Darling Harbour Jazz and Blues Festival

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Country and Region AustraliaNew South Wales
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Festival Contact Information

Darling Harbour Jazz and Blues Festival
Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority
Level 6, 66 Harrington Street
The Rocks NSW 2000
Toll free (AU only) (61) 2-9240-8788
Fax (61) 2-9240-8818
Email: darlingharbour@shfa.nsw.gov.au

Festival Description

Each day of the festival visitors can discover the magic of jazz and blues in all its genres from the avant-garde to the traditional including contemporary, blues and roots, funk, experimental, R&B;, soul, classical, reggae-roots, groove, acid and more. Jazz fans can kick back in the relaxed bar at Tumbalong Park and enjoy delicious food and a glass of wine while taking in the headline acts on the festival’s main stage.

In the tradition of the New Orleans, the festival will feature a jazz parade at 11am on Saturday 9 June. Musicians both professional and amateur are invited to participate in this exciting parade through Darling Harbour. Young jazz fans can get up close and personal with one of Australia’s best jazz artists John Morrison who will be running free big band workshops on Sunday and Monday at 11am in Tumbalong Park.

Festival Dates June 9 - 11, 2012
Festival Links


Festival Events:

Highlighted performers 2012:
  • Saturday, June 9
    • Trevor Watts & Veryan Weston (UK)
      Recognised as one of the ‘godfathers’ of British free jazz and improvisation, saxophonist Trevor Watts teams with distinguished British contemporary pianist Veryan Weston. A couple of the best free jazz and impro stars ever to hit Australia’s shores!
    • James Morrison
      Don’t miss Australian music legend James Morrison, direct from some of the world’s most prestigious jazz venues including Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Opera House, getting it on with music that grooves as he teams with his six-piece funk band.
    • The Harry James Angus Band
      Smile. Dance. Wipe the sweat from your brow as Cat Empire front man Harry James Angus and his band dig through the archives to recreate the most exciting jazz recordings from the pre and post-war eras.
    • Kira Puru & The Bruise
      Cooler than indie and darker than the blues, Kira Puru & The Bruise feature a riot of guitars and a fierce rhythm section. Get ready to move your feet because Kira’s raw, sexy voice will pull the rug from under you.
    • King Tide
      King Tide brings their infectious rocksteady, reggae-got-soul good times to the festival. They promise to make the sun shine brighter and the groove feel great.
    • Smith / Stack / Thistlethwayte
      The side project of three members from ARIA award-winning band Thirsty Merc. Smith / Stack / Thistlethwayte offer a rare chance to see the rockers in a new jazz-inspired light.
    • James Valentine
      The James Valentine Quartet play rock classics from the great Australian songbook featuring Midnight Oil, The Divinyls, The Church, The Triffids and Crowded House. Hear ‘The Real Thing’ and ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’ like you’ve never heard them before.
    • Jazz Parade
      Bring along an instrument and join the band, or kick up your heels in the famed second line, as our traditional jazz parade weaves its way through Darling Harbour to start this year’s festival with a taste of New Orleans! For more info and to register to perform in the parade, visit darlingharbour.com.
  • Sunday, June 10
    • Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio featuring Jonathan Kreisberg and Jamire Williams (USA)
      Legendary master of the 425-pound funk beast—the Hammond B3 organ—‘The Turbanator’ teams with long-term collaborators Jamire Williams (drums) and Jonathan Kreisberg (guitar) to bring the irrepressible energy that has kept him fresh for more than 50 years to Darling Harbour
    • Moth
      Moth combines the diverse styles and sounds of contemporary percussion with catchy pop melodies, driving beats and bass lines, soaring vocals and orchestral electronic soundscapes. A collection of award-winning musicians creating a world of sound unlike any you’ve heard before.
    • Brothers Grim & the Blue Murder
      Brothers Grim revive 1920s blues in a moon howling, sweat dripping, shaking fervour. Their mutation of the blues, with elements of rockabilly, swamp blues, delta blues and rock sensibilities, is delivered with the subtlety of a nail driven into concrete.
  • Monday, June 11
    • Nicky Bomba’s Bustamento
      Slip off to the Caribbean as Nicky Bomba’s Bustamento captures the uplifting and cheeky spirit of calypso, mento, early reggae and ska with four-part harmonies, double bass, island guitars, trumpets, bongos and congas.
    • The Bombay Royale
      Dusting off rhythmic relics, smashing out Bollywood classics and putting down surfadelic Hindi originals, The Bombay Royale are dedicated to honouring and reviving the funky, bizarre and mysterious music of vintage Indian cinema; not to mention having a heck of a lot of fun!
    • Pugsley Buzzard
      Pugsley Buzzard’s downright dazzling show with a naughty vaudevillian nuance features everything from dark hoodoo blues musings to goodtime rollicking boogie-fuelled piano romps. Guaranteed to get you stompin’ and shakin’.
    • The Louisiana Road Show
      Take a ride through the landscape of American blues and roots music with members of Australia’s premier zydeco band Psycho Zydeco, blues virtuoso Chris Mawer and members of Petulant Frenz. New Orleans funk, blues and Zydeco at its best.
    • Baecastuff
      This ARIA-nominated group combines the creative energy of six of Australia’s most talented musicians, including saxophonist Rick Robertson from Dig (Directions in Groove), Phil Slater (trumpet), pianist Matt McMahon, Alex Hewetson (bass), Simon Barker (drums) and master percussionist Aykho Akhriff.


Other Sources:

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Practical Info:

  • Multiple venues are located at Darling Harbour, Sydney


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