Stonnington Jazz—100% Australian Jazz
Thursday 9—Sunday 19 May 2019
The award-winning Stonnington Jazz Festival returns for its 14th year, presenting world-class Australian artists performing cabaret, afro-beat, bebop, spiritual jazz, trad jazz and more over 11 days right in the cradle of Melbourne’s jazz birthplace.
Jazz as a musical art form continues to be hip, relevant and wildly popular among musicians and listeners of all ages, continuing an Australian love affair with jazz that ignited in the 1920s. When US soldiers brought big band jazz records Down Under, the exuberant new sound soon filled our dance halls, and the southern suburbs of Melbourne (Prahran, St Kilda and South Melbourne in particular) quickly became a melting pot for the development of our thriving jazz scene.
Now, we consistently continue to produce world-class jazz musicians (such as Grammy-nominated Barney McCall) and showcase them at Stonnington Jazz. This acclaimed festival, artistic-directed by Chelsea Wilson, continues to punch well above its weight in terms of the quality of musicians and diversity of jazz styles, as well as the one-off collaborations, special concerts and commissioned works for which Stonnington has become renowned.
Jazz, especially improvised jazz, is best experienced live, existing in the moment as a musical ‘conversation’ with listeners. With its unique combination of performances, parties, community events and a professional development summit, Stonnington allows music lovers and musicians alike to be part of that conversation. Audiences can even interact with a jazz jam session, a jazz DJ masterclass, a big jazz singalong and interactive art, storytelling and writing events, as well as free jazz story time sessions for children.
Concert highlights include:
- WAR CRY—six unique voices from across Australia unite to explore the political, socially aware and thought-provoking spirit of jazz, accompanied by a band created especially for this concert by Claire Cross;
- THE ARROW OF TIME—spiritual jazz performed by funk guitarist Lance Ferguson’s Menagerie;
- THE PLAINS—the Australian premiere of this work by the Australian Arts Orchestra (celebrating its Silver Jubilee year), inspired by Australia’s iconic landscape;
- HEARING THE BLOOD—presented by award-winning pianist Barney McAll and his band—experience the master in concert;
- QUEENS OF THE JAZZ AGE—re-creating the halcyon days of the big band era, celebrating everything jazz and cabaret, and starring Rhonda Burchmore, Dolly Diamond, Stella Angelico and Cougar Morrison with the Jack Earle Big Band;
- COOL NIGHTS HOT JAZZ—the Festival’s extraordinary finale with a stellar lineup of Australian musicians (including Monique DiMattina, Bob Sedergreen and more) playing homage to the Melbourne’s trad jazz legacy; and
- JAZZ INDUSTRY SUMMIT—panels, keynote speeches (including by San Francisco Jazz artistic director Lilly Schwartz) and workshops for musicians’ professional development.
“Every year it’s exciting to showcase the finest Australian jazz and musical talent, right here in Stonnington’s exceptional venues,” says Cr Steve Stefanopoulos, Mayor, The City of Stonnington.
“We’re delighted to welcome you to this year’s festival, with outstanding musical performances and an invitation to be involved in dance and visual arts events for adults and children alike. There’s also an Industry Summit to connect some of our greatest musical minds. Stonnington Jazz is truly a world-class event.”
The diversity and eternal evolution of jazz means there’s something for everyone at Stonnington Jazz Festival—even those who claim they ‘don’t like jazz’! From trad to New Orleans to spiritual jazz to hip-hop, from intimate acoustic trios to big band swing and beyond, from smoky streetwise grit to high glam, Stonnington has got it all.
What: Stonnington Jazz Festival
When: Thursday 9th to Sunday 19th May 2019
Where: Chapel Off Chapel and various venues throughout Stonnington
Cost: Ranging from free events to $75 pp
Further information: stonningtonjazz.com.au/festival-program/