VCA & Monash Jazz
Toshi Clinch New Orleans Big Band
Jamie Oehlers presents Soul Trane
Black Jesus Experience
Emma Donovan & The Putbacks
Monash & VCA Jazz
The highly rated VCA and MONASH UNIVERSITY music programs play a huge role in the development of Australian Jazz.
Some of Australia’s finest artists have been graduates of recent programs and the two respected music education establishments continue to lead the way in Victoria.
Program leaders Rob Vincs [VCA] and Rob Burke [Monash] will present the universities finest ensembles in a showcase event along with other youth ensemble performances throughout the day.
Toshi Clinch Big Band
Described as “The Quincy Jones of Australia”, Toshi Clinch is an in-demand arranger, performer and producer in Melbourne, Australia.
His arrangements have been performed around the globe including North America, Asia, Europe and Australia by artists such as the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Tommy Dorsey Big Band, Danilo Perez, James Morrison, West End performers, and finalists on both X Factor and Australian Idol.
Clinch has also performed alongside Ed Soph, Vincent Gardner, Tom “Bones” Malone, Pat Coil, Richard DeRosa and many others. Additionally he is also a primary arranger for vocalists on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and the founder of the Big Band Through The Ages Jazz Festival.
Jamie is one of the country’s leading jazz musicians, regularly touring and performing at jazz clubs and festivals throughout the world. Over the last few years he has been on stage with numerous jazz greats from around the world, including Charlie Haden, Eric Harland, Reuben Rogers, Robert Hurst, Ari Hoenig and Aaron Goldberg.
In 2007 he was named Australian Jazz Musician of the Year at the Bell Awards, as well as winning the Best Jazz Release category in 2005, 2006 and 2007; and in 2003 was the winner of the World Saxophone Competition held at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.
Jamie maintains an active recording career with his 12th CD being released in September 2015 – “The Burden of Memory” featuring Eric Harland, Reuben Rogers and Paul Grabowsky.
He is currently coordinator of Jazz Studies at the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) which produces some of the finest jazz musicians in Australia. He has performed with international jazz artists at festivals and clubs in the United States, Asia, India, UK, Europe, New Zealand and throughout Australia.
SPIRE ensemble was founded in 2017 by violinist and Music Director, Xani Kolac to bring together a collective of Melbourne-based female instrumentalists.
The ensemble aims to showcase talented women in music encouraging diversity and equal representation on Melbourne stages. SPIRE ensemble first performed at Hamer Hall as part of "Stand By Your Woman" presented by Arts Centre Melbourne and Renegade featuring guest artists such as Kate Ceberano, Kate Miller-Heidke and Tim Rogers.
Since then, SPIRE ensemble has performed in various line-ups for St Kilda's Live N' Local "One Door Closes", Brunswick Music Festival's "Songs of 3056", as part of the 2017 Melbourne Women's International Jazz Festival and at Thando's Chapel Off Chapel "Summer Sessions". SPIRE performed "Stand By Your Woman" again this year with Nkechi Anele, Shauntai Batzke, Tripod, Clare Bowditch and Mantra to name a few.
SPIRE ensemble is an exciting new collective that is fast becoming one of Melbourne's most popular house bands and testimony to the strength of collaboration between like-minded women in music.
Southern soul from the great southern land.
Making the song the focus, The Meltdown stay true to the story and keep your attention on the soaring voice of Simon Burke. He’s soul, but He’s something else indefinable; like you’ve heard him before but don’t know where. The rhythm section create a hypnotic spacious groove to lean upon and the horns gracefully tie it all together. This stellar band bring a blend of Stax and Motown with a healthy dose of the Nashville songwriting tradition. Songs to move your heart and your feet as echoes of Memphis soul resonate.
Having built their sound off the back of mesmerising and uplifting live performances, they were signed to Melbourne label Hopestreet Recordings in 2015 and released ‘Better Days’ as a 45 soon after.
Their debut self-titled record was released in 2017 to great critical acclaim, followed by a run of sold out shows and festival appearances. The Meltdown continue the tradition of world class soul bands to emerge from Melbourne, Australia and they’ll wrap you in their warm embrace. With a new album on the way along and some national and international touring, the soul from the south will be carried far and wide.
Great vibe, great sound, but it’s the song that’s king here.
Black Jesus Experience
With backgrounds as diverse as the 5 countries the members of BJX hail from, their music reflects the multicultural vibrancy of the band’s hometown, Melbourne, Australia.
Singer Enushu began entertaining her local community as a child in Addis Ababa. Forced to leave Ethiopia, Enushu migrated to Australia bringing hauntingly beautiful compositions inspired by her remarkable life story and the unique vocal traditions of Ethiopia. Enushu is joined on vocals by poetic giant and lyrical miracle Mr Monk, Zimbabwe born and Outback bred.
When not touring BJX run a weekly session at cultural hub The Horn creating new songs live on stage featuring guest artists from all walks of life. The comfort BJX has with this practice lies in the improvising traditions of that feed BJX including Hip Hop, Jazz, Azmari and Funk.
BJX’s fourth album ‘Migration’ won ‘The Age-Music Victoria Best Global Album 2014’ award. Other awards for BJX include ‘Most Outstanding Performance Troupe Of The Year, African Australian National Awards 2013’ Highlights for BJX include two tours of “the Motherland” Ethiopia, performing with Ethiojazz legend Mulatu Astatke in Europe and Australia (an association which won BJX and Mulatu ‘The Age Best National Tour 2013’ award), Glastonbury and other great festivals.
The rhymes and chimes of Black Jesus Experience deliver the power and beauty of Africa through the vocal prism of Hip-Hop and freedom of Funk.
Emma Donovan & The Putbacks
The Putbacks take their cues from the great house bands of the 60s and 70s soul studios – think of The MGs, The Meters and The Wrecking Crew, as well as film composers from David Axelrod to Adrian Younge and contemporary instrumental groups BADBADNOTGOOD and Khruangbin.
The Putbacks play together with an understated confidence and an uncanny rapport, a symbiotic unit that moves together with near psychic intuition. Minimal, spooky, and elastic, The Putbacks slide from dance floor fire to cinematic interlude and back, from densely composed music to free improvisation, blurring all the lines in between. No one who sees them play has any doubts they are in the presence of mastery.
They have an ongoing collaboration with Emma Donovan and when they come together as a group, they’re one of the tightest, sharpest and most dynamic units ever to exist.