Melbourne Conservatorium of Music students to perform with Melissa Aldana at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival

Jazz saxophonist Melissa Aldana. Photo by Eduardo Pavez Goye.
Jazz saxophonist Melissa Aldana. Photo by Eduardo Pavez Goye.

A new partnership with the Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) will enable University of Melbourne students from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music to perform at Australia’s largest jazz festival, an annual celebration that showcases the highest calibre of jazz and improvised music in Australia.

Selected students from the Conservatorium’s Jazz and Improvisation program will have the opportunity to perform with festival headline artist Melissa Aldana this October. The award-winning Chilean saxophonist will share the stage with Conservatorium musicians at The Jazzlab in Brunswick in a special ensemble performance called Masters & Apprentices.

Other students, in an ensemble titled Conjuress, will support ground-breaking all-female quintet Morgana at a special 30-year anniversary celebration gig to be held at Chapel Off Chapel in Prahran. Conjuress is part of the Melbourne Conservatorium’s Gender Defying Jazz program, which aims to provide experiences and a supportive community for young female-identifying musicians in the jazz community.

Students from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music perform as part of Gender Defying Jazz.

These exciting opportunities will provide students with invaluable experience in preparing to perform improvised music on ‘big’ stages and invite them to rise to the mental and creative challenge of performing at their optimum in an internationally recognised jazz festival.

Alongside performance opportunities, the partnership will facilitate workshops, masterclasses, Q&A sessions and instrumental workshops with MIJF artists, giving Conservatorium students further opportunities to connect with creatives from across Australia and all over the world, and gain insight into their creative process.

Andrea Keller, Head of Jazz and Improvisation at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, said she was delighted by the opportunities this partnership will foster for Australia’s up-and-coming jazz musicians.

“I am thrilled about what this new partnership means for the Jazz and Improvisation students at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music,” she said. “After a significant hiatus from in-person international interactions, the opportunity to engage with and work alongside artists such as Melissa Aldana and other luminaries performing at the festival will be sure to inspire and invigorate them well into the future.”

Hadley Agrez, CEO & Program Director at MIJF, said the festival is proud to be supporting the education of the next generation of jazz talent.

“The Melbourne International Jazz Festival is incredibly excited to partner with the University of Melbourne on what we know will be a dynamic and fruitful relationship in support of current and future students of jazz and improvised music in Australia. The timing is ideal for us to work collaboratively to highlight the importance of engaging in creative industries, and specifically, to foster the next generation of local jazz talent in Australia – ready to showcase to the world in the years to come.”

Further Gender Defying Jazz workshops will kick off in November, with a performance for the Melbourne Women’s International Jazz Festival in December. More information and tickets for the program are available here.

The Melbourne International Jazz Festival brings together the biggest and best names in international jazz alongside leading and emerging contemporary Australian artists. Held annually in Melbourne since 1998, the festival returns in 2022 with a busy schedule of performances in concert halls, iconic Melbourne venues, and across the city streets. The festival runs from 14–23 October 2022.

Masters & Apprentices will be held at the Jazzlab in Brunswick on Thursday October 20, 2022.

Conjuress will play as a support act for Morgana at Chapel off Chapel on Saturday October 15, 2022.

Melbourne International Jazz Festival bookings & Information: