The past fortnight has certainly seen a great deal of activity and developments - with extremes of both positive and negative - for Melbourne's jazz scene.
Foremost for the MJC, by May 8th. we were able to officially announce on our Facebook page that the MJC would not be receiving any Australia Council funding in 2018 (after 35 years of continuous Federal funding). On Friday, news of the passing of actor and musician Tom E. Lewis (who co-led the Lewis & Young Ensemble with Christopher Young) at 59 was indeed sad. On Saturday, Stonnington Jazz and Music Victoria hosted a Jazz Roundtable (as part of their Jazz Industry Summit) which generated much enthusiasm from the predominantly younger attendees.
Like any awards system, the 'Bells' Australian Jazz Awards on Monday night will no doubt have generated some controversy in a few quarters, but in the final analysis, five worthy recipients received $35,000 between them (which can never be a bad thing for perennially under-rewarded artists in the jazz world)!

In terms of the Australia Council decision, this was our third unsuccessful application for support in 2018 (in this case, from May onwards). On Facebook I pointed out that our "sister" organisation, S.I.M.A. (Sydney Improvised Music Association) received $60,000 of A.C. funding in the December results, and also stated that the 8 person Assessment Panel included a jazz "expert" and two Victorian-based assessors. Some interpreted this as a statement that I felt the result was unfair, and I was attributing blame to these Panel members (whom I had named). As I soon clarified, the main "culprit" in this situation is the very significant shortfall in still unreturned cuts made to the A.C. budget under then-Arts Minister Brandis through the 2015 Budget. In the December round for Organisations, because of the limited funding pool the success rate was only 13.8%. This is the brutal "bottom line" in this story: before the Brandis attack on the A.C., we would have most probably been in the funding bracket.
Do I think it is grossly unfair that around 175 different Australian jazz musicians - including some of our most respected figures - will not receive one cent of Federal support (via the MJC) towards a modest payment for creating and performing original Australian music in Melbourne in 2018? Damned right, I do - it is an absolute disgrace, and a sad indictment on a Government that seems to want to attack the creative arts and intellectual endeavours at the ABC and CSIRO, amongst other bodies.

But is this simply an unfortunate result of lack of funding budget, and increased competition? Is the Music assessment the best system it can be? I think that there needs to be some tweaking and overdue open discussion about this. (Coming from our current lack of success, this may appear to simply be "sour grapes", but I suspect that jazz will continue to be more marginalised by the current process if we are not aware of trends. In 2011 the MJC had received $60,000 of AC funding, but from 2012 this category was capped at $50,000. At the time, SIMA was on multi-year funding at a higher level, and were not affected, but a few years later they were also subject to the $50K cap. So Federal funding for both our two organisations was then capped at a $50K ceiling, for 6 years in the MJC's case).

Former NSW and National Jazz Co-ordinator Eric Myers has created a website that archives select material about jazz from previous decades, and recently posted an article that I wrote (here) about our seemingly inequitable treatment from the AC in over our first 14 years of AC funding.
Revisiting it, it is hard not to infer a Sydney-centric bias at the AC in years such as 1988, when $24,000 went to the the Sydney scene ($12,000 each to SIMA and Jazz Action NSW), while the Melbourne scene received 25% of that (with the MJC cut back to $6,000).

But, as the cliche goes, 'the past is a foreign country', and the culture and policies have certainly changed at the AC. Other than continually smaller budgets and staff cuts, the fundamental change in Music over the past decade or more has been the huge shift in the embracing of all forms of popular music. Commercially successful artists now are also queuing up for their share of the funding pool, alongside the previous 'art music' applicants.

