“I did not expect the music that came out of me to be political, to be conscious jazz. I thought I would write a beautiful lovely AABA jazz standard that could swing.I didn’t realise that I was so angry or desperate.I didn’t realise I was so opinionated.”
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“Performing a live stream at Nelson Mandela’s funeral was a poignant and emotional day for the Royal Swazi Spa. My first eligible election was South Africa’s 1994, first democratic election in years and I stood in a queue with the rainbow nation and cast my vote for Madiba. I am so honoured for this band to been part of his salute.”
“As artists we need to use our gifts to make people think, to make people feel, to make people aware, to make people accountable, to invoke change. I wish to leave my imprint on this world and I wish it to have made a difference.”
The best part about programming and running the club is discovering so much incredible talent which is right here in Melbourne! The scene is constantly evolving and developing. I’m proud that we have been able to create a space for musicians to play, be it musos just starting their career, or those who have been in the scene for many years and who are re-discovering new projects! Paris Cat jazz club really does have something for everyone!
A dream team of the vibrant Melbourne Jazz Community responded to Fem Belling’s call to arms, donating their time, talent and inspiration to heal the wounds and help Wildlife Victoria in its life-saving work.
Indigenous jazz vocalist Lois Olney plays an intimate and very special show at The JazzLab with Fem Belling and the Belling band.
74 musicians; 4 hours of non-stop music; 1 stage; $10,000 raised for Wildlife Victoria
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.
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.
“My first thought when I took over the role was that I want people who think they don’t like jazz to discover it in new ways, in new formats”.