Melbourne International Jazz Festival announce headline artists

MIJF Esperanza Spalding presents Emily's D+EvolutionPrior to the official program launch in mid-March, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival have announced the headline artists for the opening and closing nights of this year’s Festival.

Making her Australian debut, jazz wunderkind Esperanza Spalding will open the 2016 Festival with her groundbreaking new project, Emily’s D+Evolution, while Wayne Shorter takes to the stage with three of the world’s finest jazz musicians – Danilo Perez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade – for an evening of unrivalled virtuosity on the closing night of the Festival.

Esperanza Spalding presents: Emily’s D+Evolution (USA)
From her early years performing with the likes of Joe Lovano and Wayne Shorter, to the international successes of her Chamber Music Society and Radio Music Society albums, the young bassist/vocalist/composer has continually blazed unmarked territory.

Her announcement as Best New Artist at the 53rd Grammy Awards – an unprecedented win in that category by a jazz musician – has become the theme of Spalding’s musical life, setting her apart as the most important new voice in jazz today. Her new project: Emily’s D+Evolutionmaintains her lifelong passion for seeking new sounds and making the unprecedented her norm.

Born during a “sleepless night of full moon inspiration,” Emily’s D+Evolution rekindles Spalding’s childhood interest in theatre, poetry and movement through a series of musical vignettes which magically unfold in a whimsical mixture of performance, video and text.

Venue: Forum Theatre, corner Flinders Street and Russell Street, Melbourne
Performance: Friday 3 June 2016 – doors: 8.30pm / show: 9.30pm
Information and Bookings:

Wayne Shorter Quartet (USA) 
For over 50 years composer and saxophonist Wayne Shorter has shattered the limitations of jazz with his transcendent musicality. His iconic body of work as a solo artist, as a part of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Miles Davis’ Second Great Quintet and fusion pioneers Weather Report, has defined and redefined jazz for generations.

Compositionally unmatched, winner of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, musical icon. No matter what superlatives are thrown Shorter’s way, nothing compares to the experience of a live performance by “jazz’s greatest living small-group composer and a contender for greatest living improviser” (New York Times).

“The most skillful, mutually attuned and fearlessly adventurous small jazz group on the planet… (the quartet) celebrates humanity’s hope for harmony” – The Guardian

Venue: Hamer Hall – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Performance: Sunday 12 June 2016 – 7.30pm
Information and Bookings:

Tickets for above two shows go on sale on Tuesday 11 February. The Program Launch takes place on Tuesday 15 March. The 2016 Melbourne International Jazz Festival runs: 3 – 12 June. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Esperanza Spalding (supplied)