And, just as APRA/AMCOS and ARIA Awards are centred on Popular Music (with Classical and Jazz awards almost an aside), so too has Federal funding been moving inexorably in this direction (like the ABC, trying to please a broader range of clients). Popular music has marshalled itself in the past decade or two, and has organisations like Music Victoria and MusicNSW (backed by the major business interests of the rock and pop scenes, with commercially successful companies such as Premier Artists) to lobby on its behalf.
On a FB discussion, Sydney-based trumpeter/composer Lee McIver (who has almost four decades of experience with the AC) pointed out that, "It has a lot to do with a system that claims impartiality but more often than not asks the only expert in the room to leave the room due to a possible conflict so the others who are ill informed about the genre are left to decide they would prefer to fund projects from their own side of the fence. It happens so much it's absurd. However surely the expert has the ability to advise with impartiality and with a national view or they simply should not be there. Given creative jazz and improvised musics in Australia is a tiny sector anyone sitting in that chair is surely compromised simply by the fact that they are good, connected and therefore relevant, which of course equals conflict for many applying organisations and festivals who may have recently presented this artist or there projects. Time for an overhaul"
Having recently served on a Panel for this first (and, I now assume, last) time, I believe that an expert should be able to advocate for their sector, but leave the room for the vote if there is a perceived conflict of interest.

Further exacerbating this scenario is the situation whereby it seems that an 8 person Panel is generally made up of up to 4 popular music assessors, 3 classical music assessors, and 1 jazz assessor. As such, it seems that jazz is "snookered", with 50% of the panel coming from a popular viewpoint. Of course, technically speaking, Assessors are directed not to think in terms of advocating for their particular sector or State interests, and most do not do so, I expect.
However, this also requires them to be musically open-minded, informed and interested in other styles, and I doubt that this is always the case (From my experiences in the Music Department at Monash University, I have found that most music people have a very narrow interest base). I suspect that some panelists are either totally ignorant of, or largely disinterested in, the "jazz" idiom in this country (much like most of the general population).
Interestingly (and adding another layer to this decision), the MJC received three different sets of feedback for our three unsuccessful applications (i.e. each Panel made different suggestions for improvements for fundamentally similar applications).
Some query why one major city is funded, while another major city (with an equally large jazz scene) is not: what is the justification. It is dangerous territory to speculate on the thinking of Panels, but possibly they reasoned that the Melbourne jazz scene is healthy enough to absorb the loss. Or, they might argue that Melbourne's scene was already benefitting from Federal support via Catalyst funding to this year's M.I.J.F.

Over the past 36 years I have written close to 90 successful Federal, State and City grant applications (for the MJC, the Melbourne Women's Jazz Festival, and several artists). However, as the MJC's only part-time employee (and without any Arts Management training) I have no doubt that my grant writing skills are no longer up with current terminology (my title as Artistic Director did not change to Curator or Creative Director quick enough, for instance).

I believe that SIMA (with its four part-time staff and office supported with $90,000 of State funding) produces a very impressive range of activities, and a strong return for the AC's funding investment. It would simply be outrageous if they were not funded. I was also pleased to see AC funding (possibly for the first time) for Adelaide's COMA, to present regular jazz concerts there.
Because of privacy and the way the system operates, there is no way of knowing which applicants were unsuccessful, unless they publicly announce it, or communicate that within the jazz community. I noticed that WAYJO were not in the funding recipients this year. Many marvel at the continued stream of jazz talent emanating from WA, and the long-running WAYJO can take a great deal of credit for this. So these decisions do not seem to be particularly "strategic" for the jazz sector.

But why should the Australia Council be more concerned about the national jazz scene, when there are other even smaller music sectors? Firstly, because the jazz scene contributes a disproportionate high percentage of creativity and music innovation (such as engagement with Asian cultures) into the Australian music scene. Secondly, the national jazz scene is virtually bereft of infrastructure and artists management - there is virtually no full-time arts management in the country, except for a very select handful outside of tertiary education. So the need for funding support is fundamentally important (Contrast this with the popular and classical music sectors). Thirdly, without commercial success or institutions behind it, Jazz is also totally lacking a national lobby voice.
This is what funding should be for, first and foremost.
Fortunately, the AC has retained Paul Mason as its Music Manager, and he is knowledgeable about a very broad range of musical activity across the country, and has a genuine interest in the music. He is well-qualified to try to best navigate the competing demands and strategic concerns of Australian music with modest budgets.

