Meet our Programming Team

Adam Simmons – Adam Simmons is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and educator, involved across many different scenes within Melbourne and beyond, performing contemporary jazz, punk, afro-beat, new music, traditional Japanese honkyo-ku, funk and free noise/improv. He regularly performs internationally and has worked with artists from USA, Poland, France, Germany, UK, Italy, Netherlands, Greece and New Caledonia. His ensembles include Origami and the renowned Adam Simmons Toy Band. He is currently teaching shakuhachi at University of Melbourne. Adam’s previous experience in artistic direction include the Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival, Festival of Slow Music and 100:25:1, a series of one hundred duets. Adam has just launched his new initiative, “The Usefulness of Art” with three projects in 2017.
“I first performed at Wangaratta Festival in 1997 with Odean Pope’s Saxophone Choir, which was a hugely daunting experience, but it was an event that really helped establish me on the scene. I never imagined I would be in a position to be creating those same opportunities for others. Twenty years later, it is a great honour to be in this role and I am excited by the
energy amongst the programming team and the strong support of the Festival’s Board.”

Zoe Hauptmann – Bassist and Artistic Director for Sydney Improvised Music Association(SIMA)
Zoe Hauptmann is the Artistic Director for SIMA, Australia’s leading national contemporary Jazz organisation , co-artistic director for the Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival and is also one of the countries busiest bassists.
Coming from a Jazz background , Zoe plays both acoustic and electric bass.
Zoe has toured nationally and internationally with iconic artists including Neil Finn, Paul Kelly, Katie Noonan, Wendy Mathews, Justine Clarke, Missy Higgins and Tim Rogers.
She has recorded bass on over 70 albums and says a career highlight was getting to cuddle Big Ted when she made a guest appearance on Play School.
“I have a strong commitment and deep love for Australian Made Jazz. In my opinion this country produces some of the most exciting and vibrant new music that can be heard anywhere in the world. I look forward to showcasing the very best of our homegrown talent at this years festival ,along with some killer internationals thrown in for good measure! “

Scott Solimo – Scott Solimo is an experienced educator and professional musician from Wangaratta. Scott has been involved with the Wangaratta Jazz & Blues Festival for 22 years as a performer (Blues Bros 3677). Scott has also supported Australian acts: Ross Wilson, James Reyne, Russell Morris, Brian Cadd, Bongo Starkey (Skyhooks) to name a few. Scott has also been involved as a voluntary artistic director for the Community Stage and more recently the Gardens and Blues Stages.




Frank Davidson – Frank Davidson has had a long association with all genres of music for over 35 years and been a long serving volunteer and board member for Wangaratta jazz and blues in addition to programming and presenting numerous and varied commercial and community radio programs. Frank continues to stay abreast of the music scene through his weekly radio show, a different shade of blue on and fills in as needed for Helen Jennings on Melbourne’s PBS Roots of Rhythm.
“Having assisted with the artistic direction for blues and garden stages while a board member, I am excited and eager to offer subjective and impartial advice to ensure the board strategic and artistic directions are faithfully followed from 2017 and beyond.”