We're thrilled to have three skilled programmers forming our artistic team in 2020
Zoe Hauptmann is an exciting artistic director with a taste that is steeped in tradition yet still considered cutting edge and innovative. Her programming has received glowing media reviews. In 2017 the Sydney Morning Herald reported the Bill Frisell and Jen Shyu shows she programmed for SIMA as “highlights of the year”. In 2018 Zoe’s contribution to addressing the gender imbalance in the music industry was recognised when she won the Spotify creative leadership award for Excellence in creative programming at the inaugural Australian Women in Music Awards. Zoe has extensive performance experience as musician and touring at the highest level in Australia. She has recorded on over 60 albums, performed at every major Australian festival and at a multitude of venues in both capital cities and regionally. In 2017 and 2018 Zoe was a finalist in the National Live Music Awards in the category of Australia’s best bassist. Internationally Zoe has toured throughout Asia, Europe and America.
Multi-award winning Australian trumpeter, composer, arranger and educator, Eugene Ball, has received widespread national and international recognition throughout a professional career that has featured performances with some of the biggest names in music. Eugene has performed at the Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival almost every year, with groups and artists including the Allan Browne Quintet, the Australian Art Orchestra, Tony Gould, Mike Nock, the Andrea Keller Quartet, Ish Ish, and punk-trad icon, the Hoodangers. Eugene has received numerous commissions and awards, including second place in the Wangaratta’s own National Jazz Award in 2001. In addition to his prolific performance and composition career, Eugene is a highly experienced lecturer in many facets of music, and an active supporter of the broader jazz community through his work with the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative. He brings a diverse wealth of musical experience to his role at the festival, and is honoured to have been asked to help the festival maintain its position as the most significant cultural event in the Australian jazz landscape.
Scott Solimo is an experienced educator and professional musician from Wangaratta and has been a member of the festival artistic team since 2017. Prior to that he was for many years the artistic director of the Community Stage and the Gardens and Blues Stages. He has been involved with the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues Festival since 1996 as a performer with the band Blues Bros 3677 and has also supported such Australian acts as Ross Wilson, James Reyne, Russell Morris, Brian Cadd, Bongo Starkey (Skyhooks) to name a few. Scott combines a commitment to his local community with a deep love and knowledge of music to contribute across the entire festival, from production to community involvement as well as his main role in programming.