Arts

Style at Melbourne International Jazz Festival

 

The  Melbourne International Jazz Festival from May 31 to June 8 is oozing jazz cool with Creative Director Michael Tortoni putting together a line up of 100 events featuring international jazz legends as well as local talent.

 

Melbourne will be pulsating to late night jazz parties, jams, concerts, film screenings, masterclasses, daily free concerts and more. Free spirited improvisation and avant garde fashion is the order of the day.

The Festival brings a sense of occasion and spontaneity to the city. The music is amazing but its about the overall experience. The ambience of a late night jam. Masterful concerts. Fashion.

Jazz had a major impact on fashion in the 1920s and 1930s with its glamorous style. Gatsby inspired everything is now trending with the advent of the film and there's a resurgence of 1920's fashion globally. So we think it's a good excuse to break out in your 1920's flapper hairstyle at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

 

Or break out in your over-sized coat...

 

The World Loves Melbourne has picked out some of the sumptuous offerings at The Melbourne International Jazz Festival - 

 

Opening Gala Night - May 31 at The Palais Theatre 

The Festival kicks off with a special opening night celebration showcasing the leading lights of Australian jazz and soul in the opulent surrounds of St Kilda’s Palais Theatre on May 31.
Inspired by the long tradition of jazz artists redefining rock songs and pop anthems, Everybody Wants to Rule the World features three of the country’s finest vocalists reinterpreting era-defining works such as House of the Rising Sun, Yellow Taxi and Sunshine of Your Love.
Making waves with her 2012 ARIA-award winning album Close Your Eyes, vocalist/pianist Sarah McKenzie is emerging as a once-in-a-generation talent renowned for her sublime musicianship. Joining her is formidable jazz vocalist and improviser, Michelle Nicolle, and special guest Mahalia Barnes, bringing her signature brand of gutsy soul, rock and blues to the stage in style.

Chucho Valdes and The Afro-Cuban Messengers - June 8 at Hamer Hall

At the age of 71, with more than a half-century of innovation behind him, Chucho Valdés would be forgiven if he chose to sit back and relax. But that’s precisely what the renowned Cuban pianist, composer and bandleader is not doing. Instead, Valdés and his Afro-Cuban Messengers are bringing their irresistibly exuberant music to the newly-refurbished Hamer Hall.
Valdés – winner of five Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammys – is arguably the greatest Latin jazz musician of our time. He has recorded over eighty CDs and performed with luminaries such as Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea and Tito Puente

Cassandra Wilson - June 9 at Hamer Hall

Crowned “America’s Best Singer” in 2001 by TIME Magazine, the incomparable Cassandra Wilson comes to Australian shores for the first time in almost a decade.
The Mississippi-born singer, songwriter and guitarist was a founding member of the soul-funk outfit M-Base Collective before launching her stellar solo career. Her landmark 1993 Blue Note release Blue Light ‘Til Dawn paved the way for a new generation of jazz singers, and was recently named one of The Guardian’s 50 key events in the history of jazz.
She has continued to interpret vintage blues, country and folk music in fresh and creative ways, collaborating with icons such as Bill Frisell, Elvis Costello, Terence Blanchard and Angélique Kidjo.
Wilson has received a litany of awards including the 2012 Echo Jazz Female Singer of the Year Award, the Miles Davis Prize, the Django D’Or, the Edison Music Award, two Grammy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize. She dominated the DownBeat Critics Poll for 11 consecutive years from 1996, and again from 2008-2012.
With her mesmerising stage presence and velvety, double-smoked contralto voice, Cassandra Wilson captivates from the moment she steps onto the stage. Her highly anticipated return to Melbourne promises to be nothing short of legendary.

Thundercat Plus Hiatus Kaiyote - June 7 at The Forum

“Mutant jazz cat” Stephen Bruner (aka Thundercat) is a genre-flouting virtuoso with an extraterrestrial sense of style and a supernatural ability on the bass.
Bruner’s unconventional career encompasses touring with soul legend Leon Ware and punk-funk icons Suicidal Tendencies in his teens, to recent collaborations with the likes of Erykah Badu, J*Davey and Sa-Ra. His Flying Lotus-produced solo debut, The Golden Age of Apocalypse, received overwhelming reviews for its “smooth soul vocal harmonies, lurching electronic hip-hop rhythms, unsettling ambient interludes and intensely psychedelic subliminals" (Mixmag).
Led by the smoky-voiced chanteuse Nai Palm, Melbourne’s own Hiatus Kaiyote – named Breakthrough Artist of 2012 at London’s Worldwide Awards – fuses neo-soul, hip-hop and electronic beats with Latin, dubstep and opera influences to create a sound that is unique in every way.
Christian McBride -  June 1 at Melbourne Recital Centre
Illuminating the jazz world for nearly 25 years, Christian McBride is hailed as a “chameleonic virtuoso” (All About Jazz) and "one of the best jazz bassists in the world" (New York Times).
 
By 19 he was already working with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Bobby Watson and Roy Hargrove, and has gone on to perform and record with jazz legends (Freddie Hubbard, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea), pop artists (Sting, Carly Simon) and neo-soul musicians (D'Angelo, Queen Latifah).
 
In 2012 the Grammy Award-winner also topped both the DownBeat Critics Poll and Jazz Journalists Association Awards. With deep respect for the jazz tradition and irrepressible creativity, McBride and his trio are masterful exponents of “the sort of feel-good enlightenment once routinely expected of modern -jazz” (New York Times). Don’t miss their heady mix of driving rhythms, bright melodic lines and brilliantly inventive solos.
Check out the website for details and tickets.
Photos courtesy of fashionising.com and Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

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