Here’s a picture of summer bliss: sitting on the lawn, at a beautiful winery and olive grove at the Mornington Peninsula, sipping cool wine and eating a slice of pizza, while listening to wonderful music. This is exactly what is happening at the “Twilight Jazz” sessions that are part of the Peninsula Summer Music Festival. The festival, a “cornucopia of music from across centuries and continents”, taking place at the churches, wineries and intimate spaces of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, opens on New Year’s Day and features more than 50 Australian and international artists, presenting an eclectic array of music, from 17th century French, Italian and English baroque to Indian and Middle Eastern music, to contemporary jazz. The latter is represented by two of the greatest Australian Masters: Paul Grabowsky and Vince Jones, in one of their delightful encounters. The duo will present their latest project – an album of intimate ballads, performed with exquisite sensitivity – at Montalto Winery and Olive Grove, on Sunday 3 January, at 7pm.
This is not the only jazz related event featured in the Festival, which is curated by Julia Fredersdorff, herself an acclaimed violinist. The closing event, on Sunday 10 January, will be a concert of jazz and world music fusion, by the oud virtuoso Joseph Tawadros and his trio with (his brother) James Tawadros on percussion and the magnificent Matt McMahon on piano.
Not a bad way for 2016 to start, that’s for sure.