Adelaide Jazz Festival – Swinging to the Rhythms of Jazz

The Adelaide Jazz Festival is a weekend-long program leading up to UNESCO International Jazz Day. Featuring a broad range of genres across city venues, this event is sure to delight and inspire audiences.

ER@SER DESCRIPTION, a genre-blending Australian trio, opened the show with a sultry Latin American groove. Their songs were full of evocative imagery inspired by their musical influences and a passion for the natural world.


The Adelaide Jazz Festival features a variety of genre-bending and uplifting performances throughout the city. The event runs from 28- 30 April with venues such as The Jade, The Grace Emily, Arthur Art Bar, Dunstan Playhouse and Queens Theatre hosting a range of bands. Highlights include ER@SER Description with drummer extraordinaire Alexander Flood, and The New Standard presented by Women in Jazz Adelaide.

The New Standard features a nine-piece ensemble featuring vocalists Eliza Dickson and Danica Lammertsma. The group’s repertoire includes a mix of jazz, fusion and pop music. The group’s music is inspired by artists from the past and celebrates female artists. Their performance is based on drumming legend Terri Lynn Carrington’s book New Standards.

While er@ser description focuses on contemporary jazz, The New Standard celebrates the work of female artists from the past. They begin their set with a duet of Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields’ classic song “The Way You Look Tonight”. It begins with Dickson’s a cappella voice, builds layers of piano and vocals before it smacks into a swinging bridge.

Adelaide Hall made her name as a jazz singer and was described by influential writer Langston Hughes as one of the great Negro music makers of her time. She was mentioned alongside Cab Calloway, Ray Nance and Louis Armstrong among other famous jazz musicians in the book Famous Negro Music Makers.

The 6ft Pelicans

The Adelaide Jazz Festival will showcase the city’s best jazz and fusion artists across multiple CBD venues from 28-30 April. The program will feature an all-SA line-up and is in celebration of UNESCO’s International Jazz Day. Highlights include instrumental sextet Soylent Green, singer Penny Eames, swing band Lucky Seven and the Django Rowe Quartet.

In a new format, the festival is hosting a series of workshops and talks throughout the week to encourage young people to get involved with the genre. These will be led by local musicians and educators, with a focus on mentoring emerging talent. The festival will also be donating an auction prize for the benefit of Women in Jazz Adelaide. This organisation supports women and gender diverse artists in the Australian jazz scene who are living, working, and making music on Kaurna land.

AJF founder and producer Kaya Blum says the festival is designed to appeal to a broad range of audiences, including those who think jazz is “not really their thing.” The programme is available online and includes performances by four alumni from the University of Adelaide Elder Conservatorium of Music, such as instrumental nu-funk band The 6ft Pelicans and singer-songwriter Kara Manansala.

The Adelaide Festival Centre, a Creative Partner of AJF, will be hosting its annual UNESCO International Jazz Day concert. The AJF team has also announced the line-up for their dual event ER@SER DESCRIPTION with drummer extraordinaire Alexander Flood, and ‘The New Standard’ presented by Women in Jazz Adelaide.

Django Rowe Quartet

Adelaide guitarist Django Rowe is the quintet’s leader. His eloquence and ease are offset by a gruffness that speaks of late nights, whiskey and shouting in pubs. He’s part of a local scene that’s redefining jazz’s boundaries and isn’t afraid to step outside the traditional definitions of the music.

UNESCO International Jazz Day is a perfect time to celebrate Adelaide’s burgeoning musical identity with performances across multiple venues in the CBD. At the Adelaide Festival Centre you’ll find ER@SER DESCRIPTION with drummer extraordinaire Alexander Flood and ‘The New Standard’ presented by Women in Jazz. There are also a number of smaller spaces that’re enthusiastically pushing the envelope musically, including The Wheatsheaf Hotel hosting a monthly showcase by not-for-profit organisation COMA, featuring electronic and acoustic music from across Adelaide.

On the label m-appeal, you’ll find a 5CD boxset Not Two… But Twenty celebrating the 20th anniversary of the company. Recorded live in the fall of 2018, it brings together 13 giants of improvisation, namely Peter Brotzmann (alto and soprano sax), Joelle Leandre (tenor sax), Barry Guy (bass), Rafal Mazur (piano), Paal Nilssen-Love and Zlatko Kaucic (drums), Mats Gustafsson and Mikolaj Trzaska (saxes and various reeds), Agusti Fernandez (piano) and Steve Swell (trombone). The five long pieces explore free improvisation. Also on m-appeal, Vestigium (Discus, 2020) is a Martin Archer collaboration with Julie Driscoll/Tippetts (voice and acoustic guitar), Seth Bennett (double bass), Gary Houghton (lead, rhythm and glissando electric guitar), Michael Somerset Ward (flutes and saxes) and Aby Vulliamy (tuba). Studio recorded in 2013.

Soylent Green

Jamie is a multi-talented singer, composer & musical director. She is the founding member of Adelaide based ensemble Elephant in the Room productions, whose premiere work ‘Midnight Sun’ was featured in the Hobart Festival of Voices and has since been performed multiple times across Australia. She is also a vocal coach, elocution and singing teacher and freelance musician in both jazz and classical genres.

Pianist & composer Ciara completed her Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance) with First Class Honours at the Elder Conservatorium of Music in 2021, winning the 2019 Helpmann Academy Award for Top Piano Undergraduate. She has worked as pianist, vibraphonist and/or backing vocalist for a number of artists including Tina Arena, Lior, Mark Holden, Rhonda Burchmore, Rachael Beck and Eddie Perfect. She has recently recorded albums with her own jazz/folk quartet, prog-rock band The Cortex Shift, contemporary jazz group Soylent Green and the ABC Jazz commission ‘Where Emus Roam the Streets’.

Drummer, composer-arranger Bailey Hall is a graduate of the Elder Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance). He is an active member of the local music scene and has been a part of the bands Autumn District, Overdue Fiction, The 60 Four and a dedicated instrumental teacher at several schools around Adelaide. He will be performing an original composition.