New Lambton will become a haven for music this weekend when the Newcastle Jazz Festival returns for the 32nd instalment.
Between Friday, August 23, and Sunday, August 25, some 200 musicians in 25 bands will perform more than 50 hours of music across four stages at Wests New Lambton.
"This year's line-up is one of the most diverse and exciting yet, with an eclectic program encompassing everything from traditional New Orleans jazz, swing bands, jazz orchestras and funk and blues to solo jazz piano through to contemporary, gypsy and Brazilian jazz," Doug Saxon, a coordinator for the festival, said.
"There's something for every music lover across the weekend. This year's program features an exciting line-up of some of Australia's best female jazz music artists."
The Emma Hamilton Quartet will be channelling the flavours of Edith Piaf in performances that will include original French and Cajun jazz numbers.
The Radioettes will pay homage to the iconic Andrews Sisters. Entertainer Ami Williamson will perform a mixture of jazz classics and her own compositions with the Galapagos Duck rhythm section.
American guitarist Sheryl Bailey will perform gold standards from the American songbook as well as her own original compositions across the weekend.
On Friday, Canberra's young 'Zackerbilks' will finish the night with a high energy performance.
George Washingmachine, leading Sydney's Unity Hall Jazz Band, and Geoff Power's West Coast Jazz Band will appear on Saturday afternoon.
Sunday will feature Melbourne's Slipdixies featuring Susy Hull on washboard and vocal, local favourites The Licorice Allsorts and a tribute to Bob Crosby's Bob Cats from The Oz Cats.
Festival favourites Psycho Zydeco return with their earthy blend of traditional Cajun, blues and swamp jazz - music that was born in the bayous of Louisiana's deep south.
For the very first time, and for a literal change of pace, the festival will welcome Vov Dylan, the world's fastest violinist. Dylan is set to amaze music lovers with his lightning fast renditions alongside Glen Amer on piano and vocals. They will delve into jazz hits from the American songbook.
The Blues Point Vocal group will sing acoustic jazz accompanied by one of Australia's best double bass players, Craig Scott.
Swing is king in this year's program with Melbourne's Shifafa showcasing tunes from the 20s, 30s and 40s. Clarinettist Andy Firth will lead his Nova Swing Band.
Saturday evening will go out with a bang with The Dungeon Big Band playing swing hits featuring vocals and double bass from the multi-talented Heather Price.
On Sunday morning, jazz fans can enjoy a taste of New Orleans Gospel music with the Geoff Power Jazz Band and acclaimed jazz Gospel singer, Lee Gunness.
The audience will be invited to pick up an umbrella and join in a colourful New Orleans style umbrella parade to the iconic When the Saints Go Marching In.
Those who like their jazz with a modern twist will enjoy the contemporary sounds of the John Harkins Quartet on Saturday afternoon, and the Jacob Neale and Dan Barnett Quartets following later in the evening.
Popular Newcastle performers to entertain the crowd across the weekend include Terrence Koo Trio, Fish Fry, Half Nelson, Wobbly Boot Jazz and Blues Band, Rehab Brass Band, Sax Blue, Eric Gibbons New Orleans Band and Swing Company with vocalist Renee de Ville.
A full weekend festival pass costs just $120.
Session passes range from $30 to $45.
Passes are available online through Ticketebo, at the door, online at newcastlejazz.com.auor by calling (02) 4963 7237 or (02) 4929 6315.