The Merimbula Jazz Festival – New South Wales Australia

The Merimbula Jazz Festival is a long-standing music festival held in Merimbula, a beautiful coastal town in New South Wales, Australia. Since its inception in 1981, it has grown into one of the more anticipated annual jazz festivals in Australia, attracting jazz enthusiasts and musicians from across the country and beyond.

The Music

At its core, the Merimbula Jazz Festival is all about the music. The festival usually features a diverse range of jazz styles, from traditional and Dixieland to modern jazz and blues, ensuring there is something for everyone’s musical taste. Over the years, it has hosted hundreds of bands and solo artists, creating a vibrant and inclusive environment for musicians of all ages and skill levels. The performers come from various backgrounds and bring their unique flavor and interpretation of jazz, making the festival a rich tapestry of jazz music.


The festival typically takes place across multiple venues in Merimbula. Historically, these venues have included clubs, halls, and open-air spaces, all within walking distance of each other. Each venue has its unique atmosphere, ranging from intimate settings perfect for solo performances or small ensembles to larger venues suitable for big bands.


One of the unique features of the Merimbula Jazz Festival is the Jazz Festival Parade. Traditionally held on Saturday morning, the parade showcases the musicians, their instruments, and often includes a display of colourful outfits. The parade makes its way through the heart of Merimbula, adding a sense of community spirit and fun to the festival.

Festival Events

In addition to the live performances and the parade, the festival usually includes other events like the Jazz Quest, which provides a platform for young and upcoming jazz musicians to showcase their talents. There may also be jazz workshops where attendees can learn about various aspects of jazz music, from its history to its diverse styles and techniques.

Community Impact

The Merimbula Jazz Festival plays a significant role in the local community, contributing to the cultural vibrancy of Merimbula. It brings together people of all ages in celebration of jazz music, fostering a strong sense of community spirit. Over the years, it has also helped raise Merimbula’s profile as a cultural destination.

Economic Impact

The festival has a positive impact on the local economy, attracting visitors from across Australia and internationally. These visitors contribute to the economy by staying in local accommodations, dining in local restaurants, and shopping at local businesses.

In conclusion, the Merimbula Jazz Festival is a delightful cultural event, featuring a variety of jazz music and fostering a vibrant community spirit. Its scenic location, combined with a passion for music, creates a unique and memorable experience for both performers and attendees. Despite its growth over the years, the festival has maintained its community-focused approach, making it a must-attend event for jazz lovers.