Adelaide Jazz Festival 26-30 April 2024

For people with passion for music

The Adelaide Jazz Festival (AJF) is a weekend-long program of live performances leading up to UNESCO’s International Jazz Day on 30 April. Presenting a broad range of jazz genres across city venues, its aim is to surprise, inspire and delight audiences by discovering new musical experiences. 


stage with musical instruments

The Adelaide Jazz Festival acknowledges the Kaurna People as the traditional owners of the Adelaide Plains, Kaurna Yerta. We thank Elders past, present and emerging who care for this land and waters.


Australia's only UNESCO City of Music

The Adelaide Jazz Festival (AJF) was founded and produced by Kaya Blum in 2023. The 2024 festival would not be possible without assistance from the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body; and support from the City of Adelaide’s Art and Cultural grant. 

Our creative partnership with 
Adelaide Festival Centre continues in 2024; and we will soon announce additional creative partners.

We are blessed with an abundance of music talent in Adelaide. The AJF builds on South Australia’s creative infrastructure, supporting local talent and small live music venues by facilitating performance opportunities. The festival invites audiences to discover the unique experience of live jazz - no two performances are ever the same.

The AJF is not just for jazz lovers, it's for people with passion for music.

Our Sponsors & Partners

2023 Artists


Bend began in early 2020, when guitarist Ryan Smith pulled a bunch of his best friends into a uni practice room to jam. What resulted is their unique combo of jazzy chords, funky melodies and hip-hop grooves – it’s a vibe so fresh, it can only be described as “bendy”. The fun, spontaneity and excitement in a Bend show are infectious, and the element of improvisation means that no two shows are alike. With two EPs of their original tunes now out in the world and a host of major gigs under their belt, Bend shows no signs of slowing down.

Kara Manansala – vocals

Dan Isler – trumpet

Ben Uhrig – alto saxophone

Maisie Broadhead – alto saxophone

Giacomo Gutilla – tenor saxophone

Harrison Smith – keys

Cam Tonkin – drums

Simon Possingham – percussion

Jay Fowkes – guitar

Ben Waechter – bass

The 6ft Pelicans​

6ft Pelicans

This instrumental nu-funk band is tapping into the not-so-crowded Adelaide funk-jazz scene. All members are from the University of Adelaide Elder Conservatorium of Music (Jazz), with bassist Jayden Dawson winning the Helpmann Academy Award for Outstanding Bassist (supported by DankPods) in 2022. They’ve played local gigs since early 2018, with the addition of tenor saxophone in 2020 taking them to exciting new heights. They’re all close mates who continue to push each other musically. The fun they have playing music together spills into their live performances, infecting audiences with their good-vibe grooves.

William Burton – tenor saxophone

Jayden Dawson – bass

James Nisbet – drums

Jake Dawson – guitar

Soylent Green​

Soylent Green

What is the secret of Soylent Green? Described as the “future of Australian Jazz,” this instrumental sextet blend traditional sounds with contemporary composition to create frenetic grooves and an overall sound that prioritises the music over any one soloist. 

In 2022 the band released their debut album which was nominated for the SoundMerch Australian Music Prize for best Australian album. As well as local gigs, they’ve performed at WOMADelaide and the prestigious Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues as equal winners of the national ‘Next Gen’ selection.

Daniel Isler – trumpet
Ruby Mensforth – trombone 
Giacomo Guttilla – alto saxophone 
Ciara Ferguson – piano
Cam Tonkin – drums
Tasha Stevens – bass

Penny Eames Band

Penny Eames

Penny Eames is an Adelaide jazz icon. She moved to Adelaide from Sydney after high school and soon joined the Bruce Gray Allstars as vocalist. Since the 1970s, she has led her own bands such as The Blue Noteriety, and performed with some of Australia’s jazz greats.

She toured nationally and internationally with Bob Barnard’s Jazz Band, playing on major stages in every capital city including the Sydney Opera House; and performed on ABC TV. She also appeared regularly on the Channel 7 variety show The Penthouse Club.

She sang with Dave Dallwitz and His Jazz Band on the classic Australian jazz album, The Ern Malley Jazz Suite. In 1974, the compositions were played live at the Art Gallery of South Australia in front of Sidney Nolan’s ‘Portrait of Ern Malley’ painting, with an introduction by Angry Penguins founder Max Harris. This iconic performance was broadcast on ABC TV.

