The Con Artists are an 18-piece jazz orchestra from Griffith University that showcases Brisbane’s brightest emerging jazz talent currently studying at the Queensland Conservatorium. The Con Artists were established in 1996 by the illustrious John Hoffman.

Confirming The Con Artists is a major drawcard for the annual Winter Dinner. The 18 piece jazz orchestra will include some of the best jazz musicians in Queensland and the Festival is thrilled to have attracted this amazing group of professionals to Warwick.

Under the direction of Steve Newcomb (Head of Jazz, Queensland Conservatorium of Music since 2013), The Con Artists ensemble celebrates 20 years in 2016. Mr Newcomb has played at the Jumpers and Jazz festival in the past and was keen to return to Warwick, saying ‘I believe that the Jumpers and Jazz Festival is one of the most strongly community integrated festivals I have had the privilege to attend’.

Winter Dinner guests will be treated to both new works by up-and-coming composers and arrangers, in addition to traditional and contemporary classics by the well-established composers of big band repertoire.

In the last 20 years, guest soloists of The Con Artists have included: Dale Barlow, Joe Chindamo, Graeme Lyall, Jim Pugh, Scott Tinkler, Jacam Manricks, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Mat Jodrell, James Morrison, Will Vinson and Tony Gould to name but a few.

The ensemble is soon to release an album featuring a selection of the distinguished vocalists and former students of the ensemble, including Katie Noonan – recently appointed as Artistic Director of the Queensland Music Festival, Kristin Berardi, Elly Hoyt, Hannah Macklin, Emma Dean, Luara Karlson-Carp and Megan Washington.

The Winter Dinner traditionally sells out with significant numbers of the audience travelling from Toowoomba and the greater Southern Downs Region for this special musical and culinary event. Jazz lovers can enjoy the show from the comfort of their table, where the Queensland College of Wine Tourism will be serving up a delicious, regional three-course feast; or opt for a seat-only spot in the balcony. Tickets will go on sale in May 2016 and we encourage interested parties to keep an eye on the Jumpers and Jazz in July Facebook page and website for release dates.n