Walking Tacos and New Audiences: The Joys of International Touring

Spotlighting the strength of the Australian jazz scene and creating opportunities for artists to expand their markets is a central tenet of MIJF’s sector development activity. As one of our valued donors recently put it, There is enormous talent in Australian jazz. There is a unique Australian voice that thoroughly deserves to be heard and appreciated by a wider audience.”

One of the highlights of our International Engagement Program last year was a very special showcase event featuring two exceptional Australian ensembles (Zela Margossian and Brekky Boy) at The Barbican Centre as part of the prestigious London Jazz Festival. Trailblazing Australian electronic jazz rock trio Brekky Boy were also supported by MIJF to attend South by Southwest (Austin, US)—with both opportunities helping to boost their global visibility and providing additional collaboration and presentation opportunities.

We caught up with Brekky Boy’s Taylor Davis about the experience.

MIJF: Last year you played at the iconic SXSW and London Jazz Festival, both supported by MIJF. Can you tell us a little bit about what the experience was like for Brekky Boy?

Brekky Boy: It was mad! We really appreciated the support from MIJF. SXSW was our first time performing in the US – so this was a big deal for us. We played a bunch of well-attended shows which were really fun, ate lots of walking tacos and attended meetings/conference sessions etc. London Jazz Fest was also mad. Great turnout at the show and loved hanging out with both the MIJF crew and the Zela Margossian quintet, amazing group of people. We also got to see some incredible artists like Makaya McCraven and Mark Guiliana and had some great networking opportunities.

MIJF: What other gigs or opportunities came about as a result of these two experiences?

Brekky Boy: There are future gigs that have come as a result that I can’t talk about yet (haha!). I booked other shows in the UK and Finland to tie in with London Jazz Fest in November. A highlight was playing at Tampere Jazz Happening on a triple bill with Camilla George and Marcus Strickland which was epic.

MIJF: What’s the best thing about touring internationally?

Brekky Boy: Eating delish food, surfing new waves and performing your own music in cool spaces to new audiences.

MIJF: Where can we see / hear Brekky Boy in 2024?

Brekky Boy: Next show is at Sydney Con Jazz Fest on June 2nd then we’re playing in Canada and Europe. Trying to get a new album out soon but it’s taking aaaaaaaages.

MIJF: We’re currently raising money to support five more Australian ensembles to play at London Jazz Festival in 2024. Is there any advice you’d give to future ensembles heading to the Festival as part of our International Engagement Program?

Brekky Boy: Try and book as many shows as you can in the UK and Europe while you’re over there. Australia is a long way away! Maximise the opportunity as much as you can.

Building on last year’s success, MIJF will present five Australian ensembles at the London Jazz Festival in 2024, as well as supporting other touring opportunities and partnerships within Australia and abroad. The resounding success of the London Jazz Festival showcase in 2023 has proven the value of targeting our export activity around major international festivals where there is already a critical mass of industry and engaged audiences.

Our Amplify Jazz appeal is raising funds to help make these exciting opportunities possible—amplifying the reach of our local artists and helping to develop international markets for their outstanding work. Right now, every donation is being matched—dollar-for-dollar—thanks to Creative Australia’s Plus1 Program. You can read more about the appeal, and show your support, here.

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