Taking place across multiple Adelaide CBD music venues, this weekend-long event celebrates local jazz, funk, soul and R&B artists. It also aims to surprise, inspire and delight those who think jazz is not their thing.
Fused together after playing weekly at the Grace Emily Hotel, this quartet draws influence from greats like John Scofield and Kurt Rosenwinkel. Their sound is emotional, danceable and exciting.
The Django Rowe Quintet
A diverse lineup of local and national musicians will take to Adelaide venues from April 28-30 as part of the inaugural Adelaide Jazz Festival. Culminating on UNESCO International Jazz Day, the weekend program will feature a broad cross-section of styles from genre-blending bands to vocalists and acoustic artists.
A virtuoso guitarist and singer songwriter, Django Rowe has carved his own unique sound with original compositions that explore the boundaries of jazz and blues. His latest project is a quintet featuring bassist Kyrie Anderson and drummer Dylan Kuerschner, two emerging Adelaide musicians to watch. The trio has honed their craft through weekly performances at the Grace Emily Hotel and have built a repertoire of sultry Latin American grooves that are sure to delight audiences.
ER@SER DESCRIPTION began as a party band but have evolved to create music that is emotionally connective and deeply rooted in the natural world. The Australian fusion trio aren’t afraid to push the boundaries of traditional jazz and have earned a strong following through their emotional dance melodies and exotic imaginings.
Performing on Kaurna land, renowned Australian vocalist Kelly Menhennett has a voice that’s as powerful as it is beautiful. Her eloquence is offset by a gruffness that speaks of late nights and whiskey with friends. Enjoy her set that’s rooted in jazz but also pushes the boundaries of folk and avant-garde.
Anth Wendt, better known by his stage name Oisima, weaves sonic tapestries that span jazz, hip hop and ambient beats to command the attention of audiences. He sifts through his collection of anything weird and wonderful accumulated on vinyl to craft emotionally connective productions. The Adelaide producer is a favourite of legions of electronic music fans thanks to his well-received EPs. He recently released his first full-length album, Nicaragua Nights.
He’ll perform at The Jade as part of UNESCO’s International Jazz Day, which also features a host of other local musicians. Described as the “future of Australian jazz” by The Sydney Morning Herald, Soylent Green is an instrumental sextet that cleverly blends traditional sounds with contemporary composition. Their debut album was nominated for the SoundMerch Australian Music Prize, and they’ve performed at WOMADelaide and Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues as equal winners of the national Next Gen selection.
The festival’s final weekend runs from Friday 28 to Sunday 30 April, with performances across multiple Adelaide CBD venues including The Jade, Grace Emily, Arthur Art Bar, Dunstan Playhouse and Queens Theatre. Also delivering is Adelaide’s own multi-instrumental looping master Adam Page who presents a show that features Saxophones, Keyboards, Bass, Percussion, Vocals, Tuvan throat singing and Beat Boxing.
Having performed around the world, he has created a unique style of music that uses live instruments fed into a loop pedal. He then uses the pedal to improvise over these sounds and composes complex grooves in many different styles.
The Australian jazz vocalist Penny Eames is a veteran of the Adelaide scene. She has performed on many of the classic jazz albums recorded in South Australia and has taught vocals at the Elder Conservatorium. She is also a respected educator who has coached young performers and students in the local jazz scene.
She is a member of the Zephyr Quartet and COMA (Creative Original Music Adelaide). She has performed at Bennetts Lane, The Jazzlab in Melbourne and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She has sung with artists including Dorian Holley, Sarah Blasko and Kate Loughlin and has independently released five albums.
Her work is a mixture of traditional jazz and popular standards. Her voice is smooth and melodic with a rich bass tone. She also has a good dramatic sense and can sing in a range of styles.
In 1938, Hall danced her version of the Can-can at her Montmartre nightclub in Paris. She also introduced the Truckin’ dance craze to the French. She was loosely portrayed by actress Brandy Davis in the 1984 film The Cotton Club.
The Adelaide Jazz Festival is a great opportunity for music lovers to see some of the finest jazz performers from around the world. The event has a diverse program that caters to all genres of jazz. There is something for everyone, from those who are regular jazz fans to those who might think it is not their thing.
A vocalist with a strong presence and a big voice, Penny Eames arrived in Adelaide from Sydney after high school, and has performed at jazz conventions in Melbourne. She has worked with many of Australia’s jazz legends, including the Bruce Gray Allstars and toured internationally with them. She has also led her own bands, including The Blue Noteriety. She will be performing at the Grace Emily, Arthur Art Bar and Dunstan Playhouse as part of the AJF.
AJF aims to reach audiences that might not usually attend jazz concerts. The festival features a diverse mix of musicians and venues to appeal to all tastes. Besides the traditional venues, it has transformed The Queens Theatre, Arthur Art Bar and Dunstan Playhouse into music spaces. The event will feature artists such as ER@SER DESCRIPTION, Women in Jazz Adelaide and Bend.
AJF will be held at multiple Adelaide CBD venues from 28-30 April, including The Jade, The Grace Emily, Arthur Art Bar, the Queens Theatre and Dunstan Playhouse. The program will feature young local jazz artists, including the sextet Soylent Green. They have been described as the ‘future of Australian jazz’ and released their debut album in 2022, which was nominated for the SoundMerch Australian Music Prize. In addition, the band was equal winners of the national ‘Next Gen’ selection at the Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival.