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Yarra’s Edge Jazz Festival

28 Feb 2012

Yarra’s Edge could become the home of a national school band competition if Destination Docklands has its way.

Destination Docklands account manager Bill Reid has organised the first event to take place on the weekend of March 3 and 4 as part of the opening weekend of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

Mr Reid said up to eight school jazz bands would perform on the weekend and he hoped that the event would grow into a national competition in future years.

“We think that school bands and jazz are a great fit for Yarra’s Edge and we can see the event growing into something really significant in future years,” Mr Reid said.

He said the Yarra’s Edge Jazz Festival came about in response to a belief that the precinct needed to create something compelling for the public to want to discover Docklands’ hidden secret during the opening weekend of the Food and Wine Festival.

“It came about during a discussion about what was going to get people off the boats when they stopped at Yarra’s Edge,” Mr Reid said. “We wanted to come up with something that would present a point of difference and the answer was jazz.”

He said local businesses and developer Mirvac had got behind the idea with sponsorship dollars.

“Special thanks to local sponsors – Kinya, Loading Dock, Apartment Genies, Bistro Vite, Papillon Day Spa, Marina YE, Mad Duck Café, Kingston Management, Barry Plant and, of course, to our major sponsors Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and Mirvac,” he said.

Mr Reid said Yarra’s Edge was Docklands’ hidden secret and was not well known.

“In many ways it is hidden in the shadow of Southbank and South Wharf and it also can’t really be seen behind the towers from the freeway and Lorimer St,” he said.

“We think that promoting Yarra’s Edge in this way is a win-win situation.  It will result in positive exposure for the precinct and high schools are very pleased to be given the opportunity to perform in public.”

Mr Reid said musician Adam Johnstone had engaged eight school bands to perform, which was a great effort considering the Saturday date clashed with a major rowing regatta.

The line up is:

  • Saturday, March 3 – St Leonards College Jazz Band; Brass Monkeys (ex McKinnon Secondary College; VCA Secondary College; and St Leonards College Latin Band.
  • Sunday, March 4 – Scotch College; Wesley College; VCA 1st Year Students (ex VCA Secondary College); and ex Blackburn Secondary College.

“The schools are very enthusiastic as they don’t often get the opportunity to perform in public,” Mr Reid said.

“Next year it is hoped that the festival will be extended nationally and we hope to also attract big bands as well as jazz bands,” he said.

“If the sponsorship is forthcoming, there’s no reason why we can’t turn this into a national competition.”

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