Regarded as one of the most important dates on the national jazz calendar, the Stonnington Jazz Festival has been in full swing for about a week now and is in its last few remaining days. Before it’s all over and done with, we’ve put together a list of eight acts that jazz lovers and the jazz curious won’t want to miss, complete with some of the biggest household names and fun activities for the whole family (or yourself).
Grammy-nominated for best contemporary jazz album and ARIA-winning piano master, Barney McAll, presents compositions taken from his critically acclaimed album Hearing The Blood live. As an extra treat to all those attending Stonnington Jazz, audiences will also witness some never-before-heard songs, written strictly for this limited event. You won’t want to miss this rare opportunity to see the master in concert, catch him at Chapel Off Chapel on Thursday May 16.
Queens of the Jazz Age
On Saturday May 18, witness cabaret, stage and jazz royalty as Rhonda Burchmore hosts and performs for Queens of the Jazz Age. Taking the stage alongside her are cabaret stars Dolly Diamond and Cougar Morrison, as well as Stella Angelico and The Jack Earle Big Band. This unique event harkens back to the days of old Hollywood glamour, celebrating classical jazz music and raw, unfiltered talent. Catch it at Chapel Off Chapel.
Kathleen Halloran Trio
Presenting 60 minutes of original compositions, eclectic upcoming jazz group, Kathleen Halloran Trio, are joined by multi award-winning jazz pianist, Andrea Keller, at The Loft at Chapel Off Chapel on Thursday May 16. With Darryn Farrugia on drums and Kim May on bass, listeners will be in awe of the fun and fierce approach the group takes to traditional jazz music, and how they are able to exceptionally fill the night with melodically rich, inspiring and improvised sounds.
Combining as Origami, Adam Simmons, Howard Cairns and Hugh Harvery, in collaboration with Wang Zheng-Ting, perform their show Wu Xing – The Five Elements, exploring the cycles of creation through the elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and air. Performing at The Loft at Chapel Off Chapel, audiences will be immersed in every element from the technical style of the music to the visual projections set up around the room. You won’t want to miss it, show’s on Saturday May 18.
Sam Anning Sextet
Award-winning Melbourne bassist-composer, Sam Anning, along with his sextet, will be performing their third album Across A Field As Vast As One, at The Loft at Chapel Off Chapel on Friday May 17. With each band member an exceptional musician in their own right, the night will bring to life their stunning compositions, drawing on a range of geographical influences, as well as paying homage to Anning’s late, great mentor, Australian drummer Allan Browne.
The Seven Ups and WVR BVBY
Featuring self-acclaimed intergalactic hard-groove group, WVR BVBY, and seven-piece party band, The Seven Ups, punters will be lured into a sonic vortex at Melbourne Bowling Club on Friday May 17. Taking inspiration from crate digger culture and ‘70s production techniques, WVR BVBY fuse together tonalities, creating a meditative environment. The Seven Ups blend ‘70s Nigerian Afrobeat with deep street funk and unrestrained horn solos.
Get Involved Session
Under the artistic direction of Chelsea Wilson, Stonnington Jazz Festival is asking you to Get Involved (Session) in an array of jazz-inspired events for the whole family to enjoy. For the kids, hear classic stories come to life accompanied by music, with ARIA-nominated artist Fem Belling on vocals and Monique diMattina on piano. For the adults, get into the rhythm of painting with ambient jazz music and complimentary drinks at Paint. Sip. Jazz. led by artists from Cork & Chroma.
Cool Nights, Hot Jazz
What’s the best way to end Melbourne’s favourite jazz festival? With another festival. Cool Nights, Hot Jazz is the finale event closing the Stonnington Jazz Festival this year, with the lineup organised by pianist Monique diMattina. Taking place at the Malvern Town Hall, attendees can expect a night of masterful and improvised jazz music, paying homage to the traditional jazz legacy of Melbourne. Acts will include The Sugarfoot Ramblers, Bob Sedergreen and Adam Rudegeair, catch them Sunday May 19.