Home Home Brisbane Big Band Festival (17 – 21 May, 2017)

In May, 2017, the  Brisbane Big Band Festival shaped up to be another example of how much this style of alanmusic is loved by old and young alike.

Indeed the enthusiasm and dedication of many of our young musicians was extremely heartening as the musical pendulum seems to be sweeping towards jazz and people of all ages are discovering what a wealth of  absorbing musical enjoyment they can find in hearing and playing this creative art-form.

This year from 17 – 21 May the good old rafters of the BJC rang to the sounds of around 531 musicians of every age, playing in 30 bands in 7 sessions over five days – surely the biggest concentration of bands that Brisbane ever sees throughout the year. Even the exotic sounds of some of the band names are enough to attract the curious…..Mango Jam, Swingalicious, and Barefoot Brass conjured up some interesting images.

As producer and presenter of this Festival, I am immensely proud that this event  gathered even more force in our 6th year. The most surprising factor is that every year new bands keep appearing that we have never heard of and impressing us with the quality of their playing.

My good friends and patrons of the festival John Morrison and Jacki Cooper, together with John Hoffman, with all their combined years of big band experience, are always just as eager as I in encouraging and promoting the musicianship and expertise of all our big band musicians.

Our claims and belief that Brisbane is becoming the ‘Jazz Capital of Australia’ are well-founded after seeing the results of this Festival alone.

Of course I could not write about this subject without giving a plug for my 28 year association with the one and only Brisbane Big Band and, as always, I loved singing with them on the closing night of the Festival.


Alan Western

Vice-President – Brisbane Jazz Club