Elly Hoyt has harnessed the power and beauty of music, not simply for its own sake, but to give voice to those we have heard far too little from.
The event program features three ensembles performing in solidarity with asylum seekers imprisoned under Australia’s watch; Jackie Bornstein’s Jazz and Social Justice, Oscar Neyland’s Wirecutters, and Julien Wilson’s Autonomous Resilience Collective.
“While we are both very different players, I think we both are similar in the fact the we like to approach improvisation with honesty and aim to be ourselves at all times. We are also both drawn to the same kind of repertoire and inspired by similar artists.”
“The broader aim of the Jazz and Social Justice project is to demonstrate the power of jazz as a force for justice, freedom and creativity. Jazz artists have used their music and profile to spotlight injustices since the Civil Rights era. The program I have put together shares the stories and music of jazz artists from 1930s to the modern day who have taken a stand for social justice issues including racial, religious and marriage equality and environmentalism.”
Hers is a naturally musical voice aided and abetted by impeccable pitch and an ability to move through registers effortlessly. Clancye Milne’s jazz sensibilities are strong and she phrases with the maturity of a jazz singer twice her age, with just a whisper of Blossom Dearie.
” I believe that is one of the primary purposes of music: To offer a portal for release and escape, and hopefully healing, even if only for a few seconds. What better way than by celebrating music from around the world and through the ages, whose message is struggle for unification and equality?”
“We decided to record this performance because we felt it was a good time to document the work we’ve done so far, and also because the musicians are so good. We’ve been very lucky in Melbourne to have worked with great players; it’s a great privilege to have your music played by such fantastic musicians”.
“Best travelling music is still Pat Metheny. “The Precious Jewel” from “Beyond the Missouri Sky”, with Charlie Haden. Travelling through the Swiss Italian alps by train for the first time. Laughing and crying at the same time.”
Artists include jazz legends Vince Jones, Peter Gaudion and Bob Sedergreen in one-off shows with some leading names joining their line-ups.
One of the aspects I have always enjoyed in Wilson’s music is his impressionistic side – even though a player who resonates with the deep history of the art form, he never baulks at going where the music takes him, whether an un-jazz place or not.