OzManouche – September 26th to 29th 2024

Discover the only jazz manouche festival in Australia


      Thursday 24 November to Sunday 27 November 2022
  • Rub shoulders with international masters and world-standard Australian manouche bands that bring you authentic rhythms of Europe.
  • Get up close and personal with rhythm and lead guitars, violins and double basses.
  • Trade ideas, learn songs and get to know other jazz musicians through jam sessions on the river deck.

Emerging from traditional manouche style, younger players are adding new sounds and flavours every festival, with captivating results.

Walk away with new experiences, new exposures, new skills, and new friends.

Jazz that grew from campfires to concerts

It’s an exotic jazz style in a genre of its own. ‘Manouche’ is the beautiful French word meaning ‘gypsy’. Break down ‘OzManouche’ and you’ve got it—Australian Gypsy Jazz.

Django Reinhardt, its founder from way back in the 1930s, was from the Manouche clan of French travellers. Sitting around a fire with guitar, violins and maybe the odd accordion, they created a new jazz style that had no piano or drums, but ‘hot’ guitar with percussive rhythm.

Trending with today’s thriving European jazz manouche scene, OzManouche captures the hearts of young and old with its spontaneity and spark. Flavours of music from the cobbled streets of Paris and rural France fill Brisbane Jazz Club. The energy of manouche jazz pulses through fingers on guitars, violin bows and on to a knee-slapping audience.

Its popularity had grown since it started in 2005. Tickets have sold out in recent years.

The program

In November each year, this four-day festival brings you riveting rhythm, melody and improvisation.

  • Top international guests perform two sets each evening, with a third jam session
  • Instrument-specific workshops add spark to your skills.
  • Open jam sessions go all weekend on the club’s river deck. Hang out, learn, share, laugh, and meet like-minded musicians from all over Australia.

The spontaneity of this style means you never know exactly what you’re going to get.
But it’s always pure, honest music filled with zest and flair.

Who is the festival for?

Are you fascinated by fast fingers on an acoustic guitar or violin?
Would you enjoy an accordion serenade in a café on a cobbled street in France?
Does your foot tap along to tunes?
Then you’ll be right at home at this festival.

Manouche jazz is highly inclusive. You’re welcome whether you’re:

  • a new musician or hardcore veteran
  • a player or a listener
  • student or professional
  • guitarist, violinist or bass player

Why there’s a manouche jazz festival

The Australian patron of this festival, Ian Date, was the first to introduce this distinctly European form of jazz in Australia. His passion for it was caught by Ewan MacKenzie, a Brisbane-based guitarist on the blues scene in the early 2000s. Influence from both musicians fanned a flame that spearheaded OzManouche. The festival now attracts visitors nationwide.

The late Ewan MacKenzie passed the baton to Cameron Jones, a fervent manouche jazz performer. Cameron now honours MacKenzie’s memory through the ongoing expansion of the festival. His vision is to pass on the vibrancy and passion of manouche jazz to the next generation, and to provide a more prominent platform for female musicians in this genre.