Early bird tickets on sale now
Early bird tickets on sale now

8th April 2017 Waterfront Park Waterloo Street Newstead

A Jazz Experience

Destined to be one of the best music events on Brisbane’s jazz calendar, the Brisbane River Jazz Festival will bring your musical taste buds to life.

Located in the picturesque Waterfront Park, Newstead, the program will showcase headline artists such as Kate Ceberano and Vince Jones and will appeal to music lovers and jazz enthusiast of all ages. The Brisbane River Jazz Festival is set to deliver not only a music experience to remember, but also culinary delights including food, wine and craft beer pop-up bars and other local tastes all in one day.

The event will run from 12.00pm to 9.00pm and feature live music, entertainment and a raft of activities that the whole family can enjoy throughout the day and early evening.

Who's Playing

Kate Ceberano

Kate Ceberano

“Pure, soulful and powerful”
Rolling Stones Magazine

She’s been Australia’s high priestess of pop, an award winning jazz singer, wears the hat of a fine artistic director and, above all that; Kate Ceberano is a songwriter with the talent to take a tune to the top of the charts.

2016 saw the release of the Kate Ceberano Anthology, her 24th album – three Disc, 53 Song celebration of the 30 year anniversary since the release of her 1st album.

“Bear Witness” with Kate fronting the band I’m Talking. Remarkably, she shows no sign of slowing down, let alone stopping. Anthology debuted top 10 on the National AIRA Album Charts.

In 2014 Ceberano became the first Australian woman to be inducted into the Australian Songwriters Association (ASA) Hall of Fame. Joining such luminaries as Don Walker, The Easybeats, LRB and The Angels.

Time Out Melbourne got it right when they wrote “(the) first thing you notice about Ceberano is her energy, which actually sends the atoms crackling as she walks in the room. Flashing eyes, a ready roar, warm and funny – she’s your dream conversationalist”. Whether it is that soulful voice, her charismatic nature or exotic looks: Kate’s earned her ‘Australian icon’ status.

A woman widely respected across various mediums, Kate as a singer has gathered numerous awards: as well as occasionally lighting up our big and small screens (Kate & Friends, Dancing with the Stars, Who Do You Think You Are? X-Factor, Getaway, and more). Then there was her award winning performance in South Pacific and the penning of her acclaimed autobiography I’m Talking. She counts motherhood to daughter Gypsy as her biggest achievement yet.

Kate first found fame with her funk band I’m Talking. I’m Talking are acknowledged as the band “who pioneered New York-style art pop in Australia during the Jurassic Period of Pub Rock”. The group was managed by Ken West, now famous for being co-founder of the Big Day Out. The group’s ‘platinum’ debut album included three top ten singles and won the Best New Talent (1984) gong at the Countdown Awards. Kate followed that up the following year with the award for Best Female Vocalist (1985). Kate won Best Female Singer (1985) at the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) Awards.

After such an auspicious debut album, the group broke up and Kate went solo solo. It was here, in the late 80s, that Ceberano earned a formidable reputation for her soul, jazz and pop repertoire. Quite rightly radio labeled her as having “one of the greatest voices our music industry has ever produced”. Kate’s first solo album was the live recording Kate Ceberano and Her Septet (1987). Her following platter You’ve Always Got The Blues (1988) earned her an ARIA Award for Best Female Artist (1988). A year later, she won another ARIA for Best Female Artist (1989), as well as one for Highest Selling Single (1989) for Bedroom Eyes from her triple platinum effort, Brave.

In 1992, Kate hit the stage to perform the role of Mary in Jesus Christ Superstar. The show, which had a star-studded cast which included John Farnham, toured nationally performing over 80 arenas shows, and the album was the biggest hit of the year – earning four times platinum status.

Kate followed this success with her own late-night cabaret-style show on ABC TV simply titled Kate Ceberano & Friends (1993-1994), the album from which went Gold. In 1996 Kate released her next solo album Blue Box, which also went Gold and saw her nominated for another Best Female Artist at the ARIA’s. In 1997 Kate wrote and released what has become an Australian pop classic – Pash. A gorgeous slice of three-minute pop, the song went Platinum and solidified Kate’s reputation as one of our leading female songwriters. The subsequent album shot to #5 in the ARIA charts. Richard Wilkins of the Today Show simply referred to her as “Australian Music Royalty”.

Her achievements now included five Platinum albums, five Gold albums and over 2 million albums sold in Australia alone.

