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Bird’s Basement with Sofia Rei and jazz artist inspired cocktail menu

We were invited to leading jazz venue Bird's Basement to experience Latin Jazz with Sofia Rei from New York (in Melbourne to Aug 25), as well as the jazz themed cocktail menu. 

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Bird’s Basement has also launched a jazz artist inspired cocktail menu of note. Melbourne’s relaxed jazz corner, Bird’s Basement hosts national and international jazz musicians of the highest calibre including Sofia Rei fresh from New York. Sofia has teamed up again with JC Maillard and Tupac Mantilla.

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Sofia Rei an Argentinian vocalist, songwriter and producer, enthralled with her original jazz compositions in the Latin Jazz style (but also other styles including flamenco and electronic sounds). It was edgy jazz but honestly it was hard to categorise, and refreshingly unique. We didn't know where the journey would take us as there was surprise elements along the way. Even Sofia when interviewed said that many songs don't have defined endings allowing room for surprises and freedom of expression.

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Sofia Rei interviewed by Albare.

Folklore and futurism, graceful elegance and raw passion, virtuosic precision and spontanteous exploration - all together in the music of award-winning vovalist, songwriter and producer Sofia Rei.


Duke Ellington cocktail.

We marvelled at the innovation of the songs, the complex rhythms, the unpredictability of the performance, the synergy of the group, the melody of many songs as well as the trance like haunting element. I've been to many jazz nights before but never a jazz style like this.

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JC Maillard was captivating on the Saz bass, a versatile distinctive custom made 8 steel-stringed electroacoustic instrument with Turkish vibes.

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And Tupac Mantilla amazed on drums and percussion, notably body percussion. You have to see it to believe it.

Covering the entire jazz spectrum, including improvised and contemporary jazz, world and roots to funkhas, soul and R&B influences, Bird’s Basement welcomes lovers of live music.

Legions of Grammy Award nominees, names such as Ravi Coltrane and Cindy Blackman Santana have treated guests to world-famous entertainment, in the basement venue down Singers Lane, Melbourne.


Nina Simone cocktail.

While music always comes first, food and cocktails are a close second. ‘Bird’s Basement Cocktails’ by Panos Loukopoulos, feature inspired cocktails from legendary jazz names, that will leave you mesmerised from the first sip. Like the triple threat himself, the ‘Frank Sinatra’ gives it All or Nothing At All, combining Wild Turkey Rye Whiskey, Hennessy Cognac, Cinzano Rosso, Galliano Vanilla topped with Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters. As smooth as his voice and effervescently charming as his personality, the ‘Nat King Cole’ is a concoction of Bati rum and prosecco, topped with fresh mint and lime juice for a bubbly lift.

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Antipasto hit the high notes.

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Gnocchi stole the show.

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Arancini was top notch.

Combing unlikely spirits, the ‘Ella Fitzgerald’ bows to her improvising ability, blending Gordon’s London Dry Gin, Green Fairy Absinth, Lillet Blanc topped with orange liqueur and fresh lemon juice, crafting a drink only fit for a queen. Other influential jazz cocktails to try are the harmonious ‘Duke Ellington’ taking a unique twist on a classic Gin Fizz topped with ginger and curry leaves.


John Coltrane cocktail.

Add some spice with the ‘Miles Davis’ Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum whisked together with pineapple, orange juice and coconut cream, topped with grated nutmeg and viola flowers, or an audacious ‘Sarah Vaughan’ that like the singer, is well balanced with a blend of Aperol, Tequila and grapefruit for extra sass.

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A memorable night.

With a Jazz Corner Hotel atop for easy accommodation, indulge in an exquisite night of live music and sipping like the stars.

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Bird’s Basement 11 Singers Lane, Melbourne IG: @birdsbasement FB/birdsbasement Hours: Sunday to Wednesday 6pm to 10pm Closed Monday & Tuesday. Highly recommended.