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Noosa Jazz Festival 2011

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by Geraldine Massey (subscribe)
I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
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How do you like your jazz? On the river? With food and wine tastings? Played by legends? In the woods? At the 19th Noosa Jazz Festival from 1 to 4 September 2011 you can have 'all that jazz' and more.

From the Noosa Jazz Festival Website

I know you don't really need a reason to celebrate the start of springtime in beautiful Noosa Heads, but the Festival's 2011 theme, "Jazz Party", should really get you in the mood. From simple community beginnings in one restaurant, Noosa Jazz Festival has grown into one of Australia's premier jazz events, attracting jazz buffs and the cream of Australian and international jazz performers.

This year boasts over 90 performances in 4 days, with the action centred on the swinging Hastings Street, Bicentennial Hall, Noosa Woods and Noosa River. The focus will be on intimacy so expect to get up close and personal with the likes of James Morrison, George Golla, Jan Preston, Evelyn Duprai and Bob Barnard. The full program can be downloaded here, and below are some of this year's highlights.

James Morrison - image from Festival website

Opening Night will bring the festival to life on Thursday September 1 from 5 pm in Bicentennial Hall where some of the festival's feature acts will play and jam for your listening pleasure.

At the Legends Lunch on Saturday 3 September for 12noon to 3pm settle in for a musical celebration of the life and works of Australian jazz luminaries, George Golla and Allan Browne. Guests will enjoy a two course lunch at RACV Noosa Resort. Cost is $65.

Legend George Golla - image from Festival website

What do you call a group of jazz performers? A sound? A swing? A happening? Whatever it is, it will be in action at Tastings on Hastings where for just $80 you can savour the musical talents of a parade of jazz performers as well as the culinary talents of a range of Hastings Street and celebrity chefs. More than 600 guests will be seated at tables right down the centre of Hastings Street where they'll be entertained by jazz buskers and headline performers on a moving stage.

When you go down in the woods on Sunday 4 September the surprise you'll get is Jazz in the Woods. This free event is a Noosa tradition that features a food hall, market stall, kids' corner and entertainment by a range of acts including the Brisbane Army Big Band, the Paul Robert Burton Trio, Chancellor State College band and the Amanda Carr Trio. Pack a picnic and bask in the sunshine and swing.

Morning, lunch and evening River Cruises on the MV Catalina are happening throughout the festival. What could be better than a lazy 1 1/2 hour cruise along the tranquil waters of Noosa River listening to the sounds of Jazz Factory and Friends or Feel the Manouche with George Washingmachine? Tickets are only $30.

Jazz River Cruise - image from Festival website

Youth in Jazz provides a unique opportunity for school bands to perform throughout the festival. Who knows? Some of tomorrow's jazz legends could emerge from the twenty-piece big bands from schools such as Maroochydore State High School, James Nash, Chancellor State College and Toowoomba State High School.

Tickets for most events are available now online. Tickets for Bicentennial Hall events should be made through Noosa Jazz Club on (07) 5447 2229.
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Why? The music will be hot, the drinks cool, the setting perfect and the venues swinging.
When: From Thursday 1 September to Sunday 4 September 2011
Where: Various Noosa venues
Cost: Ranges from Free to $80 depending on the event
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