With the Jazz Roundtable at Stonnington Jazz the attendees (with some notable exceptions) were predominantly younger, with both the admirable enthusiasm and naive approach of inexperienced youth (I was also taken aback by their lack of depth of knowledge of their scene, and its development). While their idealistic aims were all worthy, I wondered how any of this would be achieved without the well-funded resources required for such tasks. At this stage, we have virtually no jazz network at all around the country, and not a single person capable of collating basic data and research on behalf of the national scene.
Whether I am being cynical or realistic, I believe that both the Melbourne and national jazz community deserve far better support from our Federal funding body, and I will continue to fight for that (as I have always done).
Lastly, one of the MJC Patrons, pianist Tony Gould likes to maintain his privacy, but we wish him a speedy recovery from his recent operation.
He has now been joined in the 'Bell' Hall of Fame category by fellow pianist Bob Sedergreen (with whom he recorded the Unanimity album), so congratulations to Bob (pictured on the cover of his autobiography).

The MJC has a two week break from presentations during the MIJF, so our next eNews will be mid-June. See you at some Festival gigs!
- Martin Jackson


Christopher Young.1


Sunday, May 20, 8.30 pm-11 pm, at The Jazzlab, 27 Leslie Street, Brunswick

$20 & $15 concessions

Multi-woodwind instrumentalist Christopher Young’s quintet will perform material from his 2017 album,
Atmospheros (on Move), together with some new compositions. With Young playing bass clarinet, clarinet, soprano sax, baritone sax and flutes, he will be joined by longtime collaborators Tony ‘Tok’ Norris (trumpet), Tom Fryer (guitars), John O’Hagen (bass), and veteran Hobart-based drummer, Ted Vining. These sympathetic players can equally compliment Young’s textual improvisations, or contemporary style improvisations on themes. Atmospheros was described as “an outstanding album” in its 4 and a half stars review from John Stand in The Sydney Morning Herald.

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GEMMA TURVEY’S New Palm Court Orchestra - Debut

Sunday, May 27, 8.30 pm, at The Jazzlab. $20/$15 con.

The New Palm Court Orchestra (NPCO) makes its Jazzlab debut with this concert. A passionate chamber ensemble founded by Artistic Director, pianist/composer Gemma Turvey in Melbourne in 2011, the NPCO has a core of nine players comprising some of the city’s talented classical, jazz and improvising musicians. Their performances bridge traditions of classical, jazz and world influences, and champion work of Australian composers. The NPCO has enjoyed collaborations with guest soloists including multi Grammy-Award winning cellist Eugene Friesen (USA), premiere vocal ensemble The Consort of Melbourne and countertenor Maximilian Riebl, with repeat standout performances at the Melbourne Recital Centre Salon, Deakin Edge at Federation Square and the Sydney Opera House. For this concert, the NPCO will comprise Gemma Turvey (piano), Craig Beard (vibraphone/percussion), Tom Lee (bass), Campbell Banks (cello) and Rosie Savage (French Horn). Visit
“A unique musical and emotional expirence” – Nikos Fotakis,

Gemma Turvey is a proud ambassador of The Florey Brains Trust, fostering vital research into neurodegenerative disease. She was recently endorsed as a Yamaha Artist.


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The A.A.O. recently announced the appointment of Jerry Remkes as the Executive Producer of the Australian Art Orchestra. Remkes has had an extensive career as an arts administrator both in Australia and abroad. Since 2012 he has held the position of Programmer Performing Arts at Arts Centre Melbourne delivering seasons of large scale international works, as well as supporting and presenting Australian independent artists and small-to-medium companies. Prior to his arrival in Australia in 2012, Remkes held various Executive Producer roles in the Netherlands, as well as working for local government and the Theatre Institute of the Netherlands. His career in the arts commenced through his love for improved music, working both as a music journalist and at festivals like the North Sea Jazz Festival. See


STONNINGTON JAZZ 2018 concludes

This year's Stonnington Jazz Festival concludes on Sunday night, May 20 at Chapel-off-Chapel, with Steve Sedergreen's "Here and Now", an interpretion of Duke Ellington's 1967 "Far East Suite" masterpiece with a 30-piece ensemble including two big bands, The Black Sistaz, Amadou Suso, and didjeridu and shamisen players.
Sedergreen explains,"Taking inspiration from Ellington’s Masterpiece The Far East Suite, I have embarked on a quest to rework it, uniting more than 30 musicians to recreate the work and take it on a new journey through Africa, Australia, Asia, and India".

