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Australia's Capital of Jazz? The (re)creation of place, music and community at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival

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An otherwise little-known country town has become a 'capital' for one creative scene—jazz. The Wangaratta Festival of Jazz plays a significant role in both nourishing the local community and Australian jazz music. The festival creates a unique space for performance, listening and interaction which intimately connects Wangaratta with major cities in Australia and overseas. Despite the fact jazz has no roots in Wangaratta, the town is increasingly significant in jazz circles as the pinnacle of musical excellence and integrity for 4 days of the year. The festival's impact lives on beyond the physical boundaries of the festival through new social connections, recordings and ensembles which are born out of it. In a very real sense, Wangaratta is Australia's capital of jazz because it has built a reputation as the place where jazz belongs.

Keywords: Festival; Wangaratta; jazz; music; place-based belonging; rural

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Candidate for Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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