In light of the continuing COVID restrictions, organisers of the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues have made the decision not to proceed with the 2021 festival, however the much-loved National Jazz Awards, a highlight of the event, will be presented in a series of free online concerts from 26-28 November 2021.
The ten National Jazz Awards finalists will be announced at the end of this month along with details of the online schedule. The Awards, which spotlights piano this year, has attracted strong interest from across Australia. Judges Matt McMahon (Chair and 1999 award winner), Andrea Keller and Stephen Grant are currently assessing entries, with the winner revealed online on Sunday 31 October.
“We are thankful to our funders for supporting the delivery of the National Jazz Awards, albeit in a digital format. It is our intention to continue to promote emerging talents, to provide patrons with a little taste of jazz and to acknowledge the immense value of the arts sector,” said Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues Chair, Dave Fuller.
While the digital delivery of the Awards does not have the employment impact of the Festival, the Board is pleased to be able to provide employment to some workers within the sector via audio and technical production as well as engaging supporting musicians for each of the ten National Jazz Awards’ finalists.
The Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues plans to return in 2022 to its traditional long weekend dates leading up to the Melbourne Cup and wherever possible, will look to program many of those artists who were in this year’s line-up. The program will be announced in April at a special launch event in Wangaratta.
“We are disappointed at having to cancel this year and understand the devastating impact that ongoing cancellations have upon artists. We look forward to 2022 when our artists can return to the stage. We are so very grateful for the continued support of key partners: Creative Victoria, Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative and the Rural City of Wangaratta for ensuring we are in the financial position to do so. We especially can’t wait to have all our patient patrons back together for the presentation of the loved and long-awaited Wangaratta Jazz & Blues,” said Dave Fuller.
The Board also acknowledges the support of the Wangaratta Performing Arts & Convention Centre, Pughouse Studios and the Australian Jazz Rule Book in the transition to the online delivery of the Awards.
2021 NATIONAL JAZZ AWARDS ONLINE
Friday 29 October – Sunday 31 October
2022 WANGARATTA FESTIVAL OF JAZZ & BLUES
Friday 28 – Sunday 30 October
Program announced April