22 Sep 2017
Melbourne is clearly Australia’s leader when it comes to live music. The thriving jazz scene is no exception, with gigs happening all week long. It’s the perfect excuse to stay another day.
At The Jazzlab [27 Leslie St, Brunswick], there’s no need to sneak through the crowd looking for the acoustic sweet spot. This place has been designed to deliver a fine audio experience from all angles. Hidden behind an unassuming brick veneer, the Jazzlab exposes new talent and showcases high-profile acts. A weekend tradition here, the Midnight Set, sees musos take to the stage at 11pm. For night cats this is a great way to start out an evening, or for those ready to hit the hay, a perfect way to conclude a night out.
The Paris Cat [6 Goldie Place] has been drawing huge crowds for more than 10 years. With two live music spaces across three storeys, you’ll find your favourite space to kick back with a glass of red and some chilled tunes. The basement will make you feel like you’re in a hip New York jazz bar, rubbing shoulders with the next Miles Davis, while the Parisian loft will elevate your senses with a touch of sophistication. There’s also the gallery level’s tapas bar, so you can catch up with friends pre- or post-show.
Tucked away upstairs from Richmond’s Boheme Restaurant is Dizzy’s [368 Bridge Road, Richmond], a hidden gem worth discovering for its intimate vibe. Book dinner and a show through the club, turn up early to nab your table and enjoy the Italian/Mediterranean cuisine while the band plays. We recommend heading there on a Wednesday night when the house band heats up the house.
Head to Uptown Jazz Cafe [177 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy] to discover what makes Melbourne jazz unique. This hip Fitzroy joint has a focus on improvisation and encourages collaborations between local and international jazz players. There’s also a menu of modern Japanese dishes – not necessarily the first cuisine that comes to mind when you think of jazz, yet here sake and sax are in perfect harmony.
Our hot tip: follow these smooth souls on Facebook for the most up-to-date info on who’s hitting the stage.
No list of Melbourne jazz clubs would be complete without Bird’s Basement [11 Singers Lane]. This offshoot of New York’s famous Birdland Club lives up to the original’s reputation for filling the stage with highly talented musicians. Just as the great Charlie Parker intended, you’ll be able to see fledgling talent carving out a niche alongside jazz greats. The regular Monday night Octet gives you the perfect excuse to turn your weekend in Melbourne into a long one.
Did you know that Melbourne has a jazz-inspired hotel? Within walking distance of Bird’s Basement is the Jazz Corner Hotel. Stay in any of the themed suites or apartments to ensure a good night’s sleep that’s right on the beat. All rooms include complimentary Wi-Fi, Foxtel, coffee pods and selected teas. There’s plenty of room for the whole family, or for a special couple’s getaway.