Artistic director James Morrison was in Gladstone to meet with council to plan the 2013 Queensland Music Festival.
Artistic director James Morrison was in Gladstone to meet with council to plan the 2013 Queensland Music Festival. Christopher Chan

Morrison set for jazz festivals

JAZZ musician James Morrison has an ambitious vision for the future of the Queensland Music Festival.

The trumpeter was named the new artistic director of the bi-annual event's 2013 and 2015 festivals yesterday.

"You hear music festival and director and you think 'that sounds like a lot of paperwork to me'," he laughed.

"The turning point was when I read what the festival is about, their vision statement, which is to transform lives through unforgettable music experiences.

"That's my mission in life."

Morrison, who takes the torch from recently departed QMF artistic director Deborah Conway, said his top priority is to unearth and highlight more Queensland musicians.

"There is so much great country music in this state.

"Tamworth lays this claim to being the country music capital of Australia but half the acts are from Queensland," he said.

"Another thing is all these wonderful areas of different ethnic groups who come here to Australia and settle in Queensland and they've got their own music and I'm not hearing it.

"I'm walking around Brisbane and I'm not hearing all of this great Vietnamese and Brazilian music."

Morrison also plans to expand the reach of the state-wide festival by taking more artists and productions on the road and online through web casts.

"It's too early to give you any specifics but we're not just going to have something happen in a place," he said.

"Behind the Cane in Bowen was fantastic, but did anyone anywhere else hear it?

"I want as many of the things that can travel to travel as extensively as they can.

"People are sitting in their town and basically the festival comes to town and engages with them."

The 2011 Queensland Music festival featured 202 events in Brisbane and regional and remote Queensland.

The festival will hold inter-year events this year before the next state-wide festival in July 2013.



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