from Friday 3rd NOV 2023

our 2020 online program

In an unprecedented year, in 2020 we presented an exciting program featuring Australia’s premier jazz and blues artists, new commissions and collaborations, never before seen archival footage, an exclusive international appearance and the distinguished National Jazz Awards, mark the 30th edition of the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues.

Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions the 2020 program was streamed to audiences.

Thank you to our funders, partners, artists and contractors for making this year’s program exciting and varied.

Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues 2020
A Message from the Artistic Co-Directors

To say that it has been challenging to bring the Festival to fruition this year will be news to no one. The Festival format and program have been reimagined and rebuilt many times, and scores of exciting projects and collaborations have been born, nurtured, and, regrettably, shelved. Despite these hurdles, the co-artistic directors have arrived a program that celebrates the Festival’s unique identity and its contribution to the Australian jazz community over the last thirty years. Highlights include:

Since 1990 the NJA has provided invaluable career development to leading early-career Australian jazz musicians. This year’s ten finalists hail from five Australian states (all but Tasmania and the Northern Territory). Due to travel restrictions, finalists are unable to compete in situ with the NJA band, and so will record their submission in their home state accompanied by a pianist alone. The judges (Michelle Nicolle, Kristin Berardi, and Sam Keevers) will determine the three place-getters from these submissions, and announce their decision on the evening of Saturday October 31.

This year’s program features broadcasts of rare and previously unpublished footage of performances by leading Australian jazz artists, including Barney McAll, Julien Wilson, Margie-Lou Dyer, John Scurry and Brett Iggulden (Red Onions Band), Tim Stevens, Nick Haywood, Andrea Keller, and Tamara Murphy. This footage has been generously provided by the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative, and was recorded at the Allan Browne Memorial Concert in 2016. It is fitting to include performances made in tribute to Allan, who was a significant figure in the Festival’s first twenty-five years, and to whom the festival meant a great deal.

Entirely improvised music can be challenging to many listeners, especially in large doses. That’s why we’ve commissioned four short improvised works. The Vignettes event will present solo performances by drummer, Maria Moles, trumpeter, Scott Tinkler, and a duo performance by WOLFA, aka Jenny Barnes (voice) and Mick Meagher (electric bass). Former WFoJ&B co-artistic director, Adam Simmons, will also present an improvisation, but more about that below!


In addition to the Vignettes event, the festival has commissioned photographer and journalist, Roger Mitchell, to create a piece that showcases photographic highlights of his many years of attendance at the WFoJ&B.

Across 2017-18, then-WFoJ&B-co-artistic director, Adam Simmons, nurtured a reciprocal relationship with the Amersfoort Jazz Festival in the Netherlands. The core of the agreement is that the winner of the NJA performs the following year at Amersfoort, and one of the Amersfoort jazz laureates (early-career artists) is invited to be part of the Wangaratta program. While this was obviously not possible this year, we will be premiering new work by 2018 NJA winner, Alex Hirlian, and presenting the Australian ‘debut’ of 2018 Amersfoort laureate, Dutch saxophonist, Kika Sprangers. Adam will talk to the WFoJ&B-Amersfoort relationship, and will perform and improvisation to link the two performances.

Perhaps more than any other year, 2020 has highlighted the value of strong support networks. When the decision was made to move an all-online mode of delivery, the Festival reached out to key organisations across the nation. What came back was unreserved enthusiasm, generosity, and drive to make things happen. This support has resulted in the Festival partnering with COMA (Creative Original Music Adelaide) and the Governor Hindmarsh Hotel in Adelaide, Venue 505 and SIMA (Sydney Improvised Music Association) in Sydney, and the MJC (Melbourne Jazz Co-operative) and Australian Jazz Museum in Melbourne. The Festival hopes to develop these relationships in future years, and to grow awareness of the tireless work done by these essential organisations.


With COMA, we are co-presenting Lyndon Gray’s New Cabal, and the Jo Lawry & Will Vinson ensemble (both now based in NYC but in Adelaide due to travel restrictions). Also in Adelaide, we have worked with the Governor Hindmarsh Hotel to present a blistering night of blues, featuring Lazy Eye, King and Associates, and the Streamliners.


In Sydney we are partnering with Venue 505 and SIMA to present early-career pianist and composer, Zela Margossian, and her quintet.


