A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published March 20th 2014
Having Fun and all that Jazz
The Melbourne International Jazz Festival is taking place this year from 30th May to 8th June, at a range of venues including concert halls, arts venues, jazz clubs and throughout the streets of Melbourne. The Festival has been running since 1998, and this year's program looks better than ever, promising 'modern masters of jazz, late night art parties, free events, Australian/international collaborations and pathways for emerging artists'.
Jazz for all comers at Fed Square (image from the Jazz Festival website)
As always, there's an extensive program for the festival, including a number of free events. To save you some trouble, I've trawled through the freebies, and here are my recommendations for the five best free events. Don't forget to pop them in your diary!
Soundwalks is a guided walk that starts from Federation Square. Led by Anthony Magen (Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology) and guest musicians Dale Gorfinkel and Jim Denley, you will be taken on an 'aural adventure' and encouraged to hear the sounds of the city - buskers, birds, trams etc - in a way you never have before.
Soundwalks is being held on Saturday 31st May at 6pm, Sunday 1st June at 4.30pm, and Wednesday 4th, and Thursday 5th at 6pm. Be at Federation Square 10 minutes before the start time to register.
The Wires Project
The Wires Project is described as 'a collaborative cross-cultural multi-media work...that is both immersive and beautiful'. It involves an exchange between visual art and music through an improvised musical response to projected video created by Aymeric De Meautis, based in turn on photographs by Singapore's Chia Ming Chien.
Be at the Deakin edge of Federation Square from 1-2pm on Saturday 31 May to experience the Wires Project.
Work off your Sunday brunch by bopping along to the music at the Free Jazz at Fed Square! Come along and enjoy five hours of jazz, featuring Monash University Big Band (director Jordan Murray), Monash University Brazilian Ensemble (director Al Kerr), WAAPA Jazz Ensemble (director Jamie Oehlers) and Victorian College of the Arts' Ensemble Max (director Rob Vincs).
This event is being held from 11am to 4pm on Sunday 1 June.
Crossing boundaries between neo-soul, jazz, electronic and funk, Hey Frankie brings a fresh approach to the genre. Hey Frankie features five diverse musical voices, including the sweet tones of Jess Palmer.
Hey Frankie (image from Jazz Festival website)
Hey Frankie is playing at The Dancing Dog Cafe, 42A Albert St Footscray, from 2pm on Saturday 7th June.
Afro-Beat at African Town
And while you're out west, hang around and head to African Town Restaurant at 161-163 Nicholson Street, Footscray in the evening for Afro-beat. While you're enjoying some funked up Afro-beat, you also have the opportunity to enhance your African experience by dining on Ethiopian food (which is not free, but very reasonably priced). Call 9689 9660 for reservations.
Afro-beat kicks off at 7pm on Saturday 7th June.
Afro-beat at African Town (image from the Jazz Festival website)
Looking for a deeper experience?
If you're keen to get more immersed with the jazz experience, there is also a range of free workshops and conversations with local and international musicians involved in the Festival. See the program for more information.