Contemporary Fusion Jazz Water Pushes Sand  

The Australian Art Orchestra (AAO) is a portable orchestra for the new millennium. With an emphasis on improvisation, it explores the meeting points between disciplines and cultures, and imagines new musical forms to reflect the energy and diversity of contemporary Australia. Now in its 25th year and led by prolific composer, trumpeter and sound artist, Peter Knight, the Australian Art Orchestra features some of Australia’s most celebrated jazz musicians. It tours both locally and internationally and has won numerous awards for its work including three Australian Jazz Bell awards, the 2014 AMC/APRA Art Music Award ‘Excellence by an Organisation’, the 2013 AMC/APRA Art Music Award ‘Performance of the Year’ and many others.


In Water Pushes Sand, composer Erik Griswold and the Australian Art Orchestra team up with all-star musicians and performers of Sichuan to create a wild intercultural celebration. The ten-piece big band fuses Sichuan melodies and rhythms with modern jazz improvisation, and evoke the vibrant landscape of the Chengdu Provence. Known for its brash and friendly people, spicy food, laid back tea houses, and the distinctive dialects, Chengdu is unique in China. Chengdu-style music is more like blues or early rock and roll than classical music, and combines colours from rustic country folk, street songs and the ear splitting cacophony of gongs and cymbals.