For the first time ever, award-winning actress and Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist, Lisa Simone, will grace the Hamer Hall stage to honour her mother’s legacy. Blessed with the same deep velvet voice as her inimitable mother, jazz legend Nina Simone, Lisa Simone will bring the Simone repertoire to life in a lushly orchestrated and deeply personal main-stage performance accompanied by a swingin’ all-star big band.
Making her MIJF debut is celebrated Grammy-winning vocalist and composer, Cécile McLorin Salvant, performing for one night only at Hamer Hall on the closing night of the festival. Described by Spin as “her generation’s most imaginative and thrilling jazz interpreter”, Salvant has collected countless accolades, winning the Thelonious Monk competition in 2010, receiving the MacArthur fellowship in 2022 and the Duke Artist Award, as well as the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album for three consecutive years.
Steeped in New Orleans musical culture, the Hot 8 Brass Band has brought the unique energy of the deep south’s iconic Second Line parade to adoring sold-out audiences around the world. From working with Lauryn Hill and Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) and starring in Spike Lee docos, this infectiously upbeat 8-piece continue to represent the soul of New Orleans while forging their own powerful legacy. Along with hosting the Second Line Parade on MIJF’s opening Saturday, there is another chance to get up and close with the band in a gig arena at Max Watt’s.
Fusing jazz improv with the rhythmic swagger of hip-hop, celebrated drummer, composer and self-proclaimed “beat scientist” Makaya McCraven pushes jazz into thrillingly uncharted territory. Performing at The Croxton Bandroom in partnership with new music festival The Eighty-Six, don’t miss this chance to witness one of the genre’s most exciting and visionary performers at the top of his game.
UK instrumental trio GoGo Penguin will visit Australia for the first time, performing at The Forum for an electrifying performance that is guaranteed to thrill audiences and convert even the staunchest jazz non-believer. The cinematic break-beat trio have garnered a cult-like following for their rare combination of dance-friendly production, anthemic melodies and virtuosic jazz instrumentation.
SFJAZZCollective, one of the great US jazz super groups of the past half-century, will make its Australian debut at MIJF this year, delivering inspired takes on the classics and showcasing the skill of contemporary jazz’s top talent in an exclusive performance at Melbourne Recital Centre.
Following his collaboration with William Barton, Blue Note artist Nduduzo Makhathini will take over The JazzLab with his trio for two nights of music over the final weekend of the festival. Considered a ‘musical philosopher’ by his peers, the prolific recording artist has brought a bold new energy to the genre. His eleventh, and most recent album, In the Spirit of Ntu, has been described as a ‘prayer,’ and indeed feels imprinted with cosmic purpose, while his previous Blue Note release was named one of the “Best Jazz Albums of 2020″ by The New York Times.
One of Chicago’s most thrilling young trumpeters, Marquis Hill, will also perform for two nights at The JazzLab, sharing his blend of contemporary and classic jazz, hip-hop, R&B, Chicago house and neo-soul. To Hill, they’re all essential elements of the profound African American creative heritage he’s a part of. From winning the prestigious Thelonious Monk award in 2014 to his status as an internationally renowned musician, composer and bandleader, Marquis Hill has worked tirelessly to break down the barriers that divide musical genres.
Hailed as one of the most gifted jazz trumpeters of her generation, Canadian Ingrid Jensen takes over The JazzLab for two nights of musical alchemy, joined on stage by some of Australia’s most gifted jazz musicians Stephen Magnusson, Andrea Keller, Sam Anning and Felix Bloxsom. Showcasing her abundant technical facility, Jensen draws from an eclectic blend of influences ranging from traditional and classical jazz to American folk and avant-garde. Over recent years, Jensen has served as the artist- in-residence at the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival, performed on Saturday Night Live and worked as an integral member of the Blue Note supergroup Artemis.