jazz and improvised music


sydney international women's jazz festival

DATES : 4-15 November 2015

In 2015, we are gearing up to go large with four free events as well as club gigs, outdoor events, talks, workshops and a late night jam. Take a look at what’s on offer!

The Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival (SIWJF) was established in 2012 with support from the City of Sydney. It's goal is to create an annual world class international jazz festival with an emphasis on Women in Jazz, that will enthuse audiences and highlight Sydney as a major international city of music and culture.

SIWJF compliments SIMA's eleven years presenting our Young Women's Jazz workshops. This program has led to many females undertaking jazz in tertiary studies and going on to a professional career in music.  More information on this workshop program

SIWJF is undertaken with our founding partner the Sydney International Jazz Festival and supported by the City of Sydney and the Anthony and Sharon Lee Foundation.


Four-time JUNO Award winner, two-time Grammy nominee, and Officer of the Order of Canada, soprano saxophonist/flautist Jane Bunnett brings her Maqueque to Australia for the first time.    
Introducing the world to some of Cuba’s most promising female musicians, the group blends scintillating Afro-Cuban rhythms, folkloric influences, exhilarating jazz and soulful vocals into an utterly intoxicating blend. BOOK NOW!


Since winning the 2013 Best Instrumental Piano Album for her multi-format album 600 Years in a Moment at New Orleans’ ZMR Awards, pianist/producer and vocalist Fiona Joy’s career has been on an upward trajectory. Her evocative solo piano and ethereal vocals cross contemporary, classical and jazz genres creating beautifully simple yet musically sophisticated performances. BOOK NOW!


Hope in My Pocket Sydney Premiere
Vocalist Kristin Berardi is one of Australia’s first calls when it comes to jazz. Having won a swag of awards both here and abroad, Berardi delights audiences with her “warm beautiful tone, extensive jazz vocabulary, pop appeal and magical stage presence” (Chris Walker, USA). Ticket holders to this concert are invited to a special complimentary curators tour and artist talk on Friday 6 November at the Powerhouse Museum. BOOK NOW!


Conductor, band leader and Composer-In-Residence for the Divergence Jazz Orchestra, Jenna Cave is a force majeure of the Australian big band scene.  The group’s debut album Opening Statement (2013), which featured seven of Cave’s compositions, was released to critical acclaim. She has written for the Sirens Big Band, WA Youth Jazz Orchestra and Melbourne International Women’s Jazz Festival as well as film scores for the ABC and Sydney International Film Festival. BOOK NOW!


presented in association with Jazzgroove

Trumpeter and bandleader Ellen Kirkwood has rapidly been gaining recognition for her quirky and surreal compositions. Following the success of her five-part suite Theseus and the Minotaur (2012), Kirkwood will unveil a new piece inspired by the work of “new weird” fantasy fiction British author, China Mievelle.  The evening is opened by one of Australia's most respected improvising artists Sandy Evans and virtual airticks drummer Alon Ilsar. BOOK NOW!


Straight from the Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival, emerging jazz and blues singer Alex Hahn and her band The Blue Riders descend on to Sydney. The group are making waves with their brutally honest soul music that is underpinned by Hahn’s powerful vocals. Hahn recently returned from a successful tour of the US/UK where she headlined The San Jose Summer Jazz Fest (USA), Guinness International Cork Jazz Festival (IRE) and Callander Jazz & Blues Festival (UK) with Wallflower, a tribute to Etta James. BOOK NOW!


Bassist, vocalist and composer Mimi Jones is the founder and power-house behind indie-label Hot Tone Records. Mimi’s elegant sound is an eclectic mix of genres based on a strong jazz foundation that leave room for funky bass grooves, world beat rhythms, and gentle textures.
For the festival, Mimi Jones joins forces with label-mate and multi-instrumentalist/composer Camille Thurman. Runner up in the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, Thurman’s lush and velvety melodies, reminiscent of yesteryear’s legends Ella Fitzgerald and Minnie Ripperton, are combined with nuances reflecting jazz today. Strong, complex and thoroughly absorbing; Mimi Jones and Camille Thurman have developed a sound where modern jazz meets pop, soul R&B and gospel. BOOK NOW!


Award-winning arranger, band leader and jazz vocalist Michelle Nicolle is one of Australia’s most celebrated jazz singers. A gifted improviser, Nicolle’s precision in timing and phrasing compliment her courageous inventiveness.  Her clear and warm tone and risk taking approach has earned her the Australian entertainment industry’s Mo Award (Jazz Vocalist of the Year) in 2001, 2003 and 2004 as well as a National Jazz Award (1998) and two ARIA nominations. She performs at this year’s festival with her long standing quartet. BOOK NOW!


Corner Jazz : 
featuring BB+CAM of the Prophets
Saturday 7 November (3pm – 6pm) @ Lord Worsley Hotel, Ultimo

Head down to this beloved Ultimo old-timer, and spill out onto the leafy co-opted neighbourhood park for sunny Saturday jazz before heading down to the Foundry for Kirsten Berardi in the evening.

Future Voices
Monday 9 November (7pm) @ Foundry616

Three individual voices, three local artists we think are definitely worth hearing. So much so, that we have made this a free event. Hear Ethiopian inspired duo Laura Altman and Peter Farrar, followed by pianist Francesca Prihasti and her trio and to close, bassist/cellist Mary Rapp with her quartet.
The Bop Darlings featuring Virna Sanzone
Wednesday 11 November (9pm) @ Tatler Bar, Darlinghurst

Transport yourself back to 1960’s Manhattan as The Bop Darlings perform live Jazz as you sip on Bourbon Old Fashioneds and swing into steam chanteuse inspired jazz where Ella Fitzgerald meets Art Blakey! 
Glebe Street Fair:  Sandy Evans Trio with Bobby Singh
Foley St Stage, 140 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe

Redefining the fusion of jazz and Indian music, thrilling improvised dialogue, breath- taking improvisations and stunning percussion solos make this a must-see for music lovers everywhere. Multi-award winning saxophonist/composer Sandy Evans OAM has been exploring intersections between improvisers from jazz and Indian backgrounds in much of her recent musical work. Together with her long-standing trio of Brett Hirst and Toby Hall, tabla-master Bobby Singh has become one of her most important collaborators on this creative journey.


2014 Program

Dee Alexander (USA)
Hannah James Trio Triliphony launch
Sarah McKenzie Quartet We Could Be Lovers launch (USA)
Lisa Parrott in Concert and Conversation (USA)
Ellen Kirkwood's Fat Yahoozah feat. Lisa Parrott
Gai Bryant's Palacio De La Rumba Big Band feat. Roman Justo Pelladito (CUBA)
Andrea Keller and Miroslav Bukovsky Octet- Komeda Project (MELB)
2013 Program

Eri Yamamoto Trio (USA/JAPAN)
Claire Daly (USA)
Froy Aagre Electric (NORWAY) 
U.nlock- Shannon Barnett and Gian Slater (USA/MELB)
Tina Harrod Band
Judy Bailey in concert and conversation
Nat Bartsch Trio (Melb)
Virna Sanzone and Paul Grabowsky's Italian Project
Bloodlines (feat. Jade MacRae and Joy Yates)
Jo Fabro Quintet
The Sirens Big Band feat. Claire Daly
2012 Program 

Cyrille Aimee Quartet (FRANCE/USA)
No Tango (GERMANY)
Myra Melford - Trio M (USA)
Sandy Evans Sextet
Andrea Keller Quartet with Gian Slater
Zoe and the Buttercups
Jess Green and the Pre-loved
Hannah James Trio
Marialy Pacheco Trio (8:30pm)

Event Sponsors 2013: