Kiama Black Beach awash with local young jazz talent

This year the Kiama Jazz & Blues Festival (KJBF) has partnered with the conservatorium to create an immersive musical experience, featuring the NextGen Stage to be curated by WollCon.

Set against the picturesque backdrop of Kiama’s Black Beach at the pop-up Café de Rude, this collaboration with good friends at Jazz Workshop Australia in Sydney, promises a daily jazz series from 10am to 2pm, transforming the charming locale into a haven for jazz enthusiasts.

Another of the festival’s highlights is the evening event (from 6pm), a collaboration with WollCon, Kiama Jazz & Blues Festival, and Laughter House Entertainment. The fusion of talent, creativity, and the stunning coastal setting makes it a must-attend for music lovers.

The NextGen Stage not only provides a platform for young musicians but also invaluable lessons in performance, teamwork, audience interaction, and professionalism. The exposure to public playtime is an essential part of music education, allowing students to grasp the intricacies of live performance, read the room, and overcome any stage fright they might have. Organisers of the festival agree.

“It’s not just about playing music, it’s about creating an experience, fostering a sense of unity, belonging and instilling confidence in young performers. The experience is also affirming that their musical endeavours hold significance and can delight audiences.”

Becky Guggisberg

Festival Director (KJBF) and South Coast Artist

The festival’s commitment to showcasing emerging talents extends beyond the NextGen Stage. Last year, the inclusion of legendary musician Barney McAll (piano) in a WollCon student jazz combo not only elevated the performance but also provided an invaluable learning experience. The students (pictured below: Leo Park and Ilija Gjorgievski) were treated to a first-hand look at professionalism and artistry, leaving an indelible impact on their musical journey.

Barney McCall and students
In essence, the collaboration between Kiama Jazz & Blues Festival and WollCon, especially through the NextGen Stage, exemplifies a harmonious blend of mentorship, performance, and celebration, nurturing the next generation of musical talent.

And in alignment with the this, an inspiring touch is found in the choice of the festival poster artist – a remarkable 12-year-old named Art Tui.

KJBF artwork poster

This symbolic gesture underscores the belief that the future of jazz and blues lies in the hands of our young artists. The festival not only showcases emerging musical talents but extends its embrace to young visual artists. This holistic approach amplifies the festival’s dedication to nurturing creativity across the arts, making it a truly inclusive celebration of talent and potential.