Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival has announced that the ten-day festival will go ahead from 30 October to 8 November, with live events taking place at the festival hub, Mary’s Underground (the former site of The Basement) as well as Foundry616, Joynton Ave Creative Centre, the Australian Institute of Music and Venue 505.

Elysion Fields. Photo courtesy of Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival

“We are so thrilled the 2020 festival is going ahead, jazz is an ideal medium for seated, social distanced settings,” said the festival’s Co-Artistic Directors Zoe Hauptmann and Peter Rechniewski. “This year presents a unique opportunity for music lovers to experience the magic and intimacy of jazz.”

While travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic means the festival isn’t able to bring in guest artists from overseas, the 2020 SIWJF will embrace local international talent with cross-cultural projects spotlighting artists from Japan, Cuba, Peru, Sweden and Armenia.

The Opening Night Party at AIM will feature Gai Bryant’s 10-piece big band Caribe, as well as her sextet ALLY, joined by Peruvian songstress Melody Riviera.

Mahalia Barnes. Photo courtesy of Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival

The festival will also feature artists including Mahalia Barnes, Elysian Fields, Emma Pask, Elana Stone, Monica Trapaga and many more.

A favourite from the 2019 festival, Brazilian bossa-nova singer and nylon string guitarist Anna Setton will also be streaming in from São Paulo.

Sandy Evans – fresh from her Performance of the Year win at the 2020 Art Music Awards – will bring the festival to a close with a world premiere, joined by Japanese koto master Satsuki Odamura and bassist Steve Elphick at Venue 505.

“Few Australian musicians have been able to perform live since the onset of the coronavirus,” Hauptmann and Rechniewski said. “These artists are so excited to perform for audiences at this year’s festival.”


Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival runs 30 October to 8 November at venues around Sydney

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