Like many high-profile musicians, Kate Ceberano uses her celebrity to support and bring awareness to many causes close to her heart; for many years Ceberano has been an Ambassador for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. This role sees Kate help raise funds and awareness about an illness that affects so many lives. Over the 9 years Kate has been a supporter of the NBCF, Kate has also personally donated album royalties to the cause. “I like to be as involved as I possibly can in causes I feel strongly about,” Ceberano said of her appointment. “Yes I am a musician, but if I can do more to help others then I will.”

In 2013, Kate recorded a new album of original material, Kensal Road, at Kensaltown Studios, London. The Daily Telegraph’s Kathy McCabe was moved to write “Kensal Road fits perfectly in the pocket of dreamy folk pop that has captivated the airwaves for the past couple of years…Ceberano is a true original” while Cameron Adams reminded us “in case you’d forgotten, that voice is still something special.”

Annette Sharp of The Daily Telegraph went on to say: “There is something undeniably mighty about Kate Ceberano. The singer has always been a fascinating character in the Australian rock industry. Luminous and vibrant, she has, since the age of 19 exuded the kind of confidence that eludes most

Australians — men and women alike. She glows in a room and it’s not just because she has a great big smile, a great big personality and a great big voice; it’s something unfathomable that suggests a power that emanates from some place far deeper, beyond our understanding.”

From 2012-2014 Kate took on the role as artistic director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, and transformed it into one of the most successful festivals in the country. With a 40% increase in Box Office, Kate as Artist Director brought some of the biggest international acts to Australia for the first time, including Kristin Chenoweth, and Indina Menzel. In 2014, Kate and the festival were awarded the Ruby award for Best Festival for Contribution to Arts and Culture SA.

In April 2014, Kate released her autobiography, the aforementioned, I’m Talking. The Daily Mail noted that I’m Talking documented “the milestones in the iconic jazz and pop singer’s life”. At the same time, she was also nominated for the Instyle Women of Style Awards in the Arts & Culture category.

On May 6, Kate released Anthology, a celebration of Kate’s iconic 35 year career, which marks the 30th anniversary of the release of I’m Talking’s “Bear Witness” and is a comprehensive look at Kate’s impressive back catalogue. Including a selection of new songs, and never before released tracks including Kate’s cover of The Carpenter’s “We’ve Only Just Begun” which was the end title track from the iconic Australian movie The Castle, and two songs written and performed with Paul Kelly, and also duets with some of music’s biggest names (John Farnham, Ronan Keating, David Campbell, Wendy Matthews, Jon Stevens and more). In it’s first week of release, Anthology debuted in the Top 10 of the Australian National Album Charts.

Adding to Kate’s already impressive list of honours, in June of 2016, Kate was awarded an Order of Australia for Charitable Work, and Services to the Music Industry. Kate spoke of this honour, “I am so very proud and honored to be receiving this award from this great country Australia that I love.”

24 albums over 30 years makes Ceberano the most prolific Australian female recording artist of this era. Her work, her craft and her vision are now imbued in our collective DNA. Kate Ceberano is a bone fide national treasure, possessing one of the great voices of her generation. Long may she run.

Vince Jones Trio De Jour

Vince Jones Trio De Jour

“A voice as cool as a long G&T and a repertoire that balances jazz, rock and soul.”
Beat Magazine

Vince Jones has set the benchmark for Australian Jazz singers since his emergence in the jazz clubs of Melbourne in the late 70s and early 80s. His 20 album, international career has never hesitated in its musical evolution – a career played in the moment.

He is that rare genre-defying artist who creates music without borders. From Iris DeMent’s folk “Our Town” to his original piano heavy, new age “Wonderworld”, he comments, sometimes uncomfortably, about the world we live in, from an unashamedly idealistic perspective.

His intuitive readings of the Great American Songbook are sensitively true to composer and artist. He is a wonderful trumpet player. His style has developed a distinctive reserve and subtlety. He plays a little less and draws a good deal more from it than he did in early days.

A brief solo from Vince is worth a hundred notes played with less discretion. Particular about the musical company he keeps, he continues to enjoy playing with the best jazz musicians the country has to offer and on this occasion – Matt McMahon (MD/piano), Karl Dunnicliff (Bass) and James Hauptman (Percussion) – will be no exception.

