After an absence of two years due to COVID, the Merimbula Jazz Festival returns, ready to welcome visitors and celebrate the 40th festival.
One of the longest running jazz festivals in Australia the Merimbula Jazz Festival takes place over the Queen's Birthday long weekend from Friday, June 10 to Monday, June 13.
Six venues around the town will host multiple musicians and bands, including the renowned Royal Australian Navy Big Band.
Festival program co-ordinator Paul Dion said considering the past two years, now's the time to play jazz and have fun.
"From the traditional to swing, modern and funk, the festival has jazz in all its forms provided by over 80 bands and close to 500 musicians of all ages," Mr Dion said.
"There are over 170 hours of live jazz to choose from, spread across six venues from Friday evening until Monday afternoon."
On Saturday morning the jazz parade will include musicians, community groups, marching bands and dancers, led by the town crier.
An afternoon of food, music and other entertainment will flow into the early evening as part of the WinterSun Festival which is also taking place. This will include the Mitchies Jetty Salty Swim at 8am on Saturday, followed by a longer 1.2km Jetty to Jetty lake swim for the competitive cool water enthusiasts and the opportunity to take part in the 27km Wharf to Wharf Walk from Tathra to Merimbula on Sunday morning. See https://wintersunfest.com.au/ for more details.
As the sun goes down on Saturday evening, get your lantern love on and join the atmospheric Lantern Walk into town from Spencer Park, led by the town crier.
Everyone is encouraged to make their own lanterns (battery lights only) and the more creative the better!
Late on Saturday evening is one of the most anticipated events for jazz lovers, which showcases the often extraordinary talents of younger musicians under 25.
"Some of our past winners have travelled overseas with their music or made successful careers here in Australia," Mr Dion said.
On Sunday morning the popular Ecumenical Service which has a jazz/gospel flavour is held in Club Sapphire, Merimbula at 11am Sunday. The club is also host to the Jazz Art exhibition.
On Monday it's the Jazz Hatter's Party at the Merimbula RSL Club 11am-4pm - six bands, non-stop music.
See www.merimbulajazz.org.au for more details. A full jazz festival pass for the weekend costs $110. Session passes are also available.