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Sydney Women's Jazz Festival

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Welcoming the return of live music to Sydney

The 2021 Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival boasts a spectacular ten-day program showcasing the very best female artists our nation has to offer. From soulful laid-back jazz and boisterous big bands to innovative cutting-edge music, there is something for every music lover!

Celebrate the return of the live music scene in Sydney across a number of iconic venues, including Joynton Avenue Creative Centre in Zetland, Sydney's only dedicated jazz club - Foundry616 and the Utzon Room in the Sydney Opera House.

From 12 to 21 November, audiences will be treated to a plethora of artists reaching across the musical spectrum, from ancient Japanese improvisations to swampy New Orleans rhythms, and groove-driven Zambian soul!

The festival will open with one of Sydney's most accomplished jazz singers, Virna Sanzone, on Friday 12 November at SIMA's outdoor pop-up music club 'Ruby's' located at Joynton Avenue from 6 pm. Expect a night of multicultural, jazz-infused music at its best!

The good times keep rolling at Joynton Avenue Creative Centre on Saturday 13 November from 11 am - 3 pm with a FREE event 'Brass On The Grass'on the Matron Ruby Grant Lawns. Pack the picnic hamper, or enjoy full bar service (with registration) for an afternoon soundtrack of rollicking New Orleans jazz and big brassy blues brought to you by Queen Porter Stomp and 343 Brass Band.

Sydney's classic jazz venue, Foundry616 is a long-time partner venue. This year, the club will play host to ten-piece, all-female powerhouse ensemble Pharos, performing the world premiere of Sophie Min's "Pomegranate" on Sunday 14 November. The 2020 recipient of the APRA Emerging Composers Mentorship, Sophie studied under multi-award-winning composer/pianist Barney McAll to develop this new work for Pharos.

Foundry616 will also present performances by sophisticated swing-singer Kate Wadey, bossa-nova artist Anna Salleh and outstanding emerging saxophonist Tessie Overmyer who will feature alongside Jann Rutherford Award-winning bassist, Hannah James, in the much-loved local fixture big-band Mingus Amongst Us.

The harbourside Utzon Room at the Sydney Opera House will host a unique double-bill on Friday 19 November - Evans/Odamura/Elphick & Visions of Nar. Internationally acclaimed saxophonist and composer Dr Sandy Evans will join forces with Japanese koto-master Satsuki Odamura, and ARIA award-winning bassist Steve Elphick, for a breathtaking trio performance followed by Visions of Nar.

This awe-inspiring project features two of Australia's most promising female instrumentalists; Armenian/Australian pianist Zela Margossian who has recently been signed to prestigious US jazz label Ropeadope Records, and young guitarist Hilary Geddes who won the 2021 Freedman Jazz Fellowship earlier this month.

Zambian/British soul singer Major Zulu ends the festival with a vibrant closing night party at Foundry616 on Sunday 21 November. Having lived and worked in London, Paris and the US, Major Zulu has played alongside Amy Winehouse, Norah Jones, Earth Wind & Fire and featured as lead vocalist for the Grammy-award winning Basement Jaxx's "Everybody". With performances at international festivals across the world, including South By South West (USA), Glastonbury (UK), and CMJ-New York City (USA), Major Zulu promises fireworks, closing 2021 festivities in style!

Co-Artistic Directors of the Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival, Zoe Hauptmann and Peter Rechniewski, note "This year presents a unique opportunity for music lovers to experience the magic and intimacy of jazz. Few Australian musicians have been able to perform live since the onset of the coronavirus, and these artists are so excited to perform for audiences at this year's festival."

Explore the full program at

Tickets are now on sale at Early bookings are advised.

For all the latest on what's on, please follow the Sydney Women's Jazz Festival on Facebook and Instagram.

The Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival could not happen without the generous support of the City of Sydney, Create NSW, the Australia Council for the Arts and the Anthony and Sharon Lee Foundation.

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When: Fri 12 Nov - Sun 21 Nov - 2021
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