International Jazz Day is celebrated around the world on the 30th of April each year. The date was designated in 2011 by UNESCO, following the suggestion of jazz legend and UN Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, in order to “highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe.” Ever since, an annual all-star concert is staged in an alternating roster of host cities around the world: in 2012 it was New Orleans and New York, followed by Istanbul, Osaka, Paris, Washington and Havana. This year’s hosting city is St Petersburg with Sydney bracing to assume the mantle next year. Apart from the main event, all jazz communities in the world are welcome to participate hosting celebratory events. Some of them are scheduled around Australia, great initiatives, like Dan Quigley’s now-regular Street Parade in Brisbane, or Melbourne luminaries Jackie Bornstein and Julien Wilson teaming up for a night of jazz-as-protest music at the Jazz Lab (an event doubling up as a fundraiser for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, a truly admirable cause that is really worthy of support) – and then, of course, there’s our thing.
To celebrate International Jazz Day 2018, we joined forces with Paris Cat to co-curate a Jam Session, inviting members of Melbourne’s jazz community to join in and play together. It is our way to celebrate the city’s vibrant scene, which is not only the de facto jazz capital of Australia, but also one of the most active, diverse and inclusive in the world. On a day dedicated to jazz as a universal language, we acknowledge the immense talent and camaraderie of the scene, and invite musicians on stage to demonstrate the power of music as a community-building tool.
The House Band
Firebrand pianist Adam Rudegeair will lead a house band of luminaries, featuring bassist Claire Cross and drummer Adam Donaldson. A versatile pianist with a distinct, crisp sound, Adam Rudegeair has been has been active in many outfits covering the whole spectrum of jazz, from bop to funk and beyond. Adam’s association with the Paris Cat goes back to the very early days of the club, which makes him ideal to host and lead this jam session.
Paris Cat is the longest-standing jazz club in Melbourne (it is also probably the sexiest). For more than a decade, Paris Cat has been one of the go-to places for jazz in the CBD, hosting about ten shows per week across two rooms. It is a hub for the budding jazz scene, and a favourite venue for jazz vocalists. On Monday 30 April, the club will be featuring the Daryl McKenzie Jazz Orchestra’s monthly residency at the Parisian Loft and in the basement, our #JazzDay jam session – an impromptu mini-festival to celebrate International Jazz Day.
For more than 15 years, this website has been a platform for the promotion of the country’s vibrant community, featuring news, reviews and interviews about the local scene, visiting artists and the diaspora. Instigating and co-curating the #JazzDay jam session is a way for us to celebrate Melbourne’s jazz scene and showcase the artistry featured here, in the most festive fashion. In collaboration with Just Gold productions, we will promote the #JazzDay jam session through our social media channels, streaming extensive parts of the event live, while edited parts and artist interviews will appear here immediately afterwards. Stay tuned!
There will be music! There will be joy! There will be food and drinks!Join us in Celebration!