Another festival taking place this month is the fifth annual great weekend of jazz, the Castlemaine Jazz Festival, which will be held on the Queen’s Birthday weekend (June 8-11). Taking place right in the heart of Castlemaine, a real treat is that the festival runs across a number of separate and historical venues, each within walking distance and all specially selected to create the ideal environment to enjoy this weekend full of jazz.
For the first time, this year the festival will run over four days, instead of the usual three, allowing the team to bring you more of the jazz you have come to know and love, as well as some new exciting elements to discover.
Over the four days, stunning venues such as The Anglican Church, The Theatre Royal, The Bridge Hotel, The Old Gaol Cell Block, The Old Gaol Mess Hall, The Maurocco Bar and The Cumberland Hotel will open their doors to a bill that includes Adrian Whyte, BlueTone Jazz Band, Nubya Garcia, Philéas Fogg Trio, Cheap Frills, Not Quite Right, Joys Njambi Quartet, Low Down Big Band, Big Band Frequency and Children of the Revolution. With more than 80 different bands and artists, this Queen’s Birthday long weekend is sure to be a musical one.
Festival goers and musicians alike are lucky enough every year to have the opportunity to learn from emerging and established jazz stars – and this year is no exception. A real highlight at this year’s festival is the multi-talented tenor saxophonist, composer and bandleader, Nubya Garcia who is carving out a reputation in the jazz scene both in her hometown of London and around the world. Part of a generation of artists inspired equally by hip hop, grime and drum and bass, Garcia earned her stripes as a DJ in London clubs and has distilled all her influences into two afro-tinged jazz records: ‘Nubya’s 5ive’ – which sold out in a day in its first pressing – and the self-released ‘When We Are’. Nubya will hold two 30-minute masterclasses at the Phee Broadway Theatre at 12pm and 1pm on Saturday 9th June, as well as a special performance on Friday night. This is not to be missed.
Another highlight of the weekend includes the debut performance by the Goldfields Jazz Orchestra on Sunday night. Promising to deliver a high energy night of hip swinging, toe tapping tunes, featuring smokin’ instrumentals, cracking solos, and songs to fall in and out of love to, you’ll be treated to the finest instrumentalists from Ballarat to Bendigo in this classic 18-piece line up. Audiences are guaranteed to leave flushed with a bad case of gold fever as they power through a glittering array of tunes from the great arrangers.
Located in the central area of Victoria, the Castlemaine region is less than 90 minutes from North-West Melbourne, and roughly a two-hour drive from Geelong, making it easily and conveniently accessed by road and rail. With stunning villages and towns located close by, this region is an ideal base to explore Central Victoria.
You can find more information, running times and ticket sales via www.castlemainejazzfestival.com.au
Written by Chloe Cicero