As Artistic Director, Chelsea Wilson delivered her strongest program yet for her third consecutive year in the role.
For the full program, visit

Sydney Con International Jazz Festival

​Sunday 3 June, 10am-9pm

Artistic Director and Head of the Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Studies Program, David Theak was thrilled with the response to the inaugural event which celebrated the very best international, national and local music. The diverse program features over 90 musicians in 24 master-classes and concerts. Headliners from the MIJF include Grammy-nominated vocalist Gretchen Parlato, as well as New York tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby and formidable Canadian improvising pianist Kris Davies collaborating with Australian percussionist Simon Barker. Other festival highlights include; Berlin-based pianist Magda Mayas and drummer Tony Buck (PERIL, The Necks), pianist and Australia Council Fellow, Barney McAll’s ARIA award-winning ASIO project, Stu Hunter's: The Migration which comprises “one of the great horn sections in Australian music history” (John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald), multi-award-winning artist and Freedman Fellow, pianist Andrea Keller in duo with Don Banks Award recipient, legendary pianist Mike Nock and Jonathan Zwartz’s new ten-piece project, Animarum.

Where: Sydney Conservatorium of Music, 1 Conservatorium Road, Sydney




Winners and Hall of Fame recipient for the 16th annual Australian Jazz Bell Awards were announced at a gala event at Bird's Basement on Monday, May 14.

The 2018 awards winners are:

Best Australian Jazz Ensemble of the year, presented by Monash University – Barney McAll
Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album, presented by TarraWarra Winery Estate – Andrea Keller ‘Still Night: Music in Poetry’
Young Australian Jazz Artist of the year, presented by Fender Katsalidis Architects – Evan Harris
Best Australian Instrumental Jazz Album, presented by Brand Partners Commercial Lawyers – Barney McAll, ‘Hearing the blood’
Best Australian Jazz Song of the year, presented by APRA/AMCOS – Speedball ‘ Judgement Day’
Best Produced Album, presented by ALFi records – Barney McAll ‘ Hearing the blood’
Pianist Bob Sedergreen was inducted into Graeme Bell Hall of Fame this year.

The Australian Jazz Bell Awards Limited is a not-for-profit company.
The winner in each category receives $5000 as well as the Award presented to the artist at the Gala Awards Ceremony.

The prestigious awards were decided by a judging panel which included key industry figures: Albert Dadon (Founder and Chairman of The Australian Jazz Bell Awards and owner of Bird’s Basement), Adrian Jackson (former Artistic Director of the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz) , Gerry Koster (radio presenter), Martin Jackson (Founder of the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative), Jessica Nicholas (journalist and radio presenter) and John Shand (author, journalist, drummer and critic).

The Australian Jazz Bell Awards Limited is a not-for-profit company.

2018 Melbourne International Jazz Festival - Branford Marsalis sold out

The full program for the 2018 Melbourne International Jazz Festival was launched on March 20th., and will certainly be "kicked along" by a front page feature article on Maceo Parker in the Spectrum section of today's edition of The Age (published a few days ago in The Sydney Morning Herald).
The excellent news for the Festival is that the concert for the Branford Marsalis Quartet (pictured) has already sold out
The 2018 Melbourne International Jazz Festival's headline acts include Maceo Parker's tribute to Ray Charles (at Hamer Hall); Madeline Peyroux (at Hamer Hall); Christian McBride's New Jawn (The Jazzlab); Chris Dave & The Drumhedz (170 Russell); Nubya Garcia from the U.K.(The Jazzlab); Novela, with US saxophonist Tony Malaby, Canadian pianist Kris Davis and the Monash Art Ensemble (at The Jazzlab), amongst others. The program of three concerts at the Melbourne Recital Centre sees the return to Australia of three artists: Branford Marsalis Quartet (USA); Sun Ra Arkestra; and vocalist Gretchen Parlato (USA). Marsalis' Quartet has toured here numerous times now (including with pianist Joey Calderazzo). The Sun Ra Arkestra first toured here in 2011 for the MIJF, returning for the 2012 MIJF and in January 2014 for the MIJF's Summer Sessions. Since the passing of Sun Ra in 1993, the Arkestra has been led by veteran alto saxophonist Marshall Allen, who will be 94 when he tours here. Marsalis appears on Friday, June 1; Parlato on Saturday, June 2; and, the Sun Ra Arkestra on Wednesday, June 6. For bookings visit here.


