Come Play at Perth's biggest weekend of jazz


Singer Lucy Iffla fronting the OZ Big Band [brass section, keys and double bass] on stage at The Rechabite for the Cotton Club Dance Party 2020
OZ Big Band at the Cotton Club Party. Photo by Ewa Ginal-Cumblidge

Perth International Jazz Festival’s (PIJF) 2021 program is bigger and more varied than ever with new performance spaces, added free community events and an expansion into Busselton – proving everyone loves experiencing live music in WA’s COVID-free bubble!


Taking place from November 5-7 in Perth and November 13 in Busselton, this year’s Festival offers the very best for music lovers of all kinds with performances catering to jazz purists right the way through to the popular jazz-influenced sounds of funk, Latin, hip-hop and beyond.


PIJF opens on the Friday with a free event at the State Theatre Centre – Courtyard with live sets from Dr Richard Walley’s Six Seasons with Junkadelic Orchestra, Daniel Susnjar’s multi-award-winning Afro Peruvian Jazz Group, and a performance via live stream from Amsterdam by Tin Men and the Telephone who’ll present their ‘GREATEST show’ – a spicy combination of jazz tunes and technology that will also be showing on the giant screens at Yagan Square and Northbridge Piazza.


Dutch trio Tin Men and the Telephone’s ‘GREATEST show - Global Relocation of Evolved Apes Towards Exoplanet Suitable for Terraformation’ is an immersive multimedia performance combining improvised music, visuals, and audience participation via a smartphone app on the topic of climate change. Then later that evening at The Rechabite – PIJF’s festival hub for ticketed shows and the very best jazz on offer – Cotton Club Dance Party featuring the OZ Big Band returns for some 1920’s high energy swing to keep you boppin’ into the wee hours.


National guest artists across the weekend includes Adelaide multi-instrumentalist, Adam Page, best known for his critically acclaimed multi-instrumental looping performances (and recording of sounds for The Hobbit films); two of Australia’s leading improvisers – Scott Tinkler (trumpet) & Julius Schwing (guitar) from Bruny Island, Tasmania; and your new favourite funky-synth-dance trio from Adelaide – Er@ser Description.


Other highlights at The Rechabite include a celebration of “WA’s First Lady of Jazz” and living legend, Helen Matthews by Ali Bodycoat and Libby Hammer; and one of Australia’s premier jazz saxophonists, Jamie Oehlers presents the music of probably the best-known saxophonist in jazz history, John Coltrane, with Ben Vanderwal on drums, Karl Florrison on bass and Harry Mitchell on piano.


PIJF have added more venues to the program including at Cathedral Square and a Secret Rooftop in the CBD (no, it’s not the Art Gallery of WA); and ‘Grooves n Brews’ in partnership with Northbridge Brewing Company at Northbridge Piazza will be transformed into the hippest outdoor bar starring jazz, funk, and hip-hop artists including Liquid Project, Supathick, Trisk & Optamus Present: Prime Time and the Flewnt Boorloo Block Party.


Along with all the free events in Northbridge Piazza – PIJF is partnering with ECU / WAAPA, City of Perth and Lotterywest for performances in Forrest Place on Saturday and Sunday to showcase new commissions, big bands and panels featuring star WAAPA jazz alumni and graduating students; and on the Sunday, PIJF partners with City of Vincent and Lotterywest for the popular Jazz Picnic in Hyde Park, which includes live performances from some of Perth’s best musicians as well as a Jazz Parade – where anyone can bring an instrument and ‘Come Play’.


PIJF’s expanded program also includes improvised performances at the WA Museum Boola Bardip from Tasmania’s Scott Tinkler (solo) and locals Ghost Gum Reverb and Charles/Lee; and the Ellington Jazz Club will feature a series of solo jazz piano performances from some of Perth’s most talented pianists in memory of the late Graham Wood, founder of PIJF and co-owner of The Ellington.


Festival Director Dr. Mace Francis said that despite all the hurdles involved in programming an international festival during a pandemic, PIJF has put together jam-packed weekends of jazz and fun in Perth and Busselton.


“There’s so much music to enjoy across the Perth weekend and then at the Busselton Amphitheatre on the Foreshore the following Saturday. Come play! Take a risk with us and see as much music as you can,” he says.


“Experience new delights, reacquaint yourself with old favourites, and just have the best time. This festival is for YOU, and we look forward to seeing you there, from a safe distance.”


Tickets are on sale now via Megatix and prices vary from $20 - $35 + BF per individual performance (excluding the Jazz Dinner at Shadow Wine Bar and The Rechabite Gin & Jazz Dinner).

Jazz logo and graphic
PIJF 2021 poster

Artists performing in Perth [in alphabetical order]:

Adam Page (solo) | Artemis Orchestra | Bad Whip | Brazilliance! | Charles/Lee | Daniel Susnjar's Afro-Peruvian Jazz Group | Danilo da Paz and Perth Choro | DJ Jimmy Mac | ECU/WAAPA Big Band | ECU/WAAPA Jazz Choir | ECU/WAAPA Guitar Ensemble | ECU/WAAPA 4th Year Recitalists: Bob Tweedie, Sam Forster, Jayden Blockley and Will Pethick | Er@ser Description | Flewnt MC | Ghost Gum Reverb | Grievous Bodily Calm | Hanna Kim Trio | Jamie Oehlers Quartet | Jessica Carlton Sextet | Kohesia Quartet | Libby Hammer Quartet | Liquid Project | Lucy Iffla, Matthew Gugeon & Alistair Peel | Marty Pervan's Midnight Rollers | Oz Big Band | Penny King Quartet | Richard Walley's 6 Seasons with the Junkadelic Collective | Scott Tinkler & Julius Schwing | Scott Tinkler (solo) | Supathick | Tin Men and the Telephone present the GREATEST show | Tom Salleo Orchestra | TRISK & MC Optamus | Vozes e Ritmos | WAAPA Afro-Peruvian Ensemble | WA Youth Jazz Orchestra & Armadale SHS | Welcome to Country


Artists performing at the Busselton Amphitheatre [in alphabetical order]:

Gemma Farrell Quintet | Libby Hammer Quartet | Oz Big Band | The Love Rats | Welcome to Country


For more info and tickets, go to: www.perthjazzfest.com


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