Chaka Khan To Headline Melbourne International Jazz Festival In Exclusive Australian Gig

29 August 2023 | 9:15 am | Mary Varvaris

Chaka Khan will celebrate 50 years in music alongside Nile Rodgers and Chic in an exclusive performance.

Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan (Source: Supplied)

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A week after the announcement that Christina Aguilera would headline an exclusive gig at Flemington Racecourse as part of ALWAYS LIVE, the Victorian government’s latest live music program, Melbourne has scored another exclusive performance with Chaka Khan headlining the 2023 Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

From 20-29 October, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival will host over 100 performances in intimate spaces as well as huge venues.

As a press release notes, this year’s festival program will include “11 World premieres, 10 Australian exclusive performances, 16 new Australian and International collaborations and the largest proportion of free programming in the festival’s history.”

The fun begins on the opening weekend, with Chaka Khan headlining the festival at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Saturday, 21 October. The I’m Every Woman singer is celebrating 50 years in music alongside Nile Rodgers and Chic. ARIA-winning neo-soul queen Kaiit and Melbourne’s Horns of Leroy will open the show.

The opening weekend excitement continues at Federation Square, with MIJF First Nations Resident Artist Bumpy, Zimbabwean-born soul singer Thndo and singer-songwriter Rita Satch taking over from Friday, 20 and Saturday, 21 October.

In an unmissable Melbourne International Jazz Festival collaboration, South African artist Nduduzo Makhathini will team up with distinguished ARIA winner, acclaimed didgeridoo musician and 2023 Queensland Australian of the Year William Barton.

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Elsewhere on the bill, UK instrumental trio GoGo Penguin make their Australian debut at The Forum, while Chicago musician Marquis Hill will perform for two nights at The JazzLab.

Another thrilling collaboration arrives with Chinese-Australian composer and performer Mindy Meng Wang, who will join the multi-award-winning Australian composer and pianist Paul Grabowsky AO at Chapel Off Chapel. They’re just one of the performances to take place over five days at Chapel Off Chapel.

“I’m honoured to announce this program of incredible artists for MIJF 2023,” Artistic Director of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival Michael Tortoni said in a statement.

“This is one of our most bold and ambitious festivals yet – and we cannot wait for audiences to witness some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians and iconic artists as they converge on our great city over a huge ten days in October.”

Tickets to this year’s Melbourne International Jazz Festival are on sale now. The entire program and tickets are available here.