From Thursday 3rd to Sunday 6th March 2016, St Kilda celebrates its rich history of jazz with St Kilda Summer Jazz (SKSJ), a weekend featuring a diversity of artists and jazz styles from trad to contemporary, in a range of St Kilda venues that are both historic and eclectic.
Artists include jazz legends Vince Jones, Peter Gaudion and Bob Sedergreen in one-off shows with some leading names joining their line-ups.
(From the Media Release)
“Some of the artists have strong links to St Kilda and Port Phillip”, says Marketing and Event Manager, Kaye Blum. “When Vince played at MEMO last year, he shared quite a few entertaining anecdotes about his time in St Kilda. Peter Gaudion ran several jazz nights and played in Port Phillip for nearly 10 years. Rebecca Barnard’s amazing jazz family history includes her grandmother Cath Barnard playing with her big band at the Palais de Danse in the 1940s.”
Providing a diversity of jazz for local audiences was also an important programming consideration. “We’re really excited to present some artists that usually only play north-side or in the CBD,” she adds.
The program includes saxophonist Julien Wilson’s exclusive album launch for This Narrow Isthmus; and a host of other great acts including the Alexander Nettelbeck Quartet, The Horns of Leroy, Justine Jones, Happy House with Paul Williamson and friends, Margie Lou Dyer Quartet, The Sugarfoot Ramblers, and more.
This year’s partner venues have been carefully selected to provide not just excellent acoustics, but also diverse and fascinating atmospheres; ranging from the beautiful and historic MEMO Music Hall (behind the RSL) to the renowned jazz spot Claypots Ruby Gils Bar (named after Ruby Carter and Gil Askey).
Sadly, some of St Kilda’s most significant historic jazz venues no longer exist, such as the Palais de Danse and the Katherina Cafe which was home to Horst Liepolt’s influential Jazz Centre 44 in the ’50s. Others, like the Prince of Wales and the iconic Esplanade Hotel, which hosted major jazz acts and dances from 1920 to 1925 in the Eastern Tent Ballroom, still grace the St Kilda sky-line.
The St Kilda Sports Club (affectionately known as the Bowlo) will be the festival ‘hub’. This grand old dame is now 150 years old and has held many live music events over the years. Open until late Friday and Saturday, it will host performances followed by late night jam sessions featuring some special guest musicians.
SKSJ is as a not-for-profit event run by a small team of dedicated volunteers who are passionate about sharing St Kilda’s wonderful jazz story – past and present. To ensure accessibility, most ticket prices are low and some events are free. Check the website for the full program and head to St Kilda this March for some hot live jazz by the sea.