Awards 2016 winner", Jazz Australia
- Stanley, Mal (5 November 2017), "2017 National Jazz Awards Live" Jazztrack