“If we want to talk about merit and the tokenistic aspect, the thing is thatby giving people the chance to play, byplaying with new people, being challenged and building confidence, then the quality of our players across the community is going to improve too.”
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“For this project I felt like it wouldn’t be fulfilling for the audience or musicians if we just attempted to play Bjork’s music the way she has produced it, especially for a jazz festival! There has to be something fresh, intriguing, experimental or risky involved for it to make sense to me. I guess this is what we will strive towards presenting some amazing music that we all know and love with a new perspective and sound and room for everyone involved to get their individual voices across.”
“We definitely have a sound that draws from heavy rock music and certain aspects from ambient music too. A lot of the pieces on the album have their own characteristic and mood about them; some are definitely more folk sounding, whilst others can be very raw and aggressive, and then others have a sort of ‘chamber ensemble’ sound about them. It’s not a straight-ahead jazz group by any means.”
AustralianJazz.net and the Paris Cat Jazz Club join forces to celebrate International Jazz Day 2018. Melbourne’s longest-standing jazz club and Australia’s premier jazz website team up to co-curate a jam session, inviting members of Melbourne’s jazz community to join in and play together. Firebrand pianist Adam Rudegeair will lead a house band of luminaries, featuring bassist Claire Cross and drummer Adam Donaldson, with a series of guests sitting in – everyone is welcome!
A cohort of inspired, inspiring women took to the stage, one by one sending out a War Cry, singing songs of Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln and Sharon Jones – along with their own originals, all songs that describe what it means to struggle, to fight back, to do your bit to create social change, one note at a time, one verse at a time.
It was sheer joy watching her and the entire ensemble throughout the night clearly having so much fun on stage.
“People will always make remarks about how extraordinary it is to see a female drummer, and there’s sometimes that concern in the back of your mind that you’re getting booked based on something other than just your playing. When it comes to the actual music, I think we all have an equal responsibility to ourselves and to our audiences, and that’s to show up and kick ass and just try to make a contribution to the music.”
“Festivals are great opportunities to create different kind of experiences,” Chelsea Wilson explains. “A lot of jazz venues in town do not have the stages or infrastructure to be able to do something like that, so were very fortunate to have Chapel Off Chapel as a festival hub this year; it has lots of space for the bands to explore.”
One thing I’ve learned, while I was doing my homework, was that Australia’s first jazz band – literaly trading as ‘Australia’s First Jazz Band’ was formed in Sydney in 1918 by Belle Sylvia. So this year, we’re not only celebrating the centennial of Australian jazz, but also 100 years of female leadership in Australian Jazz. Not a bad legacy for a scene.
“Work hard, stay focused. Connect with other positive, creative artists who are also good human beings. Give more back than you take. Stay true to yourself. Don’t waste your time with useless BS. Dont be silent if something doesn’t feel right.”