Yarrabah Brass Band with James Morrison

Queensland Music Festival (QMF) will open in spectacular style on Friday 17 July 2015, with an impressive line-up of world-class music and community events, providing an exciting teaser of what’s to come during the 17-day Festival, which will reach 26 cities, towns and remote corners across the state.

From Townsville in the north to Warwick in the west, the diverse opening day program includes a free open-air concert, an intimate chamber performance, pop-up pianos in Brisbane that everyone can come and play, and much more.

Artistic Director James Morrison will kick off the biennial Festival by launching Keys to the City, a huge social musical event that will see pods of pianos popping up in 40 different locations across Brisbane every day of the Festival.

On Friday 17 everyone is invited to come and play in Queen Street Mall, and watch special performances by musicians from Brisbane Regional Youth Big Band and the Queensland Conservatorium.

Another highlight of Brisbane’s opening day will see Grammy Award-winning double bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer make his Australian debut, alongside James Morrison and Queensland Symphony Orchestra in QSO, Morrison & Meyer at QPAC Concert Hall.

In Townsville a spectacular free outdoor event, One Hundred & One Years, will commemorate Australia’s armed forces and celebrate the peace we enjoy today through a dramatic musical narrative featuring the Australian premiere of the Saxon Wind Philharmonic Orchestra from Germany, led by one of the world’s greatest trumpet players Thomas Clamor.

Townsville IRAR Band; a specially formed 30-piece community ensemble; a young chorus of narrators; star Australian vocalists Ben Mingay (Wonderland, Packed To The Rafters), Naomi Price (Rumour Has It, Wrecking Ball, The Voice) and Townsville rising star Zac Parkes complete the performance.

Heading west to Warwick, Australian jazz stars Emma Pask and the John Morrison Trio will perform in concert at the Jumpers and Jazz Festival, as part of their exciting tour across regional and remote western Queensland in a light plane.

Back in Brisbane, Twilight in the Red Box will present sublime chamber music in the stunning State Library of Queensland’s riverside Red Box, featuring the University of Queensland Chamber Choir, directed by Graeme Norton.

QMF Artistic Director James Morrison said this year’s opening day program was ambitious and exciting.

“To attract such an internationally big name as Edgar Meyer to help kick-start the 2015 Festival is a huge coup, particularly for his Australian debut and world premiere performance,” Mr Morrison said.

“Alongside a host of other extremely talented artists and exciting musical ventures, the opening day program reflects what Queenslanders can expect over the next few weeks – a celebration of unforgettable musical experiences that are accessible to people across the state.

“We want people to come along, experience fantastic music and have some fun, wherever they are in Queensland.”

Other events on Friday 17 July include QPAC’s Seed – free live original music by local bands, and WhichWay Uncle where some of Australia’s most respected Indigenous artists will come together to celebrate over 40,000 years of the essential role of the “Song Man” and “Uncles” in indigenous culture.

Other events include Queensland Theatre Company’s A Country Song, inspired by the life of Indigenous superstar Jimmy Little, and Creative Generation – State Schools Onstage (CGEN), which will include Let’s Dance – an exciting new dance segment created in collaboration between QMF and Queensland Ballet.

With 11 world premieres, international stars including double bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer, indie songtress Megan Washington and Romanian Jazz pianist extraordinaire Marian Petrescu, hundreds of workshops and performances, Queenslanders should get ready to take part in events all over the state.

Date: Fri 17 Jul – Sun 2 Aug
For more information visit qmf.org.au

Queensland Music Festival is an initiative of the Queensland Government and a state-wide celebration of music with a vision to transform lives through unforgettable musical experiences.