Play a part in Bello’s improv music festival

Jazz saxophonist and composer Sandy Evans.

YOUNG musicians, the Bellingen Improvised Music Collective Inc is inviting you to participate in the inaugural Bellingen Improvised Music Festival (BIMF).

Providing learning and performing experiences, BIMF is a weekend of original and improvised music for youth and adult audiences, held in the Bellingen Showground Main Pavilion on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 July 2022.

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BIMF Chairperson Louise Gore told News Of The Area how this style of performing plays out.

“Improvising is like composing on the spot, unplanned – the musicians have varying degrees of freedom to do their own thing.

“Sometimes they go for complete freedom, with no prior ideas about what they’ll play.

“Sometimes they start with a composed piece or a song – and then freely explore their take on the piece/song.

“All the time you’re listening to the other musicians, being open to what is coming from within yourself, and adding your bit or not at that moment.

“You aren’t following a written score from start to finish.”

The group interaction is really satisfying, the performers say.

“You bring yourselves, your training and experience at hand, it’s a very ‘in the present moment thing’, and you all roll with that.

“It’s intense and exciting because of the immediacy, the ‘on-edgeness’ of it, and the collaboration and connectedness for all involved – players and listeners,” said Louise.

With the festival five weeks away, the organisers are calling young musicians to get the date in their diary.

“If you feel drawn to improvisation, take a leap and come to the festival, and take part to whatever degree you feel comfortable – everyone will be welcomed, there’ll be something in it for you – and it’s free.”

Free workshops are open to youth aged 12-25 from Regional NSW on Saturday 16 July 2022: Rhythm with Greg Sheehan, Harmony with Oscar Eager and Improvisation with Sandy Evans.

The Saturday night Local Sound Journey will highlight local talent including Pablo Blitzer & Friends, playing Pablo’s original compositions, and then free jazz with the Offspring Gypsys.

On Sunday afternoon everyone is invited to the concert to hear the Sandy Evans Quartet, featuring Sandy Evans OAM, the world renowned jazz saxophonist and composer, joined by local musicians Greg Sheehan on drums and percussion, Bobby Singh on tablas and Sydney’s Brett Hirst on double bass.

They will be supported by the Oscar Eager Octet of students and alumni from the jazz program at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, playing Oscar’s original compositions.

There will be opportunities for young musicians to join in a jam at the end.

“We’re so lucky that we have such awesome musicians living right here in Bellingen and the surrounding region,” Greg Sheehan said.

“I’m really excited to be performing and running a workshop and thrilled to be playing with the awesome saxophonist and composer Sandy Evans as percussionist in her band.

“I love to teach rhythm as well and have some decades of improvising skills and tricks to impart.

“So, come along for the ride.”

The Bellingen Improvised Music Collective particularly wishes to encourage young people who are beginning or who are already on their improvisation journey to participate in the workshops and listen to the diverse performances on offer.

Register for the workshops via

Book for the BIMF! Local Sound Journey via

Book for the BIMF! Sunday Afternoon Concert via


Instagram: @belloimpromusic

For more information email


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