Tag Archives: 2017

FESTIVAL NOT DOMINATED BY MEN!

Xani Kolac

Xani Kolac                   Image supplied

PREVIEW

Melbourne Women’s International Jazz Festival,November 24 to December 10, 2017

I suppose the reason why we don’t have a men’s international jazz festival in Melbourne – or anywhere – is that it would be doubling up on what we often experience at jazz gigs – that is, a predominance of male performers.

So, until that changes, and we no longer need a women’s festival because most gigs feature women musicians, let’s celebrate the work of, and the depth of talent among, the many female practitioners of jazz or improvised music.

This year Sonja Horbelt has programmed a ripper of a festival in Melbourne with a great deal of talent from Australia and overseas, including expatriate trombonist Shannon Barnett and  internationally-acclaimed Korean musician Hyelim Kim.

Full details are available on the festival website, but here’s a summary of the gigs on offer to whet your appetite. This is an inexpensive way to hear and celebrate the considerable talent of the many women musicians who compose and play jazz.

Friday, November 24, 5.30pm 6pm-8pm, Sharny Russell Quartet, $15/$10, Uptown Jazz Cafe

An Australian pianist/vocalist/composer based in Byron Bay, Sharny Russell has put together an all female line up to also acknowledge the “International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women”. It comprises Russell vocals/piano, Angela Davis saxophone, Annette Yates bass and Sonja Horbelt drums

Saturday November 25, 3pm-5pm, Quadrifid, Free, Two Birds Brewery, Spotswood

‘Quadrifid’ is a chordless, all female jazz quartet that plays original groove based music as well as some jazz standards and arrangements. It features Lauren Mullarvey – saxophone (Cactus Channel), Ellie Lamb – trombone (Stand By Your Woman, The Bean Project), Elise Winterflood – bass (La Busca, Old Hat), Alex Roper – drums.

Sunday November 26, 3pm-5pm, Kathleen Halloran Trio, Free, Two Birds Brewery Spotswood

Kathleen Halloran is a guitarist based in Melbourne. At 22, she has over six years’ experience as a working musician, including professional music theatre and also international work with Broadway vocalist Brad Little. She has performed alongside Australian artists including Kate Ceberano, Kate Miller Heidke, Tim Rogers, Tex Perkins, Jen Cloher and Harry Angus (Cat Empire).In her own trio, Kathleen offers floating melodies on top of intricate and moving harmonies. Joining Kathleen are Kim May (Double bass) and Darryn Farrugia (drums) for two sets of new original music.

Sunday December 3, 7pm for 8pm, SPIRE + Girls Do Jazz, $25/$20, The Jazzlab

First set: SPIRE ensemble, a collective of Melbourne instrumentalists, all women, present a program of all original contemporary jazz works. The line-up comprises Xani Kolac (violin), Kathleen Halloran (guitar), Claire Cross (bass), Lena Douglas (keys), Maria Moles (drums), Savannah Blount (tenor saxophone), Cheryl Durongpisitkul (alto saxophone), Ellie Lamb (trombone) and Charlie Woods (trumpet).

Second set: Girls Do Jazz is a jazz band comprised of current Jazz & Improvisation students at the Victorian College of the Arts. The ensemble is led by Andrea Keller, Lecturer in Jazz & Improvisation at the VCA/MCM. The emphasis is on Australian contemporary jazz. The band comprises Bella Winter – alto saxophone, Kathleen Halloran – guitar, Alex Rindfleish – piano, Robbie Finch – double bass and Alex Czarnecki-Roper – drums.

Monday December 4, 7pm for 7.30pm, Student night, $15/$10, The Jazzlab

Performers from Mac.Robertson Girls High School, Ruyton Girls School and Siena College play big band music from traditional to more contemporary styles.

Tuesday December 5, 7.30pm for 8pm, Lijuka/Hyelim Kim, $20/$15, The Jazzlab

First set: Lijuka – Katrina Owen on saxophone / vocals, Libby Ferris on guitar / vocals, and Julia Bebenek on drum kit / vocals, are a Melbourne trio whose sound swings from ambient drone based musings to jazz-infused grooves.

Second set: Hyelim Kim is an internationally-acclaimed Korean musician, based in London, who is a virtuoso on the taegŭm (the traditional horizontal bamboo flute). A multi-award winning PhD who has performed in New York and London, she is acknowledged as a young performer who has taken a leading role in breathing new life into Korean traditional music, recording both traditional works and her own compositions. For this concert, ‘Scattering Rhythms’, she is collaborating with Australian musicians Simon Barker (drums) and Peter Knight (trumpet & electronics).

