Stonnington Jazz Festival 2020

Stonnington Jazz Festival: Be entertained. Get energised. Feel inspired.

Celebrating 15 years of Stonnington Jazz

Stonnington Jazz Festival returns for its 15th year with 11 days of red-hot, all-Australian jazz. From 7 to 17 May 2020 Stonnington Jazz Festival will present a dynamite program of performances and events across multiple venues. Chapel Off Chapel will serve as the festival hub, packed with stunning shows, interactive events and immersive experiences. Tipping a cap to the 100 year anniversary of Prohibition, the Chapel’s loft space has been transformed into the ‘Lana Turner Lounge’, primed for intimate shows and nights of revelry.

This year’s festival embraces new generations of amazing Australian talent while honouring the timeless mastery of the jazz greats. Creative Producers Nichaud Fitzgibbon and Stephen McAllan have curated a program that encompasses the many and diverse genres that make up jazz, taking listeners on a round-the-world musical journey from New Orleans and New York to Polynesia, Brazil and even further afield. There’s something a little familiar, sounds that are fun and challenging, and performances that will get your heart racing and feet moving.

“I welcome new Creative Producers Nichaud Fitzgibbon and Stephen McAllan, and look forward to the exciting program they have created for our 15th anniversary. This years’ festival has something for everyone, from jazz aficionados to live music fans and those new to the genre. I encourage residents and visitors to Stonnington to get out and enjoy this fabulous festival” City of Stonnington Mayor Cr Steve Stefanopoulos said.

Stonnington Jazz Festival 2020 Gala Performance

GOLD! The Daryl McKenzie Jazz Orchestra featuring Fem Belling and Libby Hammer

This show-stopping opening performance will take the audience on a ride from Irving Berlin and Ella Fitzgerald to David Bowie and Duran Duran. Dynamic, scintillating and featuring an electrifying big band, these performers will draw on musical standards from the 1930s to the 2000s for a show that takes swing to places you never imagined.

Festival Highlights

Prolific Australian trumpeter, singer and composer/arranger Roscoe James Irwin (The Cat Empire, The Bamboos) presents Lost in a Dream: The Musical Life of Chet Baker. A hauntingly beautiful journey through the sounds and songs of one of the most revered, yet most tragic figures in popular jazz history. Once upon a time Baker was considered the ‘James Dean of Jazz’. His struggle and decline led to an ultimately heartbreaking story, but the legacy of ‘West Coast Cool’ he left behind has resonated for decades since. Joined by a jazz trio and string section, Irwin will present his own gorgeous re-workings of Baker’s classic material, with all the cinematic romance, heartbreak and soul of 1950s California.

Harry James Angus, the trumpet playing vocalist of The Cat Empire presents Flicker – a deeply affecting and personal project that showcases his considerable vocal range. Inspired by the likes of Nina Simone and Van Morrison, this thrilling new work is, quite simply, utterly sublime and unlike anything else you will hear.

The This World Project album launch will be a festival headliner, with an amazing all-star line-up of improvisers including multi-award-winning saxophonist Julian Wilson, ARIA and Bells Award-winning composer and bassist Jonathan Zwartz, world-renowned pianist Mike Nock, recipient of the Don Banks Award and Bells Award Hall of Fame, and drum master Hamish Stuart. These superb artists will all bring their original talents to the forefront, creating an ambient masterpiece in The Chapel.

Karen Lee Andrews, a sensational blues diva with a beguiling and beautifully intense voice, presents a new style that can only be described as Oceanic Blues. A commanding Polynesian woman of soul, Karen will perform her new original work – an exceptional blend of American Blues and Soul with gritty guitar, glowing valves, lush tremolo and deep reverb in a distinctively fluid Oceanic expression.

The authentic jazz club experience will come alive in the Lana Turner Lounge, inspired by the speakeasies of the 1920s. In this cool and cosy space audiences will enjoy intimate performances of everything from swing and blues to late-night funk and soul. Highlights in the Lana Turner Lounge include:

  • Arabesk, an award-winning, Sydney-based four piece ensemble that will lift spirits with a mix of tango, reggae and funky jazz beats. An intoxicating show that journeys through Eastern Europe’s Gypsy Classical traditions with a backdrop of African and Arabic beats, before spinning into Motown Rhythms and Cuban Jazz.
  • The History of the Blues, featuring an all-star cast of some of Australia’s finest exponents of jazz and rhythm ‘n’ blues. In this exclusive show for Stonnington Jazz Festival, they will explore the legacy of legendary New Orleans recording studio Cosimo Studios, and the exceptional sound that later became Rock and Roll.

Creative Producers

Nichaud Fitzgibbon & Stephen McAllan

Celebrating 15 years of Stonnington Jazz

Over 15 years Stonnington Jazz Festival has cemented its position as one of the key events on the national jazz calendar. The festival covers the breadth of the genre, from classic jazz greats to cutting edge new styles, providing a platform for all creative expression to be heard and enjoyed. Boasting an all-Australian line-up of artists based in Melbourne, interstate and overseas, the festival is proud to feature both established and emerging artists of the jazz scene.

Inspiration – 100 years from Prohibition

1920 saw the beginning of the Prohibition Era in the United States. Public drinking houses closed down country-wide, ushering in the era of the ‘speak-easy,’ where clubs were hidden and punters were required to speak quietly, so as not to alert the authorities. Now, 100 years later, the festival will commemorate this era at Chapel Off Chapel with a pop-up speakeasy and a jazz-inspired menu.

25 years of Chapel Off Chapel

Live, intimate and iconic. Chapel Off Chapel is one of Melbourne’s premier entertainment and arts venues, hosting remarkable artists and performances for decades. Since its official opening as Chapel Off Chapel in 1995, the venue has hosted artists including Coldplay and Foo Fighters and musicals such as Rent and The Colour Purple, all the while becoming a cultural hotspot for Melbourne artists and audiences. Chapel Off Chapel is one of its kind, with a proven track record of hosting the best and brightest performances.

Tickets on sale now

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