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Milk Bar’s Guide to Jazz Fest

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It’s a scientifically proven fact that Melbourne can’t sustain a single month without hosting some sort of wonderfully elaborate festival showcasing world class talent from our own backyard and across the globe. Studies have suggested that should this cycle be broken the city may actually implode, or worse still, turn into Brisbane. The Melbourne International Jazz Festival, now in its 14th year, has been a modern mainstay of our fair city’s carousel of carnival and is back in 2012 for ten days from June 1st.

The Jazz Festival in recent years has been renowned for curating line-ups as enticing as they are eclectic, featuring both big names artists and experimental musicians playing a variety of shows and events at venues such as The Forum, ACMI, The Melbourne Recital Centre and of course Melbourne’s spiritual home of jazz, Bennetts Lane.

Our highlights from this year’s festival include, but are not limited to:

Japanese jazz prodigy Hiromi will be performing both solo and with her jazz trio. The 33 year old was playing with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 14 and is known for her genre bending compositions and highly animated live performances.

Local resident and world renowned pianist Joe Chindamo presents Another Place Some Other Time, a six piece ensemble re-interpreting music from the films of the Coen brothers. Selected tracks from Fargo, O’ Brother Where Art Thou? and yes, The Big Lebowski, all get a run in what should be a great experience for jazz fans and film buffs.

The Cave comprises three evenings of late night synaesthetic debauchery at the Kelvin Club. We’re not entirely sure what to expect from this – the press release promises the sort of madness where lines between space, performer and spectator constantly shift. Ever wanted to experience one of Andy Warhol’s parties with The Velvet Underground in the 60s? This might be as close as you’ll ever get.

Dr Lonnie Smith may be celebrating his 70th birthday this year but the New York soul/jazz/funk organ maestro is showing no signs of slowing down. The impressively bearded good doctor will be playing solo and trio shows as well as hosting a masterclass at Bennetts Lane to pass on some of his self-taught musical wisdom.

The Melbourne International Jazz Festival runs from June 1 to June 10.
For more information and tickets go to melbournejazz.com.


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