In Melbourne, the MJC have generously provided footage from the 2016 Allan Browne Memorial Concert, and are co-presenters of WOLFA (Jenny Barnes and Mick Meagher). The Australian Jazz Museum, in conjunction with the Australian Jazz Convention have selflessly provided recently digitised footage from the 1986 Jazz Convention, which was held in Adelaide. The never-before viewed footage captures hours of relaxed but vibrant performances from some of the most-loved figures in Australian traditional jazz.

The WFoJ&B isn’t complete without a splash of local talent. Emerging local jazz vocalist Emma Christie and her band will present a program comprised of pieces by Australia’s leading contemporary jazz vocalist-composers. Much-loved local vocalist Paris Zachariou, accompanied by pianist, Mark Bolsius, will offer a range of tunes from the swing and big band era. Finally, a blues group consisting of some of Wangaratta’s most talented musicians will perform a set of rocking, authentic blues.

While this year’s festival differs wildly from the event we envisaged late last year, we are proud to have brought together a rich and diverse program. We hope that there is something in it for every listener; lovers of contemporary jazz, blues, and traditional jazz.

WFoJ&B Co-Artistic Directors:

Zoe Hauptmann
Scott Solimo
Eugene Ball

Program 2020

Monday 26 october

7.30pm • National Jazz Award Finals

Lucy Iffla, WA

Lauren Henderson, SA

Performance duration approx 20 mins

8:15pm • Barney McAll Unit*

Equal measure adventure and beauty, the Barney McAll Unit brings together stalwarts of the scene, and introduces new generation drummer, Dom Stitt.

Barney McAll, piano

Julien Wilson, tenor saxophone

Sam Anning, double bass

Dominic Stitt, drums

Performance duration approx 20 mins

*Previously unreleased footage from the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative’s 2016 concert in memoriam of legendary Australian jazz drummer, Allan Browne

tuesday 27 october

7.30pm • National Jazz Award Finals

Briana Cowlishaw, NSW

Owen Measday, WA

Performance duration approx 20 mins

8:15pm • Tradition Alive

A double header featuring legends of traditional jazz, and players with strong family connections to Australia’s jazz roots.

Margie Lou Dyer Quintet*

Margie Lou Dyer, piano & voice
Hayley Browne, washboard
Howard Cairns, double bass
Cameron Robbins, clarinet
Eugene Ball, cornet

Al’s Emotional Baggage Handlers*

Brett Igulden, trumpet & soprano sax,
John Scurry, guitar
Lyn Wallis, drums
Howard Cairns, double bass
Julien Wilson, tenor saxophone

Performance duration approx 30 mins 

*Previously unreleased footage from the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative’s 2016 concert in memoriam of legendary Australian jazz drummer, Allan Browne

Wednesday 28 october

7.30pm • National Jazz Award Finals

Jessica Spina, QLD

Olivia Chindamo, VIC

Performance duration approx 20 mins

8:15pm • I Heart Improvisation

Exhilarating improvised works, commissioned by the Festival from leading and emerging artists:

Maria Moles, drums

Scott Tinkler, trumpet

WOLFA: Jenny Barnes, voice, & Mick Meagher, electric bass*

Performance duration approx 30 mins

*Co-presented with the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative

Thursday 29 october

7.30pm • National Jazz Award Finals

Rita Satch, VIC

Joshua Kyle, VIC

Performance duration approx 20 mins

8:15pm • 2 x 1 x 3

Leading figures of Melbourne Jazz bookend a retrospective photo essay commissioned by the Festival of Roger Mitchell.

Nick Haywood and Tim Stevens*

Together again, Nick and Tim deftly ply their thoughtful and unique approach to standards and original works.

Stills in Motion – A Retrospective

Journalist, photographer, and die-hard jazz devotee, Roger Mitchell presents the WFoJ&B from his unique, informed perspective.

Keller | Murphy | Ball*

Multi-award winning pianist Andrea Keller has shared the stage innumerable times with trumpeter Eugene Ball and bassist, Tamara Murphy, but this rare performance unites all three.

Performance duration approx 40 mins

*Previously unreleased footage from the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative’s 2016 concert in memoriam of legendary Australian jazz drummer, Allan Browne

Friday 30 october

7.30pm • National Jazz Award Finals

Harriett Allcroft, VIC

Amelia Evans, VIC

Performance duration approx 20 mins 

8:15pm • The Amersfoort Connection

Arcing Wires

Drummer, composer, and 2018 National Jazz Award winner, Alex Hirlian premieres new work with his thrilling sextet, Arcing Wires. An enigmatic fusion of math rock, progressive metal and jazz, Arcing Wires features some of Australia’s most exciting young jazz musicians.

