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Melbourne International Jazz Festival for Free

Home > Melbourne > Festivals | Free | Jazz | Music | Music Venues
by Lionel (subscribe)
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Published May 23rd 2017
Top Free Events at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival
Melbourne International Jazz Festival



The annual, world-class jazz festival returns to Melbourne in June, bringing the spirit of jazz to its concert halls, jazz club, art venues and even the streets. Held since 1998, this inclusive event is one of Melbourne's top festivals. Its program invites the public to enjoy the music genre, be they young or old, newbies or enthusiasts. There is something for everyone. This year's program includes modern masters of jazz, late night art parties, Australian/international collaborations and pathways for emerging artists. Here are some of the free events you don't want to miss.

2 June - Artist Workshop with Bill Frisell

bill frisell
Bill Frisell / Photo courtesy of Melbourne International Jazz Festival


Join Jordan Murray for an artist workshop with Bill Frisell. This Grammy award-winning guitarist, composer and educator is one of America's most revered performing artists whose repertoire includes jazz, avant-garde, noise, bop, folk, country, bluegrass, rock, blues, American popular music and even classical music.

His career spans 35 years and 250 recordings. The Wall Street Journal calls him "the most innovative and influential jazz guitarist of the past 25 years." Bill will share his technique, process and philosophy in this demonstration-based workshop.

Visit this website to get your free tickets. Entry is still possible without registration but maybe subject to availability. For an intimate and behind-the-music portrait of Bill Frisell, you can purchase tickets to the film on 4 June at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Time: 4pm
Venue: Melbourne Recital Centre
Address: 31 Sturt St, Southbank VIC 3006

3 June - Second Line Street Party

horns of leroy
Photo courtesy of Horns of Leroy


The Second Line Street Party introduces a quintessential New Orleans art form to the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. You can join in the fun with a Swing Patrol dance class 11am at the Langham Melbourne. This is followed by a musical march led by Melbourne's own Horns of Leroy and Swing Patrol through Southbank to Fed Square from 12pm to 1pm.

The afternoon continues from 1pm with a free outdoor concert featuring big band performances by some of the best and brightest emerging jazz musicians in Australia and The Steve McQueens from Singapore. You will also enjoy performances by the Monash University Australian Jazz Ensemble with director Julien Wilson and WAAPA Jazz Ensemble with director Jamie Oehlers.

Visit the website to register your interest to the dance workshop and to join the street parade.

Time: 11am – 3pm
Venue: The Langham Melbourne to Federation Square
Phone: 03 9001 1388

6 June - Close Encounters with Cory Henry

cory henry
Photo courtesy of Cory Henry


Come face-to-face with Hammond B3 virtuoso, producer and multi-instrumentalist Cory Henry. This 2014 Grammy Award Winner for Best R&B Performance hails from New York City and his career started at the age of 2 in Brooklyn's gospel churches. Now he is touring the world as a jazz organist and pianist, gospel musician and music producer. This session will be facilitated by MzRizk.

Visit this website to get your free tickets. Entry is still possible without registration but maybe subject to availability. Cory will be performing with The Funk Apostles as a Festival exclusive and you can purchase tickets for 7 June.

Time: 4pm
Venue: The Channel, Arts Centre Melbourne
Address: 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004

7 June - Bridging the Divide

dumbo feather, white house
Photo courtesy of Dumbo Feather


This special event supported by Dumbo Feather brings together a panel of experts to engage with the audience in the comfortable surrounds of the White House. It addresses the under-representation of women in jazz. The team includes pianist and composer 'Satoko Fujii', Artistic Director of Stonnington Jazz Festival and Women in Music Victoria Music Advisory Panel Member 'Chelsea Wilson', Monash University's Head of Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music 'Professor Cat Hope' and 'Tamara Murphy', a bassist, composer and inaugural PBS Young Elder of Jazz. The discussion will explore the challenges, achievements and ambitions of women in jazz, both on and off-stage. Seating and capacity will be on a first come first served basis.

Time: 6pm
Venue: The White House
Address: 11 Princes St, St Kilda VIC 3182

8 June - KAGE

out of earshot by KAGE
KAGE's Out of Earshot / Photo courtesy of Arts Centre Melbourne


'Out of Earshot' is KAGE's latest work, featuring profoundly Deaf dancer Anna Seymour and percussionist Myele Manzanza. It was created with deaf and hearing audiences in mind, and explores the power of non-verbal language, intense physical prowess and the role that sound plays within communication. Anna and Myele will discuss the process of collaborating to develop the performance. This event will be Auslan interpreted.

Visit this website to get your free tickets. Entry is still possible without registration but maybe subject to availability. To attend 'Out of Earshot', you can purchase tickets to the performances here.

Time: 4pm
Venue: The Channel, Arts Centre Melbourne
Address: 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004

11 June - Gospel Sundays

gospel sundays
Photo courtesy of City of Maribyrnong


Here over to a popular cafe in Moonee Ponds where a version of Melbourne's own Gospel Sundays offers everyone an opportunity to enjoy live music in a casual setting. Vocalists Joshua Tavares, Ana Winans and Francisco Tavares will be singing contemporary gospel, jazz, soul and funk. This is part of the Jazz Out West program and supported by the City of Moonee Valley. Seating and capacity will be on a first come first served basis.

Time: 2pm
Venue: District North
Address: 678/680 Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds VIC 3039


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Why? Enjoy free events at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival
Where: Various locations around Melbourne
Cost: Free entry
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