Now entering its 11th year, The Stonnington Jazz Festival is back to celebrate the diverse range of original, improvised and heritage Australian jazz music presenting fresh new performing artists alongside plenty of familiar faces from the jazz scene. Running from May 12 – 22, the festival will expand to integrate new and rarely used spaces throughout the Stonnington area.

“The program will host elegant soirees, intimate club-style shows, stunning concerts and fun parties where dancing is encouraged,” says first time Artistic Director of the festival, Chelsea Wilson, who herself will be performing during the festivities.

The event officially opens at the Malvern Town Hall with the premier event The Australian Songbook, with performances from some of the country’s most exciting jazz vocalists, backed by The James Mustafa Jazz String Orchestra, a 19-piece full-string orchestra and improvised rhythm section. Wilma Reading, Gian Slater, Mama Alto, Josh Kyle and Clancy Milne, will all take to the stage to perform their own original numbers while also covering some Australian classics.

Another hugely exciting event for the festival is Mad Jazz at The Astor on May 17, delivering a truly unique screening of the original 1979 cult classic Mad Max unlike anything audiences have ever seen before. The Shaolin Afronauts will draw upon a diverse array of musical influences and reinterpret the original film score live alongside a screening of the film at the iconic cinema.

Later, late American soul and jazz musician Gil Scott-Heron will be honoured at The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, in which a variety of artists will perform a special tribute to the influential ‘father of hip-hop’, including Vince Jones, Ryan Ritchie, Walter Saluni, Hue Blanes, Hailey Kramer . The show will take place on May 20 at Stonnington’s premier Arts Venue, Chapel Off Chapel.

The complete 2016 Stonnington Jazz Festival program will become available in mid-March, and feature more than 25 events over 11 days in more than 10 venues across the City of Stonnington.

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