In a sign that the old 'normal' is slowly returning, the 2020 Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival (SIWJF) will proceed IRL with 10 days of improvised and innovative artistry – 30 October to 8 November.
Spread across 5 intimate COVID-safe venues, more than 30 leading female musicians will take to the SIWJF stage – from improvised solo performances to energetic Afro-Cuban ensembles.
Sydney's queen of Latin jazz, saxophonist and composer Gai Bryant headlines the Opening Night Party with an Afro-Peruvian and Cuban extravaganza.
The double bill features Bryant's ten-piece big band Caribe, alongside her sextet Ally, evoking the spirit of South America with irresistible rhythms and passionate compositions that feature Peruvian songstress Melody Riviera.
Other highlights of the 2020 SIWJF programme include one of Australia's most recognised jazz vocalists Emma Pask, and ARIA Award-winning singer-songwriter Elana Stone.
Fiery soul singer Mahalia Barnes (daughter of Jimmy) will be backed by rock-steady band The Soulmates, while young-gun guitarist Hilary Geddes and rising-star drummer Jodi Michael will feature in a heady double bill.
"We are so thrilled the 2020 festival is going ahead," Zoe Hauptmann and Peter Rechniewski, Co- Artistic Directors of SIWJF, says.
"Jazz is an ideal medium for seated, social-distanced settings. This year presents a unique opportunity for music lovers to experience the magic and intimacy of jazz.
"Few Australian musicians have been able to perform live since the onset of the coronavirus, and these artists are so excited to perform for audiences at this year’s festival."
To offset current travel restrictions, SIWJF will embrace local international talent with cross-cultural projects spotlighting artists from Japan, Cuba, Peru, Sweden and Armenia.
In a special treat for online audiences, 2019 festival favourite, Brazilian bossa-nova singer and nylon string guitarist Anna Setton will perform live streamed from Sao Paulo.
Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival runs 30 October to 8 November. Venues: Mary's Underground (former Basement), Foundry616, Venue 505, Joynton Ave Creative Centre and Australian Institute Of Music.
Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival 2020 Line-up
Gai Bryant (Caribe, Ally) Emma Pask Elana Stone Dr Sandy Evans OAM with Satsuki Odamura and Steve Elphick Pharos Monica Trapaga Mahalia Barnes & The Soulmates Elysian Fields Hilary Geddes Jodi Michael Lilith Night (Keyna Wilkins, Mary Anne Piper, Chloe Kim, Rachel Drubetsky) Zela Margossian Joy Yates & Dave MacCrae Jo Truman Ińes Tessie Overmyer