Melbourne International Jazz festival

Hi guys, I am very excited about the upcoming Melbourne Jazz festival, which is happening here in June. Some great piano players, as well as fantastic ensembles. If you ever needed an excuse to visit Melbourne in winter, this is it ! And we have seriously good coffee too :smile:


This is a wonderful thread Natasha… thanks for creating and sharing this info.

I remember you sharing Kenny Barron’s appearance at the Melbourne Jazz Fest last year… that must have been such a treat to watch! :star_struck:

Jam Nights @ Melbourne Jazz Festival:

I was just looking at the website and noticed they are running 10 jazz jam sessions over the festival duration (see link below) - these are definitely worth checking out, even if you don’t plan to partake in the jam.

You can learn a lot just from watching these jam sessions. Generally, jam nights start with an hour-long set by the house band, and then follow an ‘open-mic’ format, where musicians will be up on stage who have never performed with each other before.

Much can be learnt in this setting. Really pay attention to how they are communicating. You will notice lots of subtle visual cues, particularly during the solos and the transition back to the final head.

I want to encourage all PianoGroove students to get involved in jam nights and so the first step is to attend!

You will hear many of the tunes being played that we have covered on PianoGroove. Hearing these songs in a trio or big band setting is always an interesting and enriching experience.

@julian885404 - you mentioned you were looking for jam nights in Melbourne… I imagine all of the local cats will be attending these jams… definitely worth checking these out :sunglasses:

Generally, I prefer jam nights over high-profile performances. There’s something about the intimacy and spontaneity of a jazz jam night that makes them very special in my opinion. Wonderful opportunities to meet like-minded folk and network too!

Thanks again for sharing Natasha… I’ll have to coincide a visit to Australia when the Melbourne Jazz Festival is on.

ps. I’ve created a new forum category “Jazz Events & Jam Nights” to categorise this kind of post

We have students from 52 countries last time I counted, so I think so much can be gained from sharing our local jazz events and helping others students learn more about their local jazz scene.

To start this off, I’ll create threads on the jazz jam nights I have experienced in various cities.

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Thanks Hayden, yes fantastic just caught up with this thread so will be a great opportunity to see some jams near home :grinning:, really looking forward to this festival now and great idea with the new forum post for jams.

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Awesome - hope you guys enjoy the festival!

Yes I think it will be a useful addition to the forum!


Hi everyone, the Melbourne Jazz Festival has started, and last night I went to see Gretchen Parlato, vocalist, who presented an exquisite programme of Brazilian music. There was no piano, but one of her musicians was a guy playing a modified cello that had an amazing range of sounds. Cheers :):sunglasses::smile:

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Awesome, thanks for the update Natasha.

The Gretchen Parlato performance sounds wonderful!

Really great idea starting this thread by the way… You’ve may have noticed I created a new forum category “Jazz Events & Jam Nights”

I’ve been meaning to get around to adding similar city-focused threads on the jazz scenes that I have experienced… Seattle, Vancouver BC, & New York. NYC make take a while to compile! :grin:

We have students from all around the world so it would be fantastic to see other students adding their local jazz haunts, venues, and festivals.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the Melbourne festival :sunglasses:

Hi guys, I went to see the Nubya Garcia Quartet at the Melbourne Jazz Festival and she had a piano player called Joe Armon-Jones. He is from the UK, has anyone heard of him ? He was a pretty amazing player. I could hear influences from McCoy Tyner and Robert Glasper.


I haven’t heard of him before Natasha… I’m checking out some of his recordings on YouTube, and I found his website here:

He seems to play within all sorts of different genres and plays with a Rhodes sound on many of his recordings… Interesting player, I’ll be listening to more of his stuff!

Hi Hayden, I hope you’ve got your ticket booked to Melbourne as the one and only Herbie Hancock will be doing the closing concert of the 2019 Melbourne International Jazz festival. Will be an extraordinary event :slight_smile: :star_struck::sunglasses:

Hi Natasha!

I would certainly attend the festival if it wasn’t half the world away from me here in Manchester, UK :smile: … One day I will make it to Australia and the jazz scene of Melbourne is on my list of must-sees.

And wow Herbie Hancock will be an amazing headlining act.

I wonder what songs he will be performing!

Hi Hayden I just bought my tickets to Herbie Hancock ! yay ! There is another jazz pianist coming to the Festival with his quartet - Billy Childs – have you heard of him ?
I hope Herbie will play Maiden Voyage – it’s one of my favourites :smile:

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I’m very jealous Natasha :grinning: … Herbie Hancock’s show will be an amazing experience!

I haven’t heard of Billy Childs but I will be checking him out today. Thanks for the recommendation.

And crossing my fingers that Herbie plays Maiden Voyage for you :crossed_fingers:

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HI guys, here is the Melbourne International Jazz Festival programme. Too many wonderful shows to choose from. There is even a film programme, including a film about Bill Evans :smile:


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Hi guys, Herbie Hancock proved yet again tonight that he is the ubermeister of jazz/funk/fusion. In an intense, highly inventive and totally compelling 2 hour set, he swept the audience away. Sharing the stage with him were bassist James Genus, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, and guitarist Lionel Loueke, all of whom travelled with us, the audience, to a cosmic space on a tsunami of sounds, rhythms, chords and tones. A once-in-a-lifetime event, to hear a modern master. I had hoped for a couple of solo piano pieces, but that seems irrelevant now :slight_smile:#herbiehancock
#melbjazzfest #theartscentre,#jazz

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