Rolling Stones Project

The Rolling Stones Project – Featuring Tim Ries and Bernard Fowler

“Among jazz musicians, Ries is known as a singular talent, a player’s player.”
New York Times

“If you love the Stones, like we do, and if you love jazz, you must almost cry for joy over the Rolling Stones Project”

Featuring Rolling Stones touring members Tim Ries-saxophones and Bernard Fowler-vocals; The Rolling Stones Project is as a 6-piece ensemble.

After the release of Tim’s critically acclaimed CDs The Rolling Stones Project and Stones World, Tim and Bernard began performing this material in many cities around the world under the name of The Rolling Stones Project. They continue to feature Tim’s arrangements of Stones classics, reinterpreting this iconic material across many genres, including jazz, rock, blues and world music.

The original CDs feature a who’s who of musical legends including: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, Milton Nascimento, Lisa Fischer, Ana Moura, Sara Baras, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Eddie Palmieri, Badal Roy, John Patitucci, Bill Charlap and many others.

“Ries has produced a fabulously entertaining jazz set of Jagger-Richards songs that delivers plenty of satisfaction whether you get your Charlies from Parker or Watts.” – LA Daily News

“This is a collection of performances that should please dedicated Stones fans as well as avid jazz listeners. At its best, actually, on almost every track, it illustrates the manner in which good music can make boundary lines irrelevant.” – Los Angeles Times

“I thought what Tim recorded was amazing. The playing is beautiful, too. Tim always has such a beautiful sound”. – Keith Richards interview for Downbeat

“As with any great jazz, as long as the hooks form the thematic bookends, and in this instance, they’re sublimely familiar bookends, the sky ís the limit and Tim Ries reached that limit and beyond.” – Toronto Star

“Ries is a lithe improviser with a warm, penetrating sound and a strong compositional voice.” – San Francisco Weekly

“A captivating interpretation of the Stones songs.” – All About Jazz

“By taking the Stones tunes and wrapping them in velvety, luxuriant harmonies, then strapping them to a muscular funk groove while still leaving room to improvise, Ries has taken these melodic gems to sophisticated new heights” – Mike Flynn, Time Out-London

Joe Chindamo Trio

JOE CHINDAMO (with special guest Olivia Chindamo).

“The reason Joe Chindamo arrests you when you hear him is his sheer love of what he does, a love that sparkles from every note.”
James Morrison AM

Joe Chindamo is musical polyglot in the tradition of Bernstein and Previn. He is routinely described as one of the best jazz pianists in the world, though his art transcends jazz, having composed concertos, chamber music and lm music. He possesses an uncanny ability to personalise anything which enters his orbit, as is evident in his work with violinist and duo partner Zoe Black.

With twenty three CDs in his wake, many of them topping charts in Japan, countless world tours and a plethora of awards, he can comfortably take his place amongst the best jazz pianists in the world. Joe’s abilities and musical activities transcend jazz, as is demonstrated by his work with violin virtuoso Zoë Black, with whom he has formed a innovative duo and recorded two CDs entitled REIMAGININGS. and DIDO’S LAMENT.

A man with an international reputation, Joe has performed concerts all over the world. Of particular note, the Umbria Jazz Festival, The Tokyo Dome and The Lincoln Centre in New York. He also toured with famed US drummer Billy Cobham for over years.

His formidable pianism has earned him admiration from amongst the classical elite. In 2008 Joe was invited to perform three concerts in italy by the celebrated classical pianist Michele Campanella. (Joe was invited back to perform in Naples by Campanella in 2011). The celebrated piano maker Paolo Fazioli heard Joe at the Umbria Jazz Festival and invited him to play at his auditorium in Venice as

a result of an enthusiastic recommendation by the formidable Nikolai Demidenko. In Australia, Joe
is routinely invited to perform at all the principal festivals and a host of other venues ranging from house concerts to jazz clubs to the Sydney Opera House ( where, along with James Morrison, was a featured soloist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra )

Amongst a plethora of awards, Joe has twice won the MO award for Jazz Instrumental performer of the year, two BELL AWARDS for best album and the APRA award for best jazz composition of the year in 2009 for ‘Something Will Come to Light.”

More recently, Joe’s unique gifts as a composer of chamber music have come to the fore. Joe has been commissioned to compose and arrange for chamber ensembles such as ACACIA Quartet, the Freshwater and Seraphim Trios, Sarah Curro, the Flinders Quartet, David Berlin and Wilma Smith. Two of his works for string orchestra were recently performed by Australian Chamber Orchestra 2.

