The 20th Anniversary of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival is set to take place on the 2 – 11th of June. Year after year, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival brings some of the most creative and innovative musicians from all around the world to Melbourne, and this year is no different. Here’s a quick run down of who will be making an appearance. 

It’d be rude not to start with the legends who are at the helm of the lineup: Kenny Barron Trio will play Melbourne Recital Centre 3rd June. The Grammy Award winning vocalist Dianne Reeves will deliver an inevitably soulful performance Hamer Hall on 11th June, and legendary guitarist Bill Frisell will be performing at the Recital Centre on 2nd June with his When You Wish Upon A Star band. He will also perform with his trio at the more intimate Jazzlab on 4th June.

The Melbourne International Jazz Festival always brings an eclectic array of artists. The Armenian piano virtuoso Tigran Hamasyan will make his Australian debut at Jazzlab on the 5th and 6th of June. Donny McCaslin (just your regular saxophonist who also happened to play on David Bowie’s Blackstar record) will take to the stage at the Toff In Town to play 2 sets on both the 2nd and 3rd June. Grammy Award winning group Cory Henry And The Funk Apostles (of Snarky Puppy fame) play Max Watts on 7th of June.

Australian jazz continues to be a big part of this festival, and many Aussie jazz performers will take to various stages around the city, including Jamie Oehlers Quartet at Uptown Jazz Cafe the 3rd of June, Luke Howard Trio at Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre, Speedball at Jazzlab on the 11th of June, Carl Morgan Quartet at Uptown Jazz Cafe on the 8th of June, and of course the great Vince Jones, who will be performing his tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim at the Recital Centre on the 10th of June. The famous Late Night Jams is back at the Jazzlab, with Mark Fitzgibbon Trio kicking off the jam at 11:30pm every night of the festival.

There’s a plethora of free events taking place too, including a solo set from Au Dre at the Deluxe Bar & Lounge (2nd June), a spiritual gospel and soul performance from Gospel Sundays at District North (11th June), and a handful of free workshops from the likes of Bill Frisell, Ari Hoenig and Cory Henry. Some of these free events have limited places, so make sure you reserve a spot!

The Melbourne International Jazz Festival is always an exquisite showcase and an exciting celebration of great musicianship young & old, native & foreign. Tickets to all events are on sale, so make sure you don’t miss out on these great events! You can check out the full program and ticket info here!