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Jazz cats skip into Southbank

05 May 2016

Jazz cats skip into Southbank Image

By Nicholas Li

The Melbourne International Jazz Festival will bop, skip and bounce into Southbank running from June 3-12.

Featuring local acts as well international artists from countries such as Ethiopia, Israel, Italy, Poland the USA, the festival’s program will be feature late night art events as well as a number of free events.

Artistic director Michael Tortoni said Melbourne’s jazz scene attracted fans worldwide.

“Reminiscent of New York, Melbourne has its own unique pool of high quality talent that resides here. Melbourne continually attracts musicians from other states and internationally,” he said.

Mr Tortoni said festival-goers could expect a wide array of music.

“Everything from high quality new, challenging and adventurous music to the easily digestible and highly accessible,” he said.

Now entering its 18th year, Mr Tortoni said the festival’s evolution was based on a number of key principles.

“Fundamentally, understanding that jazz is constantly changing, that improvisation is the most important element of this art form and pushing and challenging the boundaries of what is called jazz,” he said.

One of the festivals main international drawcards is “modern master” Eddie Palmieri, featuring with his Latin jazz septet. A 10-time Grammy winner, Palmieri fuses Latin styles with jazz and is one of New York’s most famous pianists.

In the 70s Palmieri came to prominence as one of the first to merge black and Latin sounds into music that featured elements of salsa, funk, soul and jazz.

Eddie Palmieri plays Hamer Hall on Friday, June 10.

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