Tag Archives: The Jazzlab

FINDING COMMON GROUND

Maceo Parker with The Meltdown in A Tribute to Ray Charles.

Maceo Parker with The Meltdown in A Tribute to Ray Charles.  (Image supplied)

QUICK PREVIEW

Melbourne International Jazz Festival, 1-10 June, 2018

Program details are now out for the 21st MIJF, which this year aims to demonstrate that “jazz can happen anywhere”. Over 10 days more than 100 events will feature almost 400 Australian, international and emerging artists.

The usual detailed preview of the festival will be published when time permits, but here is a taste of what’s on offer.

There will be 26 venues across the city, from the Hamer Hall to small clubs, as well as cafes in Melbourne’s west. Among free festival community events will be Jazz Massive – a participatory mass-music making event on the lawns of State Library Victoria.

Melbourne International Jazz Festival Artistic Director, Michael Tortoni, says this year’s festival illustrates that jazz is the common ground that brings together a diversity of artists, genres and experiences.

“This year our program focuses on the waves of influence that jazz has – both within itself and also the influence it has on other music genres. We are really excited to showcase some of the future directions of this vital and ever-evolving art form,” Tortoni says.

Madeleine Peyroux

Madeleine Peyroux                      Image: Shervin-Lainez

International artists will include funk legend Maceo Parker (USA) paying tribute to Ray Charles, jazz-blues chanteuse Madeleine Peyroux (USA), the “(inter)stellar” Sun Ra Arkestra (USA) and Yemen Blues (USA). Modern masters will include Branford Marsalis (USA), Gretchen Parlato (USA), Christian McBride (USA) and Terri Lyne Carrington (USA); alongside future masters such as Nubya Garcia (UK) and Francesco Cafiso (Italy).

Australian artists on the festival program will include The Others, a collaboration between Paul Grabowsky AO, James Morrison and Kram that wowed the audience in its debut at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues in 2017, Harry James Angus’s new project, Struggle With Glory, and Brenton Foster as the recipient of the PBS Young Elder of Jazz Commission.

Melbourne-based Barney McAll will premiere two works: Trilogy of Cycles at Birrarung Marr’s Federation Bells and Sweet Sweet Spirit featuring music by the great gospel composer Doris Akers at Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre.

The festival’s international exchange program with the Tokyo and Singapore jazz festivals is supporting the development and world premiere of The Gravity Project, which brings together contemporary Japanese and Australian improvisers Paul Grabowsky AO, Masaki Nakamura, Kuniko Obina and Aaron Choulai and the Chok Kerong Trio from Singapore.

Jazz Out West returns with local DJ, radio broadcaster and music personality Mz Rizk as guest programmer, focusing on experiences not usually found in a jazz festival, including a cross-genre tribute to high priestess of soul: Nina Simone and emerging crossover artists Thando, Cool Out Sun, KillaHertz and Kalala & The Round Midnights.

Free events will include the return of Sound Walks throughout the city, lunchtime concerts at St James and the long-running artist workshops and Close Encounters series, which has expanded to include career development workshops led by industry experts and practitioners including Chelsea Wilson (Brunswick Music Festival), Fem Belling (The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra), and Marcus Strickland (Christian McBride’s New Jawn / Twi-life).

Family-friendly festival events include Lah-Lah’s Big Jazz Adventure and the Melbourne Mass Gospel Choir at Southern Cross Lane.

There are some venue changes. Sonny Rehe’s Uptown Jazz Cafe is not on board this year, which is a pity as it has contributed substantially to the line-up of artists in past years. The Toff in the Town was a last-minute inclusion last year, but won’t feature this year.

Club Sessions will be held at The Jazzlab in Brunswick,  Dizzy’s Jazz Club in Richmond, Lido Jazz Room in Hawthorn and Southside Jazz Room in Elsternwick.

Larger concerts will take place in Hamer Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre, 170 Russell and Darebin Arts Centre. Jazz Out West gigs will be spread over a wide range of venues.

Full program details are now available at the MIJF website.

ROGER MITCHELL

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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

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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.

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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