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The Melbourne International Jazz Festival was first held in 1998 and has been presented at several different times of year. It now occurs over the first two weekends of June, including the Queens Birthday long weekend.

Now in its 21st year, each 10-day Festival now typically sees more than 40,000 people attend over 100 public events, with over 500 international and Australian artists performing and collaborating at over 20 of Melbourne’s iconic venues.

In addition to performances by headline Australian and international artists, the wide-ranging program also includes free concerts, family events, late night art parties, artist workshops, film screenings, in conversations, club sessions and more.

Adrian Jackson was Artistic Director from 1998-2004, after which Albert Dadon became Chairman. Dadon invited the director of Italy’s Umbria Jazz Festival, Carlo Pagnotta, to be guest Artistic Director in 2005. The festival was not held in 2006 due to the Commonwealth Games, and Dadon was Artistic Director for the 2007-2008 Festivals. He was succeeded in 2009 by Michael Tortoni, who continues to hold the position. Sophie Brous was Program Director for the 2009-2011 Festivals, Melanie Pose was the Program Director for the 2012-2018 Festivals'.