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by Tony Roma
posted 27/05/2020

SIMA Jazz:NOW Wired Launching 6 June 2020

We’ve rebooted Jazz:NOW to connect artists and audiences at a time when it’s needed most. Our new digital program pairs seven intimate  studio performances with bonus vintage footage from the Australian jazz documentary The Pulse.

The Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA) will launch a new digital program Jazz:NOW Wired which will air bi-weekly from Saturday, June 6 with tickets at $12 and $8 for SIMA members.

It has been designed to keep industry employed and audiences engaged as venues gradually reopen.

High quality camera footage and audio captures the intimacy, diversity and immediacy of Australian jazz today in this seven-part season. Each performance has been paired with bonus vintage footage of iconic Australian artists including The Necks, Darren Percival, Alister Spence, Barney McAll, Scott Tinkler, Band of Five Names and Joe Chindamo captured as part of the 2001 Australian jazz documentary, The Pulse.

From middle eastern percussion to pedal steel guitar, Jazz:NOW Wired kicks off with National Jazz Award winning bassist and Thirsty Merc rocker Phil Stack in duo mode with songstress Virna Sanzone, followed by bonus archival performances of Bernie McGann Quartet feat. Sandy Evans and James Greening and Mike Nock’s Big Small Band.

2020 has brought unimaginable circumstances for artists. Overnight, the Australia’s live performance industry was annihilated by coronavirus. Reading the writing on the wall SIMA jumped into a Sydney studio in mid-March to record a two-day jazz session curated by SIMA’s Artistic Director, bassist and Music Director for Australia’s Women in Music Awards Zoe Hauptmann.

“We could see things coming to a stand-still so we booked in huge two days involving more than 25 musicians, carefully timed for distancing measures”.

Understanding that live music had been transformed for 2020 and perhaps longer, SIMA made a major investment in Sydney’s creative sector to produce the series, ensuring employment for musicians, curators, sound and technical engineers, video producers, designers, arts workers and publicists.

“Jazz is a genre that is built on innovation and embraces risk. We knew that we could use our agility as a smaller producer to continue to present work through COVID and provide an outlet for the industry at a time when it was most needed”.

In a normal year, many arts organisations would now be in planning mode preparing for the September flurry of annual subscription launches. SIMA is ahead of the curve pioneering a new virtual season for online audiences who have tuned in from as far as South Africa, Malaysia and Italy.

Hauptmann agrees there is a place for free content, but audiences need to recognise what goes into producing quality arts content and put a value on it, “the digital platform is here to stay, so the industry must collectively get in at ground level and build the right culture around developing this audience. We should not be giving it all away for free”.

For SIMA’s new season, this means online audiences will be greeted by a soft paywall. If you can’t contribute the suggested cost of the ticket, then you can choose what you pay, appropriate to what you can afford.

Who: SIMA’s JazzNOW Series

When: Launching 6 June 2020

Where: Online via Sima.Org.Au 

To Find Out More & Book Online Click Here