Tag Archives: Monash Academy of Performing Arts


Kate Ceberano

Kate Ceberano



Saturday 25 March, 7.30pm: James Morrison & The James Mustafa Jazz Orchestra, $15 – $45

Sunday 26 March, 7.30pm: The Bob Dylan Song Book featuring Kate Ceberano, Joe Camilleri and Paul Grabowsky, $15 – $45

James James
Morrison Mustafa
Kate, Joe and Paul

Apologies to A.A. Milne for messing with his words from Disobedience, but it seemed appropriate. The mother of Milne’s James Morrison, one suspects, would have thrown caution to the winds and headed out to Monash University next month, even if she had no hope whatsoever of being “back in time for tea”.

On that Saturday and Sunday next month, Monash Academy of Performing Arts will put some well known names in Australian music — James Morrison, Kate Ceberano, Joe Camilleri and Paul Grabowsky —on stage at Robert Blackwood Hall along with talented musicians including  Morrison’s quintet and 20-piece ensemble The James Mustafa Jazz Orchestra.

A highlight of the Saturday program will be MAPA’s newly commissioned composition from James Mustafa featuring his outstanding jazz orchestra with world-acclaimed James Morrison as soloist.

The James Mustafa Jazz Orchestra is comprised of some of the country’s finest and most respected musicians.  Their debut album The Last Sanctuary, released under the Jazzhead record label has been a best seller and they have performed many sellout shows across Victoria.

Paul Grabowsky Joe Camilleri

Paul Grabowsky                                                                      Joe Camilleri

In the second Jazz Greats concert, two of Australia’s most popular and celebrated contemporary vocalists, Kate Ceberano and Joe Camilleri, join six-time Aria award winner Paul Grabowsky and the Paul Grabowsky Quartet.

Together they will reimagine and transform some of the finest songs in the songbook of one of the 20th century’s greatest song-writers and poets – Bob Dylan.

“The songs of Bob Dylan have become part of the inner fabric of our lives, and his creative journey has recently brought him around to the Great American Songbook, which has traditionally formed the basis for many extraordinary jazz performances,” says Paul Grabowsky.

“Now we return the favour, with an investigation from a jazz perspective of his masterpieces, interpreted by two of our greatest vocalists, Joe Camilleri, himself a deep Dylan devotee, and Kate Ceberano, whose song choices will surprise and delight.”

Musical Director for this concert, Grabowsky will be on piano, Luke Andresen on drums, Rob Burke on saxophone and Jonathan Zion on double bass.

Tickets can be purchased online or by phone on (03) 9905 1111.

Ticket Prices
Standard: $45
Senior/Pensioner/Healthcare Card: $35
Student (Non Monash) / Children 15: $20
Monash Staff: $35
Monash Student: $15
If you are booking Monash Staff or Monash Student tickets, you can book by calling the Box Office on 9905 1111

Children aged two years and under are complimentary when not occupying a seat.

Running Time
Approximately two hours including a twenty minute interval.

Images supplied. Information adapted from material supplied by Prue Basset Publicity.



George Lewis

George Lewis                    Image by Michael Hoefner


George and Mary, Monash Art Ensemble with George Lewis, Mary Finsterer, Paul Grabowsky and Gian Slater

Work is necessary to help pay the bills, if for no other, more exalted reason, but sometimes it gets in the way of what we value highly in life. That waffle amounts to my lament that I have to work tomorrow night — Saturday, August 16 — because I will miss a great concert.

But you can go.

One of the definite highlights of this year’s Melbourne International Jazz Festival was the performance in which the Monash Art Ensemble (previously known as Shapeshifter) teamed with US bassist/composer Mark Helias at The Forum upstairs.

The ensemble tackled Helias’s challenging compositions with zest and great competence, delivering a compelling performance that demonstrated how well this collaboration could work.

The ensemble continues to break new ground this weekend by allowing students and staff from the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music to join veteran players of the Australian Art Orchestra in another exciting musical venture.

Tomorrow night, in its “biggest challenge yet”, the MAE will perform the premiere of an as yet untitled work written especially for the ensemble by a giant of contemporary improvised music, US composer George Lewis, who is on his first visit to Australia.

The ensemble, joined by Lewis on trombone and electronics and guest vocalist Gian Slater, will also play new versions of his recent pieces including Tractatus, Triangle, Fractals and Angry Birds.

Composer, philosopher and writer Professor George Lewis is now on the faculty of Columbia University. He has performed with every major voice in the world of experimental and improvised music during the last 40 years, and has increasingly turned his considerable imagination to composing for various ensembles in the US and Europe.

The concert at Monash University — entitled George and Mary — will also feature a world premiere of Aerea by Mary Finsterer, who is regarded by MAE Musical Director and founding Artistic Director of the Australian Art Orchestra Paul Grabowsky, as one of Australia’s most original musical voices.

Finsterer was commissioned by the Monash Academy of Performing Arts to compose this piece for the MAE.

Mary Finsterer

Mary Finsterer                  (Image from Southern Highland News)

Mary Finsterer’s work has won many awards, including the prestigious Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize in 2009 for her work inspired by Jorge Luis Borges, In Praise Of Darkness. In 2006, Mary received a Churchill Fellowship to compose alongside Marco Beltrami for the blockbuster movie Die Hard 4.

Describing the work, Finsterer says, “Aerea reflects on that slight sense of deja vu you might feel while looking down from an aeroplane window which comes in part from the shifting correspondences between the world below and your own. You start to notice relationships in abstract things that recur, oddly, not only from one shape to another, but also within the same shape.

“Aerea takes this idea of shifting entities as a metaphor to generate dramatic twists and turns of movement and gestural interplay as the music unfolds from one passage to the next. In the music I have composed, figures are repeated and multiplied, and so are motions. As ideas echo from one instrument to another, they are guided by a musical narrative that works to propel them through time and spaces.”

At the concert MAE will also launch a self-titled debut CD, Monash Art Ensemble, at the concert. The album features two never before recorded Paul Grabowsky epics, Variations ‘d’un goût étranger’ on a theme by Marin Marais (2000) and Tall Tales (2010).


Saturday 17 August at 7:30pm
Tickets: $20 – $25
Venue: Music Auditorium, Building 68 Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University Wellington Road, Clayton

Bookings and enquiries 03 9905 1111 or Monash Academy of Performing Arts website

For more event information visit the Monash Art Ensemble website