Tempo builds for jazz fest

A month after their release, ticket sales to this year’s Castlemaine Jazz Festival are building tempo with organisers now encouraging jazz fans to snap up an early bird pass while they can.
Staged over the June 7-10 Queen’s Birthday long weekend this year’s festival will bring more than 50 bands and around 300 musicians to Castlemaine for performances across multiple venues.
Now in its sixth year the festival aims to fill a niche on the country’s music calendar and steadily climbing ticket sales suggest it’s succeeding.
“We’re better than last year,” festival president Calum McClure laughs.
“A lot of the other (jazz) festivals have become jazz and blues whereas we’re a jazz festival.
“We’re trying to program quite a wide variety of music, but we’re still sticking with the genre of jazz.
“So we’ve got trad jazz through the 20s and 30s, the big band era and bebop, to jazz fusion and more contemporary styles.”
Acts on next month’s festival program range from 18-piece Melbourne outfit the Low Down Big Band, and Castlemaine’s own homegrown Goldfields Jazz Orchestra, to world-renowned Gambian vocalist Yusupha Ngum who will be bringing his six-piece African fusion outfit The Affia Band.
“There’s lots of interesting elements to the festival this year,” Calum says.
“Right now our early bird pricing is cheaper than tickets will be on the weekend of the festival.
“And this early bird will actually go all the way to the first day of the festival and then the tickets get more expensive.”
The festival president also notes a change to wrist band collection arrangements this time.
“In previous years you’ve had to go to the box office to get your wrist band,” he says.
“This year you’ll be able to go to any venue and at the venue you’ll be able to show your trybooking ticket and get a wrist band.”
Full details are on the festival website: www.castlemainejazzfestival.com.au

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