By Scott Solimo, Gardens Stage Artistic Director.
Building the program for the new Gardens Stage for the 2016 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues has been a real honour. Tasked to create a compilation of acts that would excite a new generation of festival goers, embrace our loyal patrons and once again welcome home friends and family from in and around Wangaratta, was no easy feat.
This year’s Gardens Stage will feature a fun, funky and talented array of musical acts which will have toes tapping, kids dancing and friends and families relaxing all day (and no doubt into the night), in the beautiful garden setting. It is of course my humble opinion that the Gardens Stage will be the place to be given that it features not just jazz or blues, but here you’ll find a little bit of roots, soul, fun and funk. As a genre crossover venue, the Gardens Stage will have something for everyone. Of course if you’re a ‘foodie’, or looking for a glass of wine, beer or cider, the Gardens Stage venue will be the perfect place to prop or park for something yummy on all fronts too.
But back to the music… The 2016 program will feature up and coming Aussie blues and roots stars The Pierce Brothers who are now internationally acclaimed and will have just finished a tour with the much loved Ben Harper. Much fun also to be had grooving to the tunes of jazz brass band Horns of Leroy and Latin funk bands BLT’s and Bustamento. Crowd favourites The Blues Brothers 3677 will close out the Saturday night program whilst on Sunday evening the park will be packed with everyone wanting to enjoy the James Morrison Academy Jazz Orchestra.
For the first time ever this venue can be enjoyed by purchasing a very affordable day ticket which will no doubt sell out quickly. I hope that you enjoy the program and look forward to seeing you all in Wangaratta later this year.