past event

Close Encounters

The Channel, Arts Centre Melbourne

Experience a close encounter with the world’s leading jazz artists in our free series of intimate conversations and enlightening panels.

Please note that these are free events for which pre-registration is highly recommended. Auslan interpreting is available on request.


Sunday 16 October – 2:30pm

Beyond Words

Presented in partnership with Multicultural Arts Victoria.

Following a vital discussion as part of MIJF 2021, examining the historical and cultural influences that have shaped modern jazz, blues, Latin jazz and more, Beyond Words is back this MIJF for round 2. Facilitated by artist, curator and Multicultural Arts Victoria Co-CEO Zii Nzira, hear from panellists NIASHA, Craig Calhoun and Danny Atlaw as they dive into a lively discussion exploring the connection between Eastern, Southern and American Jazz.



Sunday 16 October – 4:00pm

Christopher Hale and Minyoung Woo (Aus/South Korea)

Hear from acclaimed Melbourne bassist Christopher Hale and Korean percussionist Minyoung Woo as they discuss their myriad influences and approach to cross-cultural collaboration.

Having grown up playing Brazilian, Afro-Cuban music and flamenco, Hale has always involved himself deeply in musical traditions, drawing on deep understandings of these styles to influence a personal approach for jazz and improvisation. He has performed alongside international artists Sting, Jamey Haddad, Jim Black, Virgil Donati, Jo Lawry, Bae Il Dong, Brad Shepik and Jojo Mayer among many others. Following a chance encounter in Korea in 2011, he became immersed in traditional Korean drumming and its teaching system of hohŭp, a breathing and movement method for creating rhythm. Following 8 years of study, he developed a way to assimilate the principles of hohŭp into an original system for body-movement generated rhythm.

Minyoung Woo is a multi-award-winning Korean traditional musician, committed to communicating with audiences beyond nationality. She began playing the Janggu (Korean hourglass-shaped drum) at 9 years old, before studying classical court music, chamber, folk, contemporary and shaman music at the Korea National University of Arts. She was the winner of Korea’s major rhythm competition, and has collaborated with traditional and contemporary artists in Indonesia, Mongolia, Thailand, France, Mexico and Australia.



Monday 17 October – 5:30pm

Al Di Meola (USA)

Al Di Meola sits firmly among the greatest guitarists of our time, with a celebrated international career spanning almost five decades and numerous prestigious accolades under his belt, including a BBC Lifetime Achievement Award, the Honorary Miles Davis Award presented by the Montreal Jazz Festival, and numerous Grammy nominations and awards.

A bona fide guitar luminary and prolific composer, Di Meola has amassed over 20 albums as a leader while collaborating on many more with the likes of fusion supergroup Return to Forever (with the late Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White) and the celebrated acoustic Guitar Trio featuring fellow virtuosos John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia.

A pioneer of blending jazz with musical styles from around the world, Di Meola’s dazzling technique on both acoustic and electric guitars has afforded him regal status among the hordes of fretboard fanatics who regularly flock to his concerts, while the depth of his writing along with the soulfulness and inherent lyricism of his musical expression have won him legions of fans worldwide beyond the guitar aficionado set.



Tuesday 18 October – 5:30pm

Dan Tepfer (USA)

One of his generation’s extraordinary talents, Dan Tepfer has earned an international reputation as a pianist-composer of wide-ranging ambition, individuality, and drive—one “who refuses to set himself limits” (France’s Télérama). The New York City based Tepfer has recorded and performed around the world with some of the leading lights in jazz and classical music, from Lee Konitz to Renée Fleming and Pharoah Sanders, and released ten albums of his own in solo, duo and trio formats.

This MIJF Tepfer can be seen performing at the Melbourne Planetarium, showcasing his pioneering skill in a truly unique Festival experience by programming a Yamaha Disklavier to respond in real time to the music he improvises at the piano. Meanwhile, another computer program will turn the music into stunning animated visual art projected onto the domed ceiling of the Melbourne Planetarium.

Join us in conversation with this unique artist as we dive deep into his process, influences, and fascinating technical innovations at the intersection between science and art.



Saturday 22 October – 4:00pm

The Mental Health of Working Jazz Musicians

Presented in partnership with Support Act

People who work in music experience much higher rates of depression, anxiety and addiction than the general Australian population. But why is this the case and how can the jazz community work together to change the narrative?

Hear from mental health experts and artists as they unpack the state of jazz musicians mental health in 2022.

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