Wednesday December 6, 8pm for 8.30pm, QoQo8 CD launch, $20/$15, The Jazzlab

QoQo8 – comprising Nilusha Dassenaike: vocals, Anthony Schulz: piano, piano accordion, Adam Starr: guitar, vocals and Tommy Harrison: drums, vocals – was created to bring rich harmony and deep grooves to the ambience of modal-based improvised music. It is a 4-way compositional collective that puts a new spin on the East/West fusion beloved by Shakti and Joe Zawinul, bringing orchestral soundscapes to the meditative grooves and modal improvisations of music from the Sri-Lankan Buddhist tradition.

Thursday December 7, 8pm for 8.30pm, Flora & Audrey CD launch, $20/$15, The Jazzlab

Two of Melbourne’s most exciting young horn players, trumpeter Audrey Powne and saxophonist Flora Carbo, join Joseph O’Connor piano, Marty Holoubek bass and James McLean drums to play original music written specifically for this project.

Friday December 8, 8pm for 9pm, The Sally Ford Clinic, , The Jazzlab

Sally Ford leads these all-star specialists bringing together their disparate musical backgrounds in tex mex, afrobeat, salsa, film music, ska, reggae and funk, to lay down some relaxed and rootsy dance grooves with Dr Hernández, prescribing a triple dose of electro-cumbia, funky reggae and boogaloo. The line-up comprises Sally Ford – lead vocals, alto sax & flute, Patrick Cronin -trumpet, percussion & backing vocals, Michael Havir – keyboards & audiology, David Joseph – drums, Karen Berger – percussion, Alisha Brooks – saxophone, Audrey Powne – trumpet and Darcie Foley – trombone.

Friday December 8, 11pm, Shannon Barnett (Germ/Aus/US), Free, The Jazzlab

Melbourne-born Shannon Barnett completed a Master of Music at the State University of New York, under the tuition of John Fedchock and Jon Faddis. In 2014, Barnett was offered the 2nd Trombone position in the WDR Big Band; based in Cologne, Germany. In 2017, she released the album ‘Hype’ (Double Moon) with her German quartet, featuring Stefan Karl Schmid (tenor saxophone), David Helm (bass) and Fabian Arends (drums). In this midnight set she will perform with Stephen Magnusson – Guitar, Ben Robertson – Bass and Rajiv Jayaweera – Drums.

Friday December 8, 8pm, Lauren Nottingham (NZ/UK), $20$16, The Jazzlab

Lauren Nottingham is a New Zealand singer who draws on a diverse stylistic palette of music including jazz, progressive rock, choral music and contemporary pop. Having recently returned from time in Berlin, she began collaborating with UK pianist/composer Mark Donlon resulting in the album Shadowbird (Fuzzymoon Records UK). Tonight’s show will feature jazz from German Gypsy Jazz to re-interpretations of songs by Madonna and David Bowie and original compositions from Shadowbird. She will be joined by Mark Donlon (UK) – piano, Hiroki Hoshino – bass and Mark Lockett (NZ) – drums.

Saturday December 9, 8pm for 9pm, Elly Hoyt (Bris/Melb): The Composer’s Voice, $28/$25, The Jazzlab

Ahead of a national album release in 2018, and comprising of entirely original compositions, ‘The Composer’s Voice’ explores personal stories of women in music from discovery, obstacles and overcoming. It is a diverse and powerhouse group of Australian composers including Andrea Keller, Angela Davis, Georgia Weber, Gian Slater, Hannah James, Kristin Berardi, Louise Denson, Martha Baartz, Nat Bartsch, Shannon Barnett, Sonja Horbelt and Tamara Murphy. Tonight’s gig will feature Ellie Hoyt on voice, Andrea Keller piano, Jonathan Zion on double bass, Raj Jayaweera on drums, Julien Wilson on tenor sax and Shannon Barnett on trombone.

Saturday December 9, 11pm, Shannon Barnett (Germ/Aus/US), Free, The Jazzlab

In this second midnight set, Shannon Barnett will be joined by Julien Wilson tenor saxophone, Marty Holoubek bass and Rajiv Jayaweera drums

Sunday December 10, 7pm for 8pm, Sophie Min/James Sherlock plus Andrea Keller Still Night in Poetry, $25/$20, The Jazzlab

First set: Sophie Min, a rising jazz pianist and composer who has toured Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, Croatia, Italy and Denmark and has performed at North Sea Jazz Festival, along with well known guitarist James Sherlock.

