Stonnington Jazz Festival 2016: The Plus Ones’ guide to the best Aussie jazz

Jazz music is one of those things that never seems to die. Older generations love it for the crooners they remember; younger generations love it for the sexy fantasies of years gone by. City of Stonnington is well aware of the culture and thrill that jazz music has created, and in 2016 Stonnington Jazz will again take place as one of the most revered jazz events in Australia. We put together a bit of a hit list that should tickle the fancies of everyone from jazz aficionados to newbies lured in by the sexiness of it all!

Backbeat: Stories of Australian Jazz (May 12- May 22 at Northbrook op-Up Gallery)

In conjunction with the Australian Jazz Museum this exhibition will introduce newcomers to everything about Australian Jazz, and for die hard fans it will uncover some new secrets. It is beautifully curated exhibition using both sound and sight to transport you through the history of this musical movement.

Lance Ferguson Presents: Black Feeling Supported by DJ Mzrizk (May 13, Revolver Bandroom)

Lance Ferguson is a well-known musician songwriter and presenter. Listeners of Double J will be familiar with him, and he has delighted audiences with appearances at both Meredith Music Festival and Golden Plains. This evening will delve into the magical realms of jazz-funk and jazz-soul. Lance and his band will debut his upcoming album Black Feelings.

New Orleans Street Party (May 15, Green Street Windsor)

Think southern fry up, next level dancing, a parade, talented musicians who just get it, and DJ Mohair Slim who will be spinning original 45”s between sets. This party will transport you to the glory years of New Orleans where partying was done right.

Worldwide Jazz Party Featuring Clave Mania, Senegambian Jazz Band, DJ Systa BB (May 19, Revolver Bandroom)

This event is an international jazz journey. Get ready to ride between Cuba, Brazil, Gambia and more. The music will turn everything you think you know about traditional jazz on its head. The music will draw in influenced from the likes of the revered Buena Vista Social Club with each artist having their own, special take on what jazz music is to their culture. DJ Systa will be spinning tunes between sets, a regular on Tripe RRR she is well worth experiencing live as well.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Pieces of Gill Scott-Heron (May 20, Chapel off Chapel)

In one of those somewhat scary twists of fate, I saw some graffiti referencing Gill Scott-Heron the very same day I sat down to write this article. I had no idea what it meant until I saw this event, but new instantly this one had to be a winner. Scott-Heron was a socio-political commentator, in addition to being an influential musician. From a career that spaned more than 30 years this musical tribute will cover everything from hip-hop to soul, funk and jazz. Anyone who is a strong believer that music is a power greater than just sound should definitely give this one a go.

Maddie Kilby is a freelance writer amongst many vocations and is the type of person who gets bored easily and likes to find herself in weird places doing weird things. You can follow her at @MadKil6.

Stonnington Jazz runs 12-22 May 2016 at a variety of venues in South Yarra, Prahran, and Malvern. Most venues are accessible.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of the City of Stonnington.