Adam Simmons – Broodje Hadi

Previous co-artistic director and multi-instrumentalist, Adam Simmons, talks and plays to the relationship he forged between the WFoJ&B and the Amersfoort Jazz Festival in the Netherlands.

Kika Sprangers Large Ensemble*

In the Netherlands and beyond, Kika is regarded as one of the finest young talents in contemporary jazz. This performance showcases Kika’s award-winning large ensemble.

Performance duration approx 90 mins

*Supported by the Amersfoort Jazz Festival

Saturday 31 october

3.45pm • Free Community Program

Soli’s Blues Group

This rocking blues set will featuring some of Wangaratta’s most talented musicians.

Performance duration approx 45 mins

Highlights from the 1986 Australian Jazz Convention*

The Australian Jazz Convention is the longest-running jazz festival in the world. This curated collection presents rare and remarkable footage of some of the best-loved figures in traditional jazz from the ’86 convention in Adelaide.

*Co-presented with the Australian Jazz Museum and the Australian Jazz Convention Archive

5.30pm • From COMA at the Wheatsheaf Hotel

Jo Lawry Quartet*

Vocalist and songwriter Jo Lawry is one of the best in the business. Having worked with luminaries including Fred Hersch, Sting and Paul Simon, we are thrilled to present Jo in concert featuring NYC saxophonist, Will Vinson

Performance duration approx 60 mins  

*Co-presented with Creative Original Music Adelaide (COMA) and the Wheatsheaf Hotel


6.45pm • National Jazz Award winner
and runners-up announcement

Performance duration approx 15 mins

7.15pm • From The Gov

Kings and Associates*

This SA based group threads blues, soul, funk, R&B, and gospel together with virtuosic playing tinged with thought-provoking vulnerability.

Performance duration approx 50 mins

*Presented in conjunction with the Governor Hindmarsh Hotel

8.30pm • From COMA at the Wheatsheaf Hotel

The New Cabal*

The New Cabal is a quartet of Adelaide’s premier modern jazz performers. Led by double bassist Lyndon Gray, alongside fabled tenor titan Chris Soole, the sublime Chris Martin on piano, and electrifying drummer Josh Baldwin, they held down an iconic ten-year weekly residency. Find out why!

Performance duration approx 60 mins

*Co-presented with Creative Original Music Adelaide (COMA) and the Wheatsheaf Hotel


Sunday 1 November

3.45pm • Free Community Program

Emma Christie Quartet

Up and coming young local vocalist and band performing a contemporary jazz program.

Paris Zachariou & Mark Bolsius

This will be an entertaining performance of swing and big band tunes by these quality local musicians.

Performance duration approx 70 mins

6.30pm • From the Gov

Lazy Eye*

Think B.B. King sharing a scotch with Booker T at the crossroads after midnight. With more awards than you can poke a mojo hand at, what start- ed as a hair-brained idea between friends medicating their way through jazz school over a bottle of red, has taken them on an ad- venture that spans the globe. A multitude of gongs suggests Lazy Eye deliver some of the best original blues Australia has to offer.

Performance duration approx 50 mins

*Presented in conjunction with the Governor Hindmarsh Hotel

7.30pm • From the Gov

The Streamliners*

The Streamliners are hailed as one of the best kept secrets and premier R&B bands from South Australia. Consisting of some of the cream of Roots & Blues players, they’ve won countless awards over the years and backed up many international artists such as Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Holmes Brothers, Albert King, Charlie Musselwhite, The Fabulous T-Birds, Joe Loius Walker and were Muddy Waters’ son Mud Morganfield touring band at the 2017 Byron Bay BLUESFEST.

Performance duration approx 50 mins

*Presented in conjunction with the Governor Hindmarsh Hotel

8.30pm • From 505

Zela Margossian Quintet*

Born in Beirut of Armenian heritage, Aria award nominated Zela Margossian creates an exotic musical atmosphere that bears influences from the rich and colourful cultures she represents.

*Presented in conjunction with Venue 505, the Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival, and the Sydney Improvised Music Association


Please Note:

Program is subject to change.

Program times are Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time.