Take Note

Introducing MIJF’s 2024 Take Note Jazz Leader

Now in its sixth year, Take Note is a program that addresses the underrepresentation of women and gender diverse musicians in jazz by celebrating and promoting women and gender diverse leaders on stage and in high schools across Victoria.

Improvising flutist, composer and producer Erica Tucceri has been selected to lead the festival’s Take Note program in 2024.

Sitting at the cutting edge of the Melbourne/Naarm music scene, Erica has played an integral role on numerous celebrated local releases (ZFEX, Don Glori, Surprise Chef, WVR BVBY and more). She has garnered worldwide airplay and praise from the likes of Gilles Peterson and Motor City Drum Ensemble, alongside performances at festivals such as Golden Plains, Strawberry Fields, Ubud Village Jazz Festival (Indonesia), Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues, and MIJF.

As the Take Note Jazz Leader, Erica will receive a cash bursary to support the development of a new work to premiere at the 2024 Melbourne International Jazz Festival, and will undertake a dedicated Victorian high school tour, leading improvisation workshops and inspiring the next generation of Australian jazz.

“I am so honoured to be named the next Take Note leader. This award presents an incredible opportunity for career development and cross-generational mentorship, both for myself, and as a contribution towards the next generation of musicians.” – Erica Tucceri.

Hear more from Erica on our Content Hub.

The Take Note initiative is supported by The Harry Kestin Foundation, The Robert Salzer Foundation, The Angior Family Foundation, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (University of Melbourne), Monash University and ABC Jazz.

Melbourne International Jazz Festival wishes to acknowledge the generous support provided by the late Harry Kestin, who was instrumental in conceiving this program in 2019 and beyond.


About Take Note

Women and gender diverse people are underrepresented as leaders at every level of public and creative life—including in jazz performance.

Throughout their careers women and gender diverse people are often dissuaded from pursuing creative careers and leadership roles, from secondary school through to university and into the professional sphere.

There are a multitude of reasons for this, including societal pressure regarding gendered instrumental bias and a lack of relatable role models for emerging musicians—compared to their male counterparts.

In 2019 MIJF launched this program to support the career development of a Victorian early to mid-career leader in jazz while championing diversity and encouraging high school-aged musicians to consider a career in jazz performance.

The Take Note Jazz Leader receives: 

  • A $5,000 cash bursary to support the development of new original music to be presented at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.
  • A career development package comprising mentoring sessions and professional development shaped around the needs of the Jazz Leader. Examples of professional development may include areas such as artistic and composition development, marketing and promotion, project management, funding, etc.
  • A performance at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, for which the artist will be paid an additional performance fee.
  • Rehearsal space in the lead up to the MIJF performance.
  • Ticketing package for MIJF and networking opportunities based around festival events.
  • Regional and metropolitan mentoring engagements as part of the delivery of educational activities in secondary schools
  • University mentoring engagement

Program Alumni

In 2023, composer and saxophonist Cheryl Durongpisitkul became MIJF’s fifth Take Note leader. I Still Miss You, her powerful new suite for 12 musicians left the sold-out audience at MIJF 2023 overcome with emotion. Durongpisitkul also led workshops with her trio Koi Kingdom in high schools across Victoria, teaching students about collaborative composition and cultivating bonds with an ensemble. Read more about Cheryl on MIJF’s Content Hub.

The first iteration of the program, Tomorrow is My Turn, commissioned a new work by bassist and composer Claire CrossInto Light – and brought a touring band to metropolitan and regional high schools with an improvisation workshop and an opportunity to see women leading the way in music.

The initiative returned under the name Take Note in 2020 with saxophonist Holly Moore as the Jazz Leader. Holly premiered her suite of music at MIJF’s online music festival These Digital Times and connected with hundreds of students across Victoria with her online jazz workshops.

Trombonist and composer Ellie Lamb was the third Take Note leader in 2021, premiering their suite Between Worlds to a sold-out audience at The JazzLab, and receiving critical acclaim. Ellie inspired high school students across Melbourne with their jazz and improvisation workshops, giving students accessible tools to build skills and confidence in improvisation, whilst advocating for and championing gender diverse and LGBTIQA+ role models in jazz.

In 2022, saxophonist and composer Flora Carbo was selected as MIJF’s fourth Take Note leader. Performing a new suite of music with her ensemble, Ecosystem, Carbo performed to a sold-out audience at MIJF 2022. She also led workshops in high schools, inspiring and instilling confidence in students across Victoria to improvise and connect with others through music.

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