Tuesday, June 12 at 6 - 8 PM
The Curtin Hotel,

29 Lygon St, Carlton

It’s tax time, which means one thing: we need to talk money. Join APRA AMCOS and Music Victoria at a practical session aimed at helping you keep track of your cash, create a tour budget and prepare a tax return. As the end of the financial year approaches, this is a vital session for artists, managers and small music business owners looking to make the most out of their money. Bookings essential!

FREE for Music Victoria and APRA AMCOS members.

$10/$8 (concession). Cash tickets available on the door.

If a MV member, you will be asked for your MV membership number at the door.

Visit Music Victoria website to sign up!

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Grants & Funding Seminar: 'Making Sense of Opportunities'

Tuesday, June 5 at 6 - 8 PM
Music Victoria

1/49 Tope St, South Melbourne

The pool of funding available to Victorian artists is greater than ever. However, the funding application rounds are increasingly competitive and can be daunting for first-time applicants.

Find out about the latest grants and funding opportunities available from Creative Victoria, City of Port Phillip, and Creative Partnerships Australia for contemporary music artists, managers, venues, professionals and business. This great panel will share tips on how stand out from the crowd in preparing your funding application.

Moderated by Nick Cooper, Operations & Program Manager (Music Victoria)

Dean Linguey – Senior Arts Officer, Contemporary Music (Creative Victoria)
Simona Castricum – Artist, Music Works Grants Recipient
Chloe Turner – Programs Officer (Creative Partnerships Australia)
Sue Strano – Coordinator, Arts (City of Port Phillip)

Kaiju Hip Hop Jazz Project


Limelight had a report on the Australia Council's latest results, beginning with the statistics:
The Australia Council has released the results of its latest grant rounds including its regular project categories and the outcomes of the Contemporary Music Touring Program. The $6.8 million worth of funding in the latest core grants round will support 222 projects by 133 individual artists, 30 groups, and 59 arts organisations.

The Australia Council received a total of 1,336 applications in the latest core grants round – with 29 percent of applications coming from people applying for the first time – spanning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts, Community Arts and Cultural Development, Dance, Emerging and Experimental Arts, Literature, Multi-art form, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts.

They then went on to list all of the Classical music-related successes: read here.

Jazz-related successes in this round were vocalist Elly Hoyt ($10,525 to record an album of works by female Australian jazz composers); Johannes Luebbers ($16,000 to record his Dectet); Joel Ma ($19,466 for a project by Aaron Choulai with Japanese and Melbourne musicians);

Paul Grabowsky ($28,583 for the Gravity Project with Aaron Choulai, Japanese and Melbourne musicians); Ross McHenry ($21,870 for a NYC recording with Eric Harland and Matthew Sheens); and, Mindy Meng Wang ($21,290 for a collaboration of traditional Chinese instruments with the A.A.O.).
Pianist Hue Blanes also received a Development Grant of $7,622.

Music grant recipients included well-known figures such as Speak Percussion; the Grigoryan Brothers; composer Andrew Ford; recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey; and, Matthias Schack-Arnott,

Over 20 peers participated in the assessment process including Martin Jackson (Melbourne Jazz Co-op), Michelle Forbes (Tasmanian Youth Orchestra), Graham Strahle (critic, The Australian), Carolyn Chard (West Australian Opera), Thomas de Mallet Burgess (Lost and Found Opera), Anne Cawrse (composer), Emily Tulloch (Zephyr Quartet) and Jeremy Rose (The Vampires/Earshift Music).

Pictured: Tokyo-based pianist Aaron Choulai will feature in two A.C. funded projects with Japanese collaborators.

