The 27th annual Clarence Jazz Festival was a triumph of culture, community, and music with thousands of Clarence and Greater Hobart locals turning up to support the festival despite the at times wet and windy weather.
This year’s festival, held from the 1 – 5 February, featured a total of 36 local and interstate acts equaling an incredible 208 individual musicians.
This year was by far the most diverse in the history of the festival featuring musicians from all over the world including South Africa, Sudan, the Seychelles, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Colombia, Brazil, Ukraine, the UK, and Ireland.
In fact of the 208 artists who performed at this year’s festival, a whopping 56 were from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds.
As well as representing the broad sweep of cultures in our community, this year half of all Clarence Jazz Festival acts were led by female or gender diverse musicians.
While bringing back a number of firm festival favourites we were also able to extend this unofficial theme of diversity to the programming, with 23 out of 36 acts never heard in previous festival years, and a wide range of featured jazz styles including trad jazz, Parisian swing, great America songbook standards, classic and contemporary big band, bebop, post-bop, bossanova, samba, salsa, jazz/rock fusion, blues and gospel, funk, soul, afro-beat, model jazz, original, and new work.
With support from Festivals Australia Clarence City Council commissioned new work with the wildly successful and deeply moving mulaka milaythina (the Hunting Ground- Nunami Sculthorpe Green and Louise Denson) and accompanying cultural walks, of which all sold out in record time.
Throughout the festival we continued our proud tradition of supporting many new and emerging artists both through our long-running Jazz Scholarship program, as well as through our highly successful HotHouse Project where we gave development funding and in kind support to three new works – Vital Transformations: A Mahavishnu Tribute, the Gianni Pulli Hammond Project, and the Mambo Afro East Africa Project – all of whom played at the Big Day @ Kangaroo Bay to critical acclaim.
The Clarence Jazz Festival generates significant economic impact paying every musician standard industry rates of $250 per musician per set, employing dozens of production, pre-production, and specialist staff, and contracting countless local businesses. This year we were able to extend the economic impact to our regions through the highly successful Clarence Food and Wine Project that featured over 30 local food and beverage producers and small local owned businesses from outer regions of Clarence.
Of course, these statistics mean nothing compared to the stories and first-hand experiences that have been shared with us in the last few weeks.
From the hundreds of locals who turned out in force for the first ever Clarence Jazz Festival event to be held in Rokeby to the 13-year-old emerging jazz musicians who turned up at the first ever Clarence Jazz Festival Jam session and got to play live on stage with jazz legends like our esteemed jazz ambassador Sandy Evans OAM, the impact of the 2023 Clarence Jazz Festival is hard to overstate.
Until next year!
The Clarence Jazz Festival is held annually in February. The next Festival will be in in 2024, follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get all the jazz news first!
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