His Toccata for violin was chosen as the requisite Australian work by Anne Marie Johnston, who performed it at the ABC Young performers’ awards in 2013. An Australia Council Fellowship in 2003 facilitated his composing of a concerto for Accordion and Orchestra. His String quartet number 1 was premiered in june 2014. This was also funded by the Australia Council by way of a commission by Acacia quartet.

He has recorded 23 CDs under his own name and collaborated on other recordings with distinguished artists such as James Morrison, Ray Brown (of Oscar Peterson fame) and the Brecker Brothers. He has worked with artists such diverse artists as Olivia Newton John ( on her album Warm and Tender) and So e von Otter in a special performance at the Opera House with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2011
In 2006, recorded a live solo DVD in Tokyo entitled Joe Chindamo in Japan. This was released
in early 2007. In 2007, Joe was personally invited by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to perform at the Lodge for in Canberra for the signing in of his ministers. Later that evening Joe was invited to join the immediate family for their rst dinner at their new abode.

He has worked on more than 60 lm soundtracks and his piano playing is featured on such iconic Australian lms as PHARLAP, MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER II and THE SOUND OF ONE HAND CLAPPING.

Olivia Chindamo

Olivia Chindamo

“Beautiful intonation and time feel, she’s got the lot.”
Don Burrows AO MBE

Australian vocalist, Olivia Chindamo is a Melbourne based musician who is best known for her natural and effortless ability to improvise or “scat”. As the 2016 Bell Award winner for “Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year”, Olivia has firmly cemented her place in Australia’s flourishing jazz scene and is now being recognised internationally as the result of her acceptance to and attendance of the prestigious Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music 2016.

Her win of the Generations In Jazz Vocal Scholarship at James Morrison’s GIJ Festival back in 2014 marked the beginning of her success and brought her voice into the spotlight, quickly making her one of Australia’s most sought after jazz vocalists. Olivia has since recorded and released her debut album “Keep an Eye on Spring” (2015) and has performed numerous sold out shows in her home town with her various bands and projects as well as all around Australia with none other than James Morrison himself.

Often affectionately labelled as a “musician’s singer”, at 24 she has already earned the respect of many of her peers and has performed on stages of all sizes, including Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, The Basement (Sydney), Melbourne’s iconic Hamer Hall and several large scale festivals and concerts, including Sydney’s Twilight at Taronga Zoo Summer Series 2015 and 2016 and Darwin’s Jazz On The Green Festival ‘14. Olivia has studied locally and overseas, including summer short courses in both Italy and New York where she met and received high commendations from jazz greats such as the late John Taylor (UK) and Sheila Jordan (USA).

As well as fronting her own bands, Olivia often appears as a guest vocalist with James Morrison’s Big Band and performs and collaborates with many other Australian bands and projects.

Olivia’s understanding of harmony is second nature and makes each of her performances uniquely rich and spontaneous.

“She’s what every jazz instrumentalist wants to hear – when Olivia scats, it’s like having another great horn player in the band.”
James Morrison AM,
Australian multi-instrumentalist, composer, educator.

“Occasionally a special and unique singer appears out of the blue, Olivia Chindamo is such a singer. She is capable of producing a sensitive ballad to a roaring up-tempo. She is what is known as a “musician’s singer” – one who speaks the same language as a horn player. Keep your eyes and ears on Olivia so you don’t miss the great things that will happen for her.”
Graeme Lyall AM,
Australian saxophonist, composer, educator.


Aaron West & The Custodians

Aaron West & the Custodians

“The best New Orleans funk this side of New Orleans airport.”
John Van (Radio Gumbo)

In 2014 Aaron West packed his bags and headed to New Orleans. He had spent more than ten years as an in-demand sideman musician in Australia. Whilst in New Orleans he recorded an album of his original songs with the city’s best band: The Monster Gents. That album, ‘504 Soul’, went to #1 on the Australian Blues and Roots Carts, and has received radio airplay all over the world.

It was during this time in the US that West realised he needed to be come a bandleader. On returning to Australia he formed a band of like-minded musicians; the Custodians. Comprised of some of Australia’s best musicians, the Custodians are dedicated to keeping alive great soul, blues and funk music.

Steeped in the tradition of the greats that have come before them, they are more than just a band; they are Custodians.

