ABR Arts Festivals

2018 Melbourne International Jazz Festival

Des Cowley
Thursday, 14 June 2018

One of the key issues addressed by the twenty-first Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) is the role of women in jazz. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, there has been much debate around gender equality in jazz, including inevitable references to jazz as a ‘boys’ club’. While there has never been a shortage ...

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2017 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues

Des Cowley
Wednesday, 08 November 2017

It was always going to be a risky decision. Earlier this year, the Board of the Wangaratta Festival dispensed with the services of Adrian Jackson, the artistic director who shaped the style and content of the Festival since its inception in 1990. In recent years, a combination of reduced funding and unfortunate weather conditions led to ...

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2017 Melbourne Festival

Dilan Gunawardana
Monday, 23 October 2017

In his introduction to this year’s Melbourne Festival, Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway emphasised the need for people to step away from the hateful invective festering in public discourse and to note the bigger picture of humanity’s journey. ‘The last couple of years – globally – have not been our best’, he says in ...

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Dark Mofo 2017 (MONA)

Dilan Gunawardana
Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Every winter for the last few years, Hobart has soaked itself in a shade of deep red and invited a mass of bodies to cavort and feast on its flesh for MONA’s annual winter arts festival of ‘darkness, light, birth, death, and renewal’, Dark Mofo. Therefore, the performance by ...

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2017 Melbourne International Jazz Festival

Des Cowley
Monday, 19 June 2017

Marking its twentieth anniversary, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) had much to celebrate in 2017. I can vividly recall the first Festival in 1998, a weekend-long event attended by what seemed like a handful of us, moving in unison between city venues ...

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2016 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues

Des Cowley
Tuesday, 08 November 2016

Ahead of this year’s Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues, Artistic Director Adrian Jackson acknowledged that while he had not intended to develop any specific theme for this year’s program, one had unwittingly emerged: the significant contribution of female musicians to jazz in this country ...

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Dark Mofo 2016 (MONA)

Dilan Gunawardana
Monday, 27 June 2016

The streets of Hobart are especially cold and quiet on the longest night of the year. Those out and about are simply commuting from place to place, wrapped in scarves, hats, and jackets. Some head towards St David's Cathedral to attend Heart of Darkness, the penultimate performance of ...

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2016 Melbourne International Jazz Festival

Des Cowley
Wednesday, 15 June 2016

In his introduction to the opening night concert of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF), Michael Tortoni, the artistic director, noted that some 43,000 patrons were expected to attend over 120 concerts during this year's program. That is a lot of devotees to a musical form often ...

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Adelaide Festival of Arts 2016

Michael Morley
Monday, 07 March 2016

The two high-profile theatre productions featured at this year's Adelaide Festival – the National Theatre of Scotland's imaginative and engaging account of the life and times of the three King Jameses, The James Plays Trilogy, and Romeo Castellucci's mostly impenetrable take on ...

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2015 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues

Des Cowley
Monday, 09 November 2015
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