Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2016 Summer Sessions 
9 – 17 January 2016
Summer sessions for this year’s Melbourne International Jazz Festival are back this month. Vince Jones Quartet launched proceedings with two gigs and the re-opened Bennetts Lane Jazz Club will this weekend host Ethio-jazz giant Hailu Mergia, Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii’s astounding improvisation project KAZE, as well as a celebration of Australian saxophone legend David Ades.
Starting tonight, gigs are as follows:
Thursday, 14 January – Swooping Duck (AUS)
Friday 15 January – Hailu Mergia with Tony Buck & Mike Majkowski (ETH/AUS)  
Saturday, 16 January – A Life in a Day (AUS)
Sunday, 17 January – Satoko Fujii and KAZE (JAP/FRA)


Bender, Moss, Mavin

Swooping Duck: Paul Bender, Perrin Moss, Simon Mavin        Image supplied.

Swooping Duck (AUS) 


Bender, Pez & Simon, aka the Hiatus Kaiyote rhythm section, perform 100 per cent improvised music in a stripped-back sonic experiment. No tunes. Zero material to fall back on. Just ears, adrenaline, and pure improvisation. Opening DJ set by MzRizk.
Simon Mavin keys, Perrin Moss drums, Paul Bender bass


Date and times Thursday, 14 January 2016 – doors open at 8.30pm
Venue Shebeen Bandroom
Address 36 Manchester Lane, Melbourne
Tickets $31 (includes booking fees)
Hailu Mergia Image: Philipp Jester

Hailu Mergia                     Image: Philipp Jester


Hailu Mergia with Tony Buck & Mike Majkowski (ETH/AUS)  
The return of Hailu Mergia to the world of music is one of jazz’s most unlikely comebacks. A member of Ethiopia’s trailblazing Walias Band in the 1970s, in 1981 Mergia used the first-ever US tour of an Ethiopian music group to escape the dictatorial Mengistu regime. Spending most of his recent years as a taxi driver, he cut one solitary album in 1985 – Hailu Mergia and His Classical Instrument – which was unearthed in Ethiopia nearly 30 years later by Brian Shimkovitz of blog-turned-record-label Awesome Tapes from Africa. Shimkovitz tracked down Mergia, re-released the album and revived Mergia’s career. Mergia has now joined forces with a hard-to-beat rhythm section made up of two leading Berlin-based Australian improvisors: double bassist Mike Majkowski (sideman to Hans Bennink and Peter Brötzmann) and drummer Tony Buck (The Necks). Together the trio explores the deep, liquid and hypnotic qualities of Hailu Mergia’s music, combining a futuristic sound steeped in Ethiopian homeland flavour with unique grooves and angular melodies.
Hailu Mergia (keyboards, accordion, vocals); Mike Majkowski (bass);  Tony Buck (drums)


Date and times Friday, 15 January 2016 – doors open at 7pm and 10pm
Venue Bennetts Lane Jazz Club
Address 25 Bennetts Lane, Melbourne
Tickets $42.50 Full / $36.50 Conc (includes booking fees)
Zac Hurren with David Ades

Zac Hurren with David Ades                Image supplied

A Life in a Day (AUS) 


Legendary Australian saxophonist David Ades is remembered for his majestic phrases, searing tone and glorious melodies, and his playing epitomised honesty, singularity and courage. David tragically lost his battle with lung cancer in late 2013. Incredibly, only weeks before he died, he recorded an album of new material in New York, A Life in a Day,which is being released posthumously on Lionsharerecords. Join David’s close friends Zac Hurren and Julien Wilson as they pay a fond and heartfelt tribute to Ades and his music.
Zac Hurren saxophone, Julien Wilson saxophone, Sam Anning bass, Danny Fischer drums


Date and times Saturday, 16 January 2016 – doors open at 7pm and 9.30pm
Venue Bennetts Lane Jazz Club
Address 25 Bennetts Lane, Melbourne
Tickets $42.50 Full / $36.50 Conc (includes booking fees)

KAZE                          Image: Alexandre Noclain


Satoko Fujii and KAZE (JAP/FRA)


Two internationally-renowned Japanese musicians + two extraordinary French musicians = electrifying new music for the world. Kaze brings together two of Japan’s foremost improviser-composers – trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and pianist Satoko Fujii – with trumpeter Christian Pruvost and drummer Peter Orins from the French improvisers collective, Muzzix. The members of this international quartet share an insatiable appetite for sonic experimentation, boundless energy and enthusiasm, and the disciplined intelligence of accomplished spontaneous composers. Melodic, abstract, mysterious, beautiful, and confrontational, Kaze plays free jazz at its most creative and powerful.
Natsuki Tamura trumpet, Christian Pruvost trumpet, Satoko Fujii piano, Peter Orins drums


Date and times Sunday, 17 January 2016 – doors open at 7pm and 9.30pm
Venue Bennetts Lane Jazz Club
Address 25 Bennetts Lane, Melbourne
Tickets $42.50 Full / $36.50 Conc (includes booking fees)

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