Pathways to sustainability

Diversity of programming for audiences in Australian jazz festivals


  • Sean Foran SAE Creative Media Institute



festivals, diversity, programming, Australia, sustainability


Australian jazz culture faces an interesting conundrum. Professional jazz musicians aim to create high-quality music in a range of styles, but finding the eyes and ears of the wider audience can be a challenge, especially in a music that constantly invents and reinvents what it is and what it can be. The national jazz festival circuit in Australia contains several key events: the Wangaratta, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane jazz festivals. For these festivals to continue to attract sustainable audiences, a diversity of programming featuring the crucial balance between local artists, international imports and Australian music must be a part of a robust programming strategy. This article investigates the diversity of artistic programming at the Wangaratta, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane jazz festivals, and the challenges faced by the regionality of their locations, in order to identify pathways for these festivals to connect with local audiences, musicians and wider fans of the music nationally.

Author Biography

Sean Foran, SAE Creative Media Institute

Dr Sean Foran is Course Leader for Creative Industries at SAE Creative Media Institute, an associate artist of the Australian Music Centre and Jazz Councillor for Music Australia. Most known for his work with the contemporary jazz trios Trichotomy & Berardi/Foran/Karlen he has received the prestigious Brisbane City Council’s Lord Mayors Emerging Artist Fellowship, AMC/APRA Award for Excellence in Jazz, APRA Professional Development Award for Jazz and the QLD Music Award multiple times.


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How to Cite

Foran, S. . (2021). Pathways to sustainability: Diversity of programming for audiences in Australian jazz festivals. Jazz Research Journal, 14(2), 160–182.