“Proper, old school blues and soul… shades of Tower of Power.” – SoulandJazzandFunk.com (UK website)

“A bracing surprise… his vocals veer very close to Cleary’s when he feels like it.” – New Orleans’ OffBeat magazine

The Calibre Cats

The Calibre Cats

“Big sound of Brisbane’s Calibre Cats is bound to get you off your seat”

If you’re looking for something a little different, but a hell of a lot of fun, then you might want to get yourself down to see “The Calibre Cats” for a night of quality swing! Swing music – which had its heyday back in the 1920s – is back in vogue, and the big sound of Brisbane’s Calibre Cats is bound to get you off your seat and dancing all night long. The perfect source of entertainment for your wedding reception, corporate function or GREAT GATSBY/Roaring 20’s theme party.

The band features the lead vocals of Bridget “Dollface” Burnell, whose unique sound and sexy style has seen her dubbed as the only female gangster on the Australian swing scene, and backing her up is a hot shot group of musicians with a wide variety of credits to their name. So practice your jitterbug or lindy hop and get jumpin’!

Mal Wood & Bowery Hot Five

Mal Wood & Bowery Hot Five

“Mal Wood has had the honour of sharing the stage with International and National artists”

From performing in front of international audiences “as Lead Trumpet to sharing the stage with the Queensland Orchestra as Elwood from the Blues Brothers and as the Leading host for the A B C ‘s Christmas Children’s Performance’s, Mal Wood is an international trumpet playing and singing star.
Mal is a feature Artist with his 10 piece band for the Movieworld White Christmas and Seaworld Canivale shows.

He has headlined the Broadbeach Jazz Festival, The Brisbane Festival, Broadbeach Blues Festival ,The Arts Centre Gold Coast Basement Jazz Series, The Brisbane Jazz Club, Valley Jazz Festival, The Sydney Harbour Jazz Festival, Sunshine Coast Jazz Club, Tweed Valley Jazz Club, The Brisbane Cabaret Festival, Hervey Bay Jazz Club with his own swinging Quartet / Quintet and Septet.

Mal Wood has had the honour of sharing the stage with International and National artists including – Jerry Lewis, James and John Morrison, Grace Knight, Gina Jefferies, Tina Arena, The Idea Of North, Mr Percival, Rick Price, Rai Thyslewaite from Thirsty Merc, Stan Walker, Rikki Lee, Sophie Monk, John – Paul Young, Jay Lapaglia, Katie Noonan ABC’s Macca Across Australia, David Campbell, Rhonda Burchmore, Tom Burlinson, Kamahl, Michael Falzon – We will Rock You, Matt Lee – Dancing with the Stars, Luke Kennedy – The Voice and Ben Mingay – Wonderland.

Mal Wood has been the bandleader of the famous Bowery Hot Five for 13 years. These guys perform every Wednesday at one of Brisbane’s hippest wine and cocktail bars ‘The Bowery ‘in the famous Fortitude Valley entertainment district.

Mal Wood was the Conductor of the Gold Coast Youth Orchestra Big Band for 10 years.

Mal lays it down with the popular Blues Band, Big Kitty, on the 1st Sunday of the month at the Story Bridge Hotel.

Mal Wood is the Musical / Artistic Director of the Brisbane Jazz Club.

He is the Brass Tutor and Ensemble Director for St Stephens College in Upper Coomera on the Gold Coast.

Mal Wood is the President of the Gold Coast City Jazz Club and is constantly encouraging young artists to follow their dreams by giving them the opportunity to perform Live.


Brisbane River Jazz Festival will be held on
Saturday 8th April
12:00pm to 9:00pm
Waterfront Park, Newstead

The Brisbane River Jazz Festival is easily accessible by public transport with local buses and ferries running nearby regularly.

Click here for the City Glider link.
Click here for the City Cat link.

Stay and Play

At River Jazz

Stay in style whilst ‘jazzing’ it up at the brand new Sage Hotel located just minutes from the venue in the prestigious James Street precinct.

Sage Hotel James Street is the official accommodation partner of the Brisbane River Jazz Festival and is offering to guests that purchase tickets to the festival and book accommodation over the weekend of the 8th April a very special $60 off the standard room rate.

Simply follow these steps to get a great deal:

  • Book your accommodation with Sage Hotel James Street.
  • Request the special Brisbane River Jazz Festival ‘coupon code’.
  • Go to www.riverjazz.com.au and click the ‘Buy Tickets’ button.
  • Follow the instructions to purchase your tickets.
  • Enter the special ‘coupon code’ where highlighted.
  • Complete the purchasing transaction to receive your discount.

Click here for more information on Sage Hotel James Street.

Sage Hotel


Any enquiries regarding the Brisbane River Jazz Festival, please fill out the form below and we will get back to you ASAP.

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