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New Album Releases (on Earshift Music and ABC)

Earshift Music have two new releases from Melbourne-based artists: trombonist James Macaulay and the Happy Hoppy Orchestra 'Today Will Be Another Day', and bassist/composer Sam Anning's 'A Field As Vast As One'
Anning has assembled an all-star Australian jazz cast to bring to life his stunning compositions, featuring trumpeter Mat Jodrell, saxophonists Julien Wilson and Carl Mackey, pianist Andrea Keller, and drummer Daniel Fischer. ‘Across A Field As Vast As One’ traverses eight original Anning compositions, drawing on diverse influences including his years living in New York City, the Australian landscape, recent world events and most of all, a homage to his late great mentor, the Australian drummer Allan Browne. Anning sums up Browne’s influence on his music with the phrase “music is far too important to take seriously.”……/a-field-as-vast-as-one/1384323255

National Jazz Award-winner James Macaulay recently returned from recording his dream project in Tokyo. The music is inspired by his experiences touring in Japan with Melbourne traditional jazz band the Lagerphones and pianist Aaron Choulai.
Inspired by the Allan Browne Quintet, James combines lyricism and abstraction to produce new ways to organise improvisation within a jazz septet.

Sydney trumpeter/composer Eamon Dilworth's 'Viata' features pianist Alister Spence, guitarist Carl Morgan, bassist Jonathan Zwartz and drummer Paul Derricott. The album concept stems from a trip to Romania encountering a new city with a different way of life, morales and stories. Viata means “Life” in Romanian, in terms of how we continue to exist and simply be.

Melbourne pianist/composer Nat Bartsch's 'Lullaby' is her second solo release, an album of lullabies (on ABC Classics). Bartsch writes: "The title Forever, and No Time At All, refers to the experience of parenting where time goes incredibly fast and incredibly slow at the same time. I feel as though I have known my son Will all my life, and yet also can't believe that he is nearly 10 months old already. It feels like only yesterday he was a newborn!
The tracks on the album are mostly inspired by Will's stage of development at the time of writing, and are influenced by music therapy research. Many of these songs were initially written whilst Will was in my arms at the piano, or in a rocker on the floor nearby. One of the tracks, Day Past Due, was written when Will was just two weeks old (he was born early). I can't believe I had the energy to do that back then! But there you go.
The album was recorded by my wonderful collaborator Luke Howard, who also contributes ambient electronics. I played grand piano, upright piano with the practice pedal down, and the amazing and rare celesta, thanks to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra".


2018 AJIRN Conference: So What? Jazz and Improvised Music Research and its Impact on Artists, Scenes and Society – Registrations Open

We’re happy to announce that the call for papers has closed and registrations are now open for our 2018 Conference: So What? Jazz and Improvised Music Research and it’s Impact on Artists, Scenes and Society

Register HERE

Friday 1st June – Sunday 3rd June, 2018
Friday 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Saturday and Sunday 9:30am – 5:00pm

Paris Cat Jazz Club, 6 Goldie Place, Melbourne

Full: $250 + GST
Student: $150 + GST
Conference fee includes catering

Registration will close Friday April 27th, 2018

Conference Contact, Program Chair: Fiona Burnett:
Convener and President: Associate Professor Rob Burke

The Vampires 2017 3 credit Arthur Wollenweber


Finalists for AIR's Awards for BEST INDEPENDENT JAZZ ALBUM are:

Listen to 2018 AIR Awards Nominees Playlist on Apple Music HERE
The recipients will be announced on July 26.



Bird's Basement's program for May features New Orleans pianist Henry Butler and The Jambalaya Band on May 20. They are followed by ever-popular U.S. vocalist Kurt Elling and his group on May 29 – June 3 . U.S. alto saxophonist Donald Harrison (who co-led a group with fellow New Orleans musician, Terence Blanchard, after they left Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers) makes his Australian debut on June 6-10.

