Take Note

The Take Note initiative is supported by the Harry Kestin Foundation, the Robert Salzer Foundation, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne, Monash University, Four Winds Concerts Inc., and ABC Jazz.

2023 Applications now open

We have begun the search for an early to mid-career jazz leader to lead the Take Note program into its fifth year. In 2023 we are thrilled to expand the Take Note program to include a paid 5-day creative development Artist Residency in Bermagui (NSW), thanks to the generous support of Four Winds.

The successful candidate will receive:

  • A $5,000 cash bursary to support the development of a new work to be presented at the 2023 Melbourne International Jazz Festival.
  • A 5-day Artist Residency at Four Winds, Bermagui (NSW) with the recipient’s chosen ensemble, including travel and accommodation, to work on creative development of the MIJF commission. The residency will include a public outcome with scheduling of the period mutually agreed upon between MIJF, Four Winds and the Take Note Jazz Leader.
  • 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 2023 Melbourne International Jazz Festival (20-29 October), for which the artist will be paid an additional performance fee.
  • Ticketing package for MIJF 2023 and networking opportunities based around Festival events.
  • Regional and metropolitan engagements as part of the delivery of educational activities in schools for which the artist will be paid an additional facilitation fee.

You are eligible to apply for Take Note if you:

  • Are a woman or gender diverse musician
  • Identify as an early to mid-career jazz leader
  • Reside in Victoria
  • Currently work as a professional musician in the Victorian jazz industry

How do we define an early to mid-career jazz leader?

We will accept applications from anyone who self-identifies as an early to mid-career jazz leader. As a guide, you will likely have practiced professionally for less than 15 years, especially in the context of a band/ensemble leader. There are no specific age restrictions or requirements.

Apply Now

Applications are open until 12pm on Tuesday 14 March 2023.

Click here to read more about the program and download the application pack.

Submit your application via our application form here.

Any questions? Please contact Merinda Dias-Jayasinha, Festival Administrator & Take Note Program Coordinator on merinda@melbournejazz.com or by calling (03) 9001 1388.

More InfoApply Now

About Take Note

Gender equity and artist development initiative

Now in its fifth 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.

We believe that ‘if you can see it, you can be it’.

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 a program that supported the career development of a Victorian emerging to mid-career leader in jazz while championing diversity and encouraging high school-aged musicians to consider a career in jazz performance.

The first iteration, Tomorrow is My Turn, commissioned a new work by bassist and composer Claire Cross – Into 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.

About Four Winds
Creative development residency supporter
Founded in 1991 as a volunteer led Festival nestled in pristine bushland at Barragga Bay near Bermagui NSW, Four Winds has evolved into an organisation of national significance giving voice to people and place in partnership with local, national and international like-minds who expand creative horizons. Guided by Artistic Director Matthew Hoy’s vision to cultivate and refine the centrality of the arts in our lives through an integrated approach to community and professional practice, Four Winds site (comprising architecturally designed outdoor Soundshell alongside a 160 seat indoor Pavilion) and staff support an ongoing program now established as a coveted destination for the creation, presentation and documentation of experiences through a range of performance, residences and participative events for all ages.

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.

Donate to support Take Note

MIJF is committed to amplifying the impact of this initiative—and aims to bring the program to a growing number of high school students throughout the year in a continued effort to promote cultural change within the sector and the broader community.

We greatly appreciate donations—big and small—towards the annual Take Note program. Your support will ensure more diverse leaders are more visible in leadership roles, inspiring the next generation of women and gender-diverse musicians to lead the way into the future.

Donations of $2 and over are tax-deductible. Donate online today or contact our team on (03) 9001 1388.

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