Penny has continued to perform and contribute to Adelaide’s jazz scene throughout the decades, including teaching vocals at the Jazz College course at Adelaide University in the 1980s. Anita Wardell was her first student.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see Penny performing mainstream jazz classics with a carefully selected band of talented local musicians.

Penny Eames – vocals

Schmoe Elhay – tenor saxophone

Kerin Bailey – piano

John Aue – bass

Zed Crawford – drums

Lucky Seven

What started as a predominantly swing band doing Sinatra, Crosby, Martin and Prima standard tunes or the more contemporary Neo Swing, Lucky Seven were quick to expand their repertoire with strains of jazz, roots and rockabilly.

After mastering the swing standards the boys have put pen to paper and the result is original tunes that are reminiscent of the genre.

A driving rhythm section coupled with hostile horns blend together suitably with full-size vocals. Their wide appeal is evident and can have all ages and any joint jumping.

You can be guaranteed of an entertaining experience.

Jason Mallia – trumpet

Dean Barcello – guitar

Peter Caputo – upright bass

Gerard Spalding – drums

Matthew Kaesler – alto sax

Giovanni Clemente – tenor sax 

Rich Horn – baritone sax

Women In Jazz Adelaide

Presented by our Creative Partner: Adelaide Festival Centre

Women In Jazz Adelaide presents ‘The New Standard’. Inspired by GRAMMY®-winning drummer, composer, and producer Terri Lynn Carrington’s project New Standards: 101 Lead Sheets By Women Composers, this collective of artists are amplifying and celebrating the works of women in the jazz field over the past century.

The nine-piece band will showcase songs from pioneering female jazz composers through to fresh contemporary releases, uncovering the underacknowledged hidden gems in the jazz repertoire. 

Ruby Mensforth – trombone

Ciara Ferguson – piano

Enne Rignanese – bass

Andreanna Massacci – drums

Vashti Tyrrell – alto sax

Christina Guala – tenor sax

Charlotte Newhouse – trumpet 

Jasmine Ferguson – trombone 

Eliza Dickson – vocals

Danica Lammertsma – vocals 


Presented by our Creative Partner: Adelaide Festival Centre

Starting out as a party band, ER@SER DESCRIPTION quickly built a diverse repertoire of electrifying beats and complex harmonies inspired by artists from the past. In the Adelaide music scene, the trio has paved the way for electronic jazz music through their unique blend of jazz, fusion, pop, and soul. ER@SER DESCRIPTION have previously performed with acclaimed artists including Kate Ceberano, Ocean Alley, and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

Alexander Flood – drums

David Goodwin – synths

Jack Strempel – synths

Kara Manansala​

Kara Manansala

Kara is a songwriter and jazz-educated musician living and creating on Kaurna land. Inspired by the likes of Moonchild, Hiatus Kaiyote and other neo-soul and R&B icons, she and her mind-blowingly talented band are sure to bring the vibes with a combination of originals and their favourite bangers. Be amongst the first to see this exciting new talent.


Kara Manansala – vocals

Ben Uhrig – alto sax

Darcie Bills – keys

Tasha Stevens – bass

Cam Tomkin – drums

Django Rowe Quartet

From playing together weekly at the Grace Emily Hotel for years, the quartet, led by Django Rowe, has developed a sound that is unique. Drawing influence from the greats such as John Scofield, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Ornette Coleman, this band’s energy and conversation is infectious and inspiring. The quartet will perform a set of modern jazz originals and interpretations, then host the Late Night Jazz Jam on Saturday 29 April.

Django Rowe – guitar

Tom Noonan – saxophone

Dylan Paul – bass

Stephen Neville – drums 

DJ Oisima

Presented by 2KW Bar

With delicate dancing melodies and exotic imaginings, Adelaide’s Oisima has found a global audience with his emotionally connective, original productions. 

His exciting and exploratory journey through record collecting has seen him in the deepest pockets of jazz and world music with an expansive collection of anything weird and wonderful accumulated on vinyl.

DJ Troy J Been​

Presented by 2KW Bar

A stalwart of the Adelaide electronic music movement, Troy J Been has spent 30 years hunched over the turntables, twiddling knobs and sharing his uniquely eclectic taste with dancers and chin strokers alike. 