EVA: An Evening of Vocal Artistry

May 23 - 30

$25/$20 concessions/ $15 students

Highly experienced vocalist Chris McNulty has curated an impressive 6-week concert series, featuring the pairing of some of Australia's most acclaimed vocal jazz musicians, including expatriate Anita Wardell.
"An Evening of Vocal Jazz Artistry" was first conceived back in 2009 while Chris McNulty was still residing in NYC. The
original concept focused on featuring the diverse vocal jazz artistry that had developed in the trenches of NYC and other cities around the USA. The collaborative element grew out of seeing impromptu performances by artists as diverse as Carol Sloane and Rebecca Paris, Sheila Jordan, Jay Clayton, Urszula Dudziak and Judy Neimack, the late great Kevin Mahogany with Kurt Elling and Nancy King with Karrin Alyson and many more. Chris found much inspiration in seeing how the pool of innovative vocal jazz musicians continued to expand and develop into such a strong and supportivecommunity. With that inspiration, after returning to Australia in early 2016 and finding a whole new community of highly skilled, inventive vocal musicians, Chris decided to pursue the idea of running a similar event series down here.
Twelve stunning vocal musicians paired together to present a set each over six incredible nights/weeks. The collaborative element gives audiences a chance to see just how masterful, creative and adventurous Australian vocal jazz musicians are. Melbourne jazz lovers, especially those who love improvised, vocal jazz are in for a real treat.
In keeping with this being a national event the series will include vocal musicians from as far and wide as Perth and Brisbane. Some pairings will feature vocal mentor with gifted young vocal student.
The mission statement for EVA speaks about community and the sharing of ideas. During her decades spent in NYC, Chris became a part of a community that saw the camaraderie between jazz vocalists grow into a vibrant and connected community. There’s a certain kind of fearlessness, generosity of spirit and trust required when approaching improvised, vocal collaboration. Chris’ hope is that “An Evening of Vocal Jazz Artistry” will not only provide an opportunity to highlight the remarkable talent we have in the Australian vocal jazz community but also bring about more opportunities to
gather in open, sharing, inclusive environments.



In its support of some artists with independent releases (whom we have presented), the MJC has bought a quantity of their CD albums to sell for only $20 (including postage).
One of these is that of former Perth-based arranger Johannes Luebbers Dectet ("The Exquisite Corpse Of Beethoven"). The more recent of these is James Muller's "NEUROTICA", his first album in almost a decade. Recorded in Melbourne (in conjunction with MJC gigs), the album features his Trio, with guest keyboardist Sean Wayland on some tracks, performing all-originals.
In addition we have "A GLORIOUS UNCERTAINTY", the second last album by the late alto saxophonist David Ades, recorded in New York with Tony Malaby, Mark Helias and Gerard Cleaver. It won two Bell Awards: for Best Jazz Ensemble, and Best Jazz Composition.
There are also limited numbers of albums by US-based expatriate saxophonist Jacam Manricks ("Labyrinth"),. For those who attended Allan Browne's funeral service and were impressed by the beautiful classic New Orleans style ensemble in the church which featured clarinetist Barry Wratten, we have his New Orleans Pelicans album.

Tony Gould3


MJC Associate Membership for 2018 is available in three tiers: Gold level is $75; Silver level is $30 ($20 concessions), and Bronze level is $10 for musicians. Associate Membership of the MJC costs just $75 for Gold Membership. When you sign up for Gold Membership you receive a free pass to one MJC Club performance by a Victorian ensemble and concession rates to all gigs all year, equating to large savings for frequent MJC audience members.
Silver membership costs $30 (or $20 for concession holders, $2 for Tertiary students). Silver members also receive one free pass to an MJC Club performance by a Victorian ensemble, as well as standard member benefits.
Musicians are encouraged to join at the special Bronze rate of only $10 per year and support the continued operations of the MJC, an organisation that supports them!
All members receive enewsletters, brochures, a range of discounts to sister businesses and opportunities to win a range of giveaways (CDs, tickets and more) throughout the year.
For more information, email [] or visit our website for the easy Renewals page, or new Membership page.

Do you have a gig coming up or a new album out? We would love to do a CD or ticket giveaway for you! email or


Founding Artistic Patron: the late Brian Brown, OA

Artistic Patrons: Mike Nock, ONZM, Professor Tony Gould, OA

MJC Chairperson: Eugene Ball

Piano at Uptown Jazz Café is generously supplied by Kawai Pianos, Australia

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