The 20th Melbourne International Jazz Festival is taking place between 2 – 11 June. Year after year, the festival hosts a myriad of performers, such the Jazz greats of our time (Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock & Chick Corea), the more modern eclectic artists (Esparenza Spalding, Thundercat and Snarky Puppy), and not to mention the beloved musicians who Australia home (James Muller, Barney McAll, and Red Fish Blue).

Whilst the full lineup for the 2017 edition will not be announced until the 23rd  of March, a few acts have already been announced, with tickets already on sale. Here’s a brief rundown on who has been announced thus far.


Bill Frisell: When You Wish Upon A Star

Wall Street Journal regarded Frisell as “the most innovative and influential jazz guitarist of the past 25 years”. Frisell’s 35-year career spans from his work with rock musicians like Elvis Costello, to working with revered jazz icons like Paul Motian and Joe Lovano.

When You Wish Upon A Star is Frisell’s new acclaimed project that showcases unique interpretations of American cinema, exploring the likes of Ennio Morricone, and the score for The Godfather.

His band will feature Petra Haden (Beck, Foo Fighters), Thomas Morgan (Paul Motian, Tomasz Stanko), and Rudy Royston (Branford Marsalis,Mingus Big Band). Frisell and his band will open the festival on Friday 2 June at the Melbourne Recital Centre.


Kenny Barron Trio

The great Kenny Barron has performed with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz and Roy Haynes, ;and was considered as “one of the top jazz pianists in the world” by the Los Angeles Time. Barron has been involved in the jazz scene for the past five decades, and his advanced musicianship is a clear testament to his commitment to his craft.

Kenny Barron will perform alongside Kyoshi Kitagawa (bass) and Jonathan Blake (drums) at the Melbourne Recital Centre on 3 June.


Dianne Reeves

Closing the festival, is none other than Dianne Reeves. Hailed as one of the genre’s greatest living vocalist, Reeves is renowned for her engaging presence and virtuosity improvisational ability.

Dianne Reeves is the most awarded female vocalist, including a handful of Grammy wins. Reeves has also toured with the likes of Sergio Mendes and Harry Belafonte, before going on to establish herself many other styles of music, including Latin, R&B, and Reggae.

Dianne Reeves will perform with her band at Hamer Hall on June 11.


Tigran Hamasyan

The Armenian piano virtuoso will bring his mix of jazz, rock, and the Armenian folk tradition to Australia for the very first time. Having won the 2003 Montreux Jazz Festival piano competition at the age of 16, and being dubbed the 2016 International Instrumentalist of the Year (Piano) at the ECHO Jazz Awards, Tigran Hamasyan has developed a reputation for being an extremely eclectic and virtuosic musician of the younger generation.

Hamasyan will perform works from his new solo album An Ancient Observer, at the JazzLab Club on the 5 and 6 of June.


Jobim’s Masterpieces: From Ipanema To The World featuring Vince Jones and Orquestra do Brasil

Australia’s leading jazz vocalist Vince Jones presents a tribute to the iconic Brazilian composer and songwriter, Antonio Carlos Jobim, founder of the bossa nova style.

Jobim is best known for his 1965 hit, ‘The Girl From Ipanema’, and was greatly admired for his collaborations with Joao Gilberto, Frank Sinatra, and his Grammy Award-winning collaboration with Stan Getz.

Joined by Sam Keevers (piano), Doug De Vries (guitar), Tim Wilson (saxophone/flute) and Alister Kerr (Drums/Percussion), Vince Jones will pay homage to one of the most pivotal figures of Brazilian music on 10th of June at the Recital Center.


Carla Bley Trio

Having produced almost 30 albums, as well as making significant contributions to Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, Bley went on to be awarded the NEA Jazz Master Award in 2015.

Carla Bley will perform with her chamber trio, which features legendary bassist Steve Swallow (Gary Burton, John Scofield) and Andy Sheppard (Gil Evans, Randy Brecker). The Carla Bley Trio will make their Australian debut at the Melbourne Recital Centre on 8 June.


A Celebration of Ella and Louis – featuring Patti Austin, James Morrison and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Jazz giants Patti Austin and trumpet virtuoso James Morrison, are teaming up to celebrate one of the most iconic singer/trumpet collaboration – Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

Austin is a Grammy award winning singer who made her debut at the Apollo Theatre at only 4 years of age. Since then, she has gone on to collaborate with the likes of Randy Brecker, Michael Jackson and George BensonAustin is no stranger to the works of Ella Fitzgerald, as she played a number of sold out For Ella shows at the 2012 edition of the festival.

James Morrison has become one of the leading names in Australian jazz and has established himself quite comfortably on the international scene. Morrison has recorded and performed with a broad range of artists, including INXS, Wynton Marsalis, BB King and Phil Collins and performed at the White House for the 2015 International Jazz Day.

Patti Austin and James Morrison will perform songs from the Great American Songbook and will be accompanied by the renowned Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. They will perform at Hamer Hall, on the 2nd & 3rd of June.


Tickets for all announced events can be purchased from Stay tuned for the full line-up announcement on 23rd of March!