Second set: If you haven’t experienced Still Night: Music in Poetry, make a point of not missing it. This work is a 60-minute song-cycle combining poetry that spans centuries and the globe with music composed by Andrea Keller. A meditation on omnipresent sentiments of death, grief and loss, Still Night has been performed with a slightly different line-up, but on this occasion will feature Gian Slater – voice, Josh Kyle – voice, Julien Wilson – tenor saxophone & bass clarinet, Stephen Magnusson – guitar and Andrea Keller – piano. The text has been drawn from a selection of poetry including tenth-century Japanese poet Izumi Shikibu, nineteenth-century English poet John Keats, American writer Walt Whitman, Irish poet William Butler Yeats, French novelist Marcel Proust, American poet Sara Teasdale, and further into the twentieth-century with American writer e. e. cummings, Welsh poet and writer Dylan Thomas, to contemporary Australian poet, dancer and filmmaker Richard James Allen.

That’s the festival. Get out and enjoy it.

Roger Mitchell

GET ADRIAN JACKSON TO SHOUT

Adrian Jackson in characteristic pose at the mic, introducing a band.

Adrian Jackson in characteristic pose at the mic, introducing a band.

PREVIEW

Give Adrian a Shout:
Adrian Jackson’s Jazz benefit, The Jazzlab, November 19, 2017

________________________________________________________________________________

BREAKING NEWS

SILENT AUCTION for AJ’S JAZZ BENEFIT

Item 1
Stonnington Jazz has contributed two season passes for Stonnington Jazz 2018:
2x season passes to Stonnington Jazz 2018 (all shows and workshops) including 2x tickets to the exclusive Jazz Gala. Approx. value $1,350

Item 2
Melbourne International Jazz Festival has contributed three double passes for the concerts of the recipient’s choice (for MIJF-presented events only). Approx. value $600+

Item 3
Niko Schauble has contributed a Day of Recording at his Pughouse Studio, Northcote
Approx. value $450

Item 4
Andrew Walker of the Jazzhead label has contributed a package of five recent Australian jazz albums. Approx. value $125

Item 5
Claypots Restaurants have donated a gift voucher, valued at $120, for ‘A seafood degustation for two’ at Claypots, St. Kilda. Value $120

Item 6
Claypots Restaurants have donated a gift voucher, valued at $120, for ‘A seafood degustation for two‘ at Claypots Barbarossa Salon, Hardware Lane, CBD. Value $120

Item 7
Basement Discs in 24 Block Place, CBD, have donated a $100 Gift voucher. Value $100

Item 8
6 CDs from Lionsharecords (This Is Always, Swailing, This Narrow Isthmus, A Life in a Day & Post Matinee) + a copy of Trio-Live. Total value – priceless.

BIDDING ON ITEMS can be made via:

  • Email to martinjackson01@optusnet.com.au
  • SMS to 0401 637 203 by 10 pm on November 19, 2017
  • Envelopes provided at the venue by 10 pm on November 19, 2017

Please indicate Item number and the $ amount that you wish to bid, and contact details (if submitting an envelope). Winners will be decided around 10.30 pm on November 19, 2017, and only winning bids will be notified.

________________________________________________________________________________

UPDATE: Line-up announced for this gig is as follows, according to Martin Jackson:

Bob Sedergreen
Transients with Wilson/Anning/Keller
Stoneflower trio (Jacq Gawler, Stephen Magnusson & Tamara Murphy)
Tony Gould
Illaria Corciani Trio (with Mirko Guerrini & Tony Gould)
Doug DeVries & Jex Saarelaht
Chris McNulty
Torrio! (Guerrini, Grabowsky & Schauble)
Julien Wilson Trio (Stephen Magnusson & Stephen Grant)
Nichaud Fitzgibbon (feat. David Rex)
Scott Tinkler & Sam Keevers
Michelle Nicole (feat. Ronny Ferella)
MJC Collective!

Some things may change – it would not be jazz with some improvisation).
Doors open at 7 pm at The Jazzlab, 27 Leslie Street, Brunswick; music starts as soon as possible.

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Adrian Jackson was whispering when I spoke to him at Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues recently. We are all hoping that before long he’ll be back to his usual volume and fully capable of giving us a shout — in all senses of the word.

On Sunday at 7pm at The Jazzlab, Melbourne Jazz Co-operative will stage a jazz benefit for Adrian, well known for his key roles as, for 27 years, founding artistic director at Wangaratta’s jazz and blues festival (as well as those at Melbourne and Stonnington).

Many will be aware that Adrian is at present unemployed, and has needed surgery so that he can talk above a whisper and get back to work. But some of us were unaware of the extent of the difficulties he has had to face in the past two years.

Readers of Martin Jackson’s MJC newsletter will have seen Adrian’s account of his situation, but with his permission I reproduce it here for any who missed seeing it:

“It is in some ways embarrassing to be seeking financial assistance as a 60-year-old. Although my situation, in part, reflects the downside of a career in arts administration, and jazz administration in particular. You don’t get paid holidays or sick leave, long-service leave or employer super contributions, unless you pay for them yourself.

“The past two years have been very difficult for me. Divorce after 31 years of marriage. The innings was declared when I was on 27 at Wangaratta Jazz. A perfect storm of ambitious investment strategy, inadequate support from the company I was investing through, and well-intentioned but disastrous advice to my wife that share trades should cease while we discussed divorce terms – just when the options we had bought/sold moved into a brief window of profitability – saw my life savings and super fund decimated.

“I have had a series of health issues to deal with. And just as I let my car insurance lapse shortly before an accident where I was the at-fault driver, and was unable to renew it before the car was stolen and written off recently … so it was that I couldn’t afford to maintain my private medical cover after 35-odd years, just a few months before learning that I need expensive surgery to remove polyps on my vocal cords, if I want to speak above a raspy whisper.

“Now, I’m not here to say ‘poor me’. OK, I am. But I’m not saying my problems are all down to bad luck. I’ve done my share of dumb things of late, too.

“On the whole, I consider myself fortunate to have enjoyed a career in the music industry, presenting or promoting music that I love, mainly jazz and blues. And I hope that chapter isn’t finished yet, that there will be more to come, post-operation. (Albert Dadon has offered some welcome encouragement with regard to that).

“I shudder to think how I might have survived the last two years without the support of my siblings. But they can only do so much.

“So when Martin told me he had discussed the idea of a benefit gig with a few musicians, and asked if this would make me feel embarrassed, I replied, “Only if nobody turns up.”

“So I would like to thank my family for their support. To thank Michael Tortoni for providing the Jazzlab for the event, at no cost. To thank all the musicians who have offered to perform, as well as those who would have if they could have, and a few who I suspect will be added to the roster between now and November 19.

“And the same goes for a blues-based benefit (Sunday, November 26, 3pm-11pm with MBAS at Flemington-Kensington Bowling Club) that is being organised shortly after the Jazzlab gig. The support, generosity and friendship of so many is deeply appreciated.

“For anyone in two minds about attending, I can say two things. (a) check out the great array of talent on the bill, and (b) I won’t be in any condition to make a speech.”

 — Adrian Jackson

Martin Jackson confirms that the jazz community is coming together to return some of the support that Adrian has given it over a period of almost 40 years. Michael Tortoni, of The Jazzlab, is contributing the rental fee for his venue, while Niko Schauble has donated a day of Recording work at Pughouse Studio for the Silent Auction. An online donation facility has been set up.

Many of Melbourne’s leading jazz artists will perform at the jazz benefit, including the sublime Julien Wilson Trio (with Stephen Magnusson & Stephen Grant), Andrea Keller, Michelle Nicole, Tony Gould, Doug DeVries, Nichaud Fitzgibbon, Bob Sedergreen, Sam Keevers, Scott Tinkler, Ronny Ferella, Tamara Murphy, Eugene Ball, Jacq Gawler, Sam Anning, Mirko Guerrini and Ilaria Crociani.

One special combination to look forward to will be guitarist Doug DeVries and pianist ‘Jex’ Saarelaht, two incredible musicians who go back decades to Williamstown High School days, when they were largely self-taught through transcribing solos by the likes of Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery and Bud Powell.

Benefit tickets cost $25 & $20 concession. There will be a silent auction and among valuable items offered are two $100 gift vouchers from Basement Discs, a package of great Australian jazz albums from Jazzhead, two season passes from Stonnington Jazz and three double passes to a concert of choice presented by the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

Roger Mitchell

FINELY BALANCED QUINTET

Paul Williamson leads his quintet to launch "Finding the Balance".

Paul Williamson leads his quintet to launch “Finding the Balance”.

IMAGE GALLERY

Paul Williamson Quintet: Finding the Balance album launch

Trumpeter and composer Paul Williamson launched his 11th CD at The Jazzlab on Sunday, November 12. Finding the Balance (Jazzhead), features long-time collaborators, Perth-based Jamie Oehlers (tenor saxophone), Andrea Keller (piano), James McLean (drums) and Christopher Hale (acoustic bass guitar).

The original compositions and group aesthetic reflected Williamson’s desire to produce music with memorable themes with the ability to take listeners on musical journeys. Expect mesmerising improvisations, spirited interaction and complementary individual conceptions.

The Jazzlab was packed for this outing, the musicians attracting enthusiastic applause. Some images from the gig are below.

Roger Mitchell