'A tale of five festivals'

exploring the cultural intermediary function of Australian jazz festivals

Brent Keogh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper considers the cultural intermediary function of Australian jazz festivals. It presents a detailed analysis of programming patterns across five Australian Jazz music festivals – namely, the Manly Jazz Festival, Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues, Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Brisbane International Jazz Festival, and Bellingen Jazz Festival – in the ten year period, 2004-2014. Using this data, this paper draws attention to the 'search and select' function of cultural intermediaries speaking to the broader significance of festivals as sites of popular music study. This paper considers a number of programming trends, including a comparison between local and international musicians; the frequency with which musicians performed at each festival and across festivals; issues of gender in programming; and identify musicians who could be placed into a number of genre categories, with a particular focus on those musicians who identify in some way with the category of World Music. This study presents an insight into current trends in jazz scenes in Australia and the roles that festivals play as cultural intermediaries in contributing to this aspect of Australian cultural life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-201
Number of pages20
JournalJazz research journal
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Australia
  • cultural intermediary
  • festivals
  • jazz

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