Festivals

2018 Melbourne International Jazz Festival: the Modern Masters step in

Terri Lyne Carrington, Christian McBride and Branford Marsalis share some common traits. They are all adept at both ‘straight jazz’ styles and the urban r’n’b-infused sub-genres, easily stepping in and out of these worlds, blending elements, mixing things, creating new music. By doing so, they all helped redefine jazz and keep it relevant.

Nick Haywood: “Charlie Haden and the Liberation Music Orchestra have been an inspiration”

“Charlie Haden is a significant figure in 20th Century music and has been a huge influence on me throughout my career. The theme of songs of protest that we are presenting at the festival also fits well with Haden’s music we will be performing – LMO music inspired by the Spanish Civil war and the Cuban revolution amongst others, as well as some Australian songs of protest by the likes of Midnight Oil and Archie Roach.”

Thomas Avgenicos: “Being judged is part of life as a musician”

“It’s an endless competition; you’re always competing for gigs, and competing to play in different bands or going for the same awards; and there are always people out there trying to judge you; it’s a fact of life and a fact of the music scene. People are going to be judging you and the best way to go is to be yourself. I can’t do more than that.”

Peter Knight on ‘Diomira’

This strange sense of yearning and of trying to capture the essence of a memory and understanding that memory is fallible and you can never really re-experience something as it was, I was interested in that and interested in the way that music can communicate that gradual decay of memory. So the piece is kind of about patterns and the decay of patterns, it’s about memory and the beauty of decay.

The spirit of Alice Coltrane graces Melbourne

Has Alice Coltrane ever been more relevant? Maybe in the ’70s, when she set up on her own journey, practically inventing the harp as a jazz instrument, while creating her signature modal/spiritual jazz sound. Spiritual jazz is, of course, the sub-genre du jour, at the moment, largely thanks to the unbelievable popularity of Kamasi Washington, who owes much to the Coltranes. But any DJ worth their turntables have been pointing to Alice Coltrane for the past decade or more, discovering the worlds that exist in her intricate weavings and sonic textures.

Jennifer Salisbury: “If I am contemplating the experience of another and I feel deeply about it, I can have a tune pop up”

I have always loved horns and a big band sound so I wanted to inject that into the project. I also had to have piano because of the colour it provides. I was looking for a slightly theatric bent as well.

Hue Blanes: “I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a world leader”

“The Singh & Blanes duet is more about romanticism and flashbacks to a more romantic time, while my own solo work is about my intricate thoughts and emotions; it’s all about me being by myself, in solitude. It’s a bit more personal and reflects my individual take on the world. Then my jazz project is about my compositional ability and my fluency on the piano”.