Adrian Jackson confirms the end of an era with Wangaratta Jazz

Last night in a Facebook post, Adrian Jackson confirmed that the board of the Wangaratta Jazz festival is looking for a change of approach, new ideas, etc etc.

It appears that Jackson is no longer artistic director of the festival, with his contract having ended at the end of last year.

It is believed that the festival will shortly announce its plans for 2017.

Jackson had a 26 year tenure that created a vitally important platform for Australian Jazz (and Blues) music. It was a leading successful model for creating an arts festival in regional Australia, and has been replicated many times.

One of the trademarks of the Festival, from the very beginning was the high artistic standards and integrity of the programming, which have led to the Festival being known internationally.

Highlights are many, but have included the Scofield-Lovano Quartet, Dave Holland, Dewey Redman, David Murray Quartet, Kurt Elling, Linda Oh with Ambrose Akinmusire and Gregory Porter to name just a few.

The success of this event has been a partnership between the Festival and the jazz community, and there has been an outpouring of sadness from musicians and jazz community members who all acknowledge the deep and significant contribution Adrian has made to the Australian jazz scene.


The first Wangaratta Festival of Jazz (as it was then known) was staged in 1990. Blues were added to the program in 1994 – it has grown to become an internationally renowned event.

The Festival takes place each year in October.