WollCon Jazz Showcase
Wollongong Conservatorium of Music
Saturday 1 April 12:30-3pm
Sarah Purdon Sydney Jazz Collective
Five Barrel Brewery
Sunday 2 April 2-5pm
Thursday, March 9th
Jo Lawry Album Launch feat. Linda May Oh and Ben Vanderwal (USA/AUS)
7pm - WollCon Auditorium
The WollCon Jazz Series launches with an exclusive premier featuring international trio – including 2023 Grammy Award Winner Linda May Han Oh.
The Wollongong Conservatorium of Music will host an exclusive NSW performance of vocalist Jo Lawry’s new album “Acrobats” to open this year’s annual Jazz Series. Lawry recently returned to Australia after several years abroad where she performed and recorded with Sting as well as working with the likes of Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon. Her recordings have received rave reviews including a 4.5 out of 5-star review in Downbeat Magazine for her debut album “I Want to Be Happy.” “Acrobats”, which will be officially released the day after her performance in Wollongong, is a playful album that embodies both the freedom and exquisite complexity of jazz. Lawry explores how to use her voice to function as a horn player with only a bass and drums without the benefit chords.
Award-winning bassist Linda May Han Oh, who is a collaborator on the album will join Lawry for this exclusive performance in Wollongong. Malaysian born Oh was raised in Western Australia before moving to New York where she’s now a successful band leader. Linda was announced as the winner of the 2023 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental album with Terri Lyne Carrington, Kris Davis, Nicholas Payton, and Matthew Stevens. She is also the bassist, playing the character “Miho” for the Pixar animated Soul, where her movements playing her instrument were captured and translated to the animated character.
Drummer Ben Vanderwal, is one of the most in-demand jazz drummers in Australia, and has previously toured with the Tim Minchin vs Orchestra production.
$37 General/$32 Concession/$27 Student
Click HERE to purchase tickets
Friday, March 17th
The Three Seas
7pm - WollCon Auditorium
WollCon Jazz series presents this international, cross-cultural ensemble fusing West Bengal and Himalayan folk song with contemporary sounds from Sydney and Kolkata.
Soaring Baul vocals and majestic sounds from North Indian traditions are combined with Bengali beats, and the deep groove of the baritone saxophone in an energetic, uplifting … “Bermuda Triangle of electro-dub, funk and Hindustani music” – Songlines magazine, 2022.
Drawn together by their distinct and diverse backgrounds, and their passion for creating music that resonates universally, be transported into the supernatural world of The Three Seas.
General $30/Concession $25/Student $15
Click HERE to purchase tickets
A 'musicians singer', Trish has tackled everything from music theatre, opera and cabaret to jazz ensembles, big bands and a cappella - but jazz is her home. There, in her own arrangements and compositions, her unique and uplifting presence and voice find their highest expression.
Trish's decades of performance experience and commitment to ongoing study and authentic connection transfer into her teaching, making Trish a highly respected and sought after Voice Coach and Estill Certified Master Trainer.
Jiem and Thibaud Kessell
Rogues and Jetrio
Melissa Aldana – saxophone; Pablo Menares – bass; Kush Abadey – drums; Lage Lund - guitar
Born in Santiago, Chile, and growing up in a musical family, Award-winning saxophonist Melissa Aldana has garnered international recognition for her visionary work as a bandleader, as well as her deeply meditative interpretation of language and vocabulary. She performed in Santiago jazz clubs in her early teens and was invited by pianist Danilo Pérez to play at the 2005 Panama Jazz Festival. At 24, she became the first female instrumentalist and the first South American musician to win the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. In 2019, Aldana release her celebrated album Visions (Motéma), which earned her a GRAMMY nomination and led to NPR Music naming the release among the best albums of the year.
For this intimate performance at the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music Auditorium, Aldana’s all star quartet will play music from the saxophonists new album, 12 Stars, which grapples with concepts of childrearing, familial forgiveness, acceptance, and self-love. Inspired by the arcs and nuances of tarot, 12 Stars features a series of tributes to moments of challenge and triumph in Aldana’s New York life.
$35 General One Show/$65 Two Shows
$30 Student/Concession Per Show
Click HERE for tickets
Mara Kiek - voice and percusssion; Silvia Entcheva - voice (soprano); Jarnie Birmingham - voice (alto); Llew Kiek - bouzouki, bağlama, acoