Tag Archives: Johannes Luebbers


Joe Lovano

Joe Lovano will headline the first Perth International Jazz Festival.        (Image supplied)

PREVIEW: Perth International Jazz Festival, Friday 24 May to Sunday 26 May, 2013

If you’ve never heard of this festival, that’s because this is the first. Co-owner of the Ellington Jazz Club Graham Wood, who is also Program Director of Music at the WA Academy of Performing Arts, has planned the festival as an extension of the club, though PIJF is a not-for-profit incorporated association.

The festival has an illustrious artistic sub-committee comprising Jamie Oehlers (Head of Jazz at WAPA), Johannes Leubbers (President of Perth Jazz Society), Mace Francis (Musical Director WA Youth Jazz Orchestra) and Pete Jeavons (General Manager JAZZWA).

PIJF aims to become nationally and internationally acclaimed as one Australia’s best Jazz festivals within five years. The three-day festival hopes to attract 15,000 people to paid and free events. More than 40 performances will be presented over seven stages — The Perth Concert Hall, Bishop’s Gardens, Perth Cultural Centre, Brookfield Place, Weld Square, Barrack Square and The Ellington Jazz Club.

The only Jazz festival in Western Australia, PIJF is intended as a regular event in Perth’s cultural calendar and a source of long-term cultural and economic return. There will be an educational component and PIJF provides access for diverse and disadvantaged sections of the community.

The major headline act for the inaugural festival is saxophonist Joe Lovano, who has eight Grammy Award nominations (winning in 2001 for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album), is signed to the famous Blue Note record label and has worked with some of the biggest names in international jazz. He will perform in a headline concert with four-time Aria Award winning vocalists Katie Noonan and Vince Jones at the Perth Concert Hall on Saturday 25 May at 7.30pm.

Lovano will open the evening with a set accompanied by Perth musicians Sam Anning (now living in New York) on bass, Ben Vanderwal on drums and Tal Cohen on piano.

Katie Noonan

Katie Noonan in concert.

Lovano collaborated with Noonan on her 2009 ARIA Award-winning release Blackbird. After a few numbers with Lovano, Noonan will perform music from her album Elixir featuring Steve Magnusson (guitar) and Zac Hurren (saxophones). Noonan will also perform duets with celebrated vocalist Vince Jones, with whom she worked on Songs of Love and War.Noonan and Jones will be backed by a trio led by pianist Matt McMahon (piano).

In a media release, PIJF Artistic Director, Associate Professor Graham Wood said, “I’m genuinely excited to hear and see such an amazing selection of musicians performing, as well as collaborating, for the Lovano/Noonan/Jones concert. To see artists of this calibre as headline acts on separate concerts would be sensational, but to combine them on the one bill headlining PIJF will provide a rare experience that promises to be extraordinary.”

Other artists on the program include the cutting edge Kneebody (USA), guitarist Gilad Hekselman (Israel/USA) and gypsy jazz from the UK guitarist Hank Marvin. Some of Perth’s favourite sons, now based overseas, who are returning to help celebrate include bassist Sam Anning, saxophonists Troy Roberts and Brandon Allen and eclectic trio ‘The Grid’ (featuring Tim Jago, Dane Alderson and Ben Vanderwal), and fusion supergroup ‘VOID’.

And of course there are many award-winning, highly acclaimed local artists such as Jamie Oehlers, Tom O’Halloran Trio, Mace Francis Orchestra, Johannes Luebbers Dectet, Russell Holmes Trio, Tal Cohen Quartet and Libby Hammer.

Good luck to the inaugural Perth International Jazz Festival!

Tickets for the headline concert ($80, concession $60) on sale now through Ticketek 1300 795 012

Perth International Jazz Festival



Russell Holmes Trio

Karl Florrison on bass and Mike Perkins on drums in the Russell Holmes Trio.

GIG: Russell Holmes Trio, Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, Melbourne, October 16, 2012, presented by Melbourne Jazz Cooperative

It’s not news that, when it comes to improvised music, good things happen in Perth. Lots of names come to mind, including the WA Academy of Performing Arts, Johannes Luebbers and Jamie Oehlers.

A week ago, exciting young pianist Tal Cohen was at Bennetts Lane with fellow Perth musicians Oehlers on tenor sax, Chris Tarr on drums and Pete Jeavons on bass, playing material from his album Yellow Sticker. I regret not having made it to this outing.

Russell Holmes plays Bennetts Lane.

Russell Holmes plays Bennetts Lane.

This week Melbourne has a chance in three gigs to hear from Russell Holmes on piano and keyboards, as well the talented young trio members Mike Perkins on drums and Karl Florrison on double bass.

The first outing, at the Lane, delighted an appreciative audience and confirmed again that what is happening out west is worth hearing.

Tonight, at Bar 303, the trio will open at 8pm before Stephen Magnusson and the Julien Wilson Quartet.

On Thursday he will play at Paris Cat along with his daughter Sarah Holmes, who plays bass and her compositions with The Outfit.

The Outfit is a Melbourne group playing songs about coffee, knitting and tumbleweeds. Band members are Daniel Brates on  drums, Diego Villalta on guitar, Rob Simone on saxophone and Louise Goh on vocals.

The Holmes family musical connection stretches way back. Russell’s father was a prominent Perth jazz guitarist and vocalist. Russell started playing as a toddler and has been playing piano for more than four decades.

Since 1989 Russell has lectured at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, specialising in theory and rhythm studies, harmony, arranging and individual tutoring in contemporary and jazz piano.

Karl Florrison

Karl Florrison

In two sets on Tuesday at the Lane, the Russell Holmes Trio served up some originals from its current released EP-length CD Restless, as well as a Troy Roberts arrangement of Bye Bye Blackbird and some Thelonious Monk.

Russell Holmes Trio

Mike Perkins on drums

There were some excellent solos, but what stood out on the night was that this trio is cohesive, well practised and brimful of energy. Lots of drive comes from Holmes on piano working extremely well with Perkins, who is constantly attentive and responsive. Florrison showed strength, warmth and space in his work.

I had previously heard only the Fire and Rain album featuring arrangements of James Taylor songs, on which Holmes has a different line-up. The music delivered by his latest trio was compelling, often powered by tension and with deeply embedded swing. This trio has plans to tour nationally and in Europe. It is a band confirming that it is definitely not all quiet on the western front.


Karl Florrison

Karl Florrison




Help Japan

This is a plug as much as a review, but I’ve just had a listen to a digital album downloadable for $15 from Listen/Hear Collective website.

The Collective has created this compilation to contribute to the recovery efforts in Japan after the devastating March earthquakes and flood. It includes previously unreleased material from new Listen/Hear artists Kynan Tan and Peter Knight. Other contributors include Johannes Luebbers Dectet (a real hit at Wangaratta Festival of Jazz); Motion and a remix of its Hear Now by Canadian-based Italian sound artist, Giorgio Magnanensi; The Grid; Mace Francis Orchestra; big band ATM15 and The Twoks. That is a great line-up.

It is worth getting regardless of the album’s fundraising potential for a good cause. Have a listen, hear and collectively hit the “buy now” button. And I don’t work for L/H Collective, in case you’re asking!

The Collective says all proceeds go to the Japanese Red Cross and you can immediately download the 11-track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or “just about any other format you could possibly desire”. I think “desire” is a bit strong when we are talking types of downloads, but there you go. That’s publicist lingo, perhaps.