With a sound rooted deep in soul and jazz music, his selections encompass everything from hip hop to house, Brazilian, disco and broken beats. The busiest DJ in the city, Troy has played alongside some of electronic music’s most influential names. 

In addition to DJing, Troy has released music as The Sweet Fantastic, was General Manager of electronic music radio station Fresh 92.7 for 10 years, Chair of Music Industry Council & Director of Music SA and currently hosts Jewels Of Thought on the UK’s 1BTN.

DJ Mike Gurrieri

Presented by 2KW Bar

Mike Gurrieri is a DJ, radio presenter, label owner and music lover who has established himself as one of the most diverse and in-demand selectors on the Melbourne circuit. Priding himself on continually pushing new sounds as well as incorporating music from the past, Mike’s sets are always full of surprises.

His many years working behind the counter of several Melbourne record stores (presently Northside Records) has meant Mike has built up an incredibly diverse record collection over the years, incorporating elements of jazz, soul, disco, hip hop & electronic music from all over the world.

Aside from his regular DJ sets around the bars, clubs and festivals of Melbourne, Mike’s sounds can also be heard on a weekly basis on his radio show ‘Mystic Brew’ which airs every Tuesday morning at 9am on Melbourne community station PBS 106.7FM.

2023 Venues

Adelaide Festival Centre

King William St, Adelaide

Adelaide Festival Centre has hosted an annual UNESCO International Jazz Day concert since 2017. This year, another exciting concert will be held at the Dunstan Playhouse.

Wheelchair accessible.

 Hearing loop in selected seats – contact venue when booking. 

Arthur Art Bar

66 Currie St, Adelaide

Arthur Art Bar is a temporary art gallery and live music venue, making the most of this classic multi-storey art deco building before it’s demolished for a new hotel. Look for the ‘Avant-Garde’ vertical sign.

The Grace Emily Hotel

232 Waymouth Street, Adelaide

The AJF’s festival ‘hub’, the Grace is a live music icon in Adelaide. The Grace has supported weekly jazz jams on Wednesday nights for many years.

The Jade

142-160 Flinders Street, Adelaide

This intimate live music venue is located in the Rectory adjoining the historic St Pauls Anglican Church, built in 1863. Entrance to The Jade is via Flinders Street.   

Wheelchair accessible.

The Queens Lounge Bar

Corner of Playhouse Lane (off Light Square) and Gilles Arcade, Adelaide

The historic Queens Theatre, established in 1840, has turned the adjoining stables into a fabulous live music venue: the Queens Lounge.

Wheelchair accessible.

2KW Bar

2 King William Street, Adelaide

Situated on one of Adelaide’s most historically significant buildings, 2KW’s rooftop bar features stunning views across Adelaide. This is the place to go between gigs for a cocktail with a view and some seriously cool tunes. Two of Adelaide’s finest DJs, Oisima and Troy J Been, as well as special guest from Melbourne, Mike Gurrieri, will spin their eclectic range of jazz, electronica, Brazilian, funk, soul, disco and world music. Drop in between 3-6pm on Saturday to catch Mike’s set. All three DJs will rotate from 3pm until midnight on Sunday. Free entry!

Wheelchair accessible.

2023 Program

Friday 28 April

Venue: The Jade
Doors: 6.30pm
Band: 7:00pm

Soylent Green

Venue: The Grace Emily
Doors: 7.30pm
Band: 8pm

The 6ft Pelicans

Venue: The Jade
Doors: 8.30pm
Band: 9pm

Kara Manansala

Saturday 29 April

Venue: The Jade
Doors: 1.30pm
Band: 2pm

Penny Eames Band

Venue: 2KW Bar

DJ: Mike Gurrieri

Venue: Arthur Art Bar
Doors: 7pm
Band: 8pm


Venue: The Grace Emily
Doors: 8.30pm
Band: 9pm

Django Rowe Quartet

then late night jazz jam

Sunday 30 April

Venue: The Queens Lounge Bar
Doors: 4pm
Band: 4.30pm

Lucky Seven

Venue: Adelaide Festival Centre, Dunstan Playhouse

Women In Jazz Adelaide presents ‘The New Standard’

Venue: 2KW Bar
3pm – Midnight

DJs: Mike Gurrieri, Oisima and Troy J Been




Program is correct at the time of publishing, but may be subject to change.

Updates will be published on the website and through our social media platforms when possible.

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