Wangaratta Jazz Festival
Conceived by a group of locals in 1989 as a way to attract visitors and raise the profile of the town, the first Wangaratta Festival of Jazz (as it was then known) was staged in 1990, with attendances at around 2500.
Since then – with blues added to the program in 1994 – it has grown to become an internationally renowned event, attracting around 25,000 visitors, and more than 200 jazz and blues artists from the USA, the UK, Europe and Australia.
With a diverse, eclectic mix of jazz greats and rising stars, each year the program showcases jazz and blues of all styles, including original, contemporary, traditional, mainstream, experimental and improvised. A central feature remains the National Jazz Awards; a competition designed to encourage and promote young musicians.
The Festival has won numerous tourism and sponsorship awards, and is recognised internationally as the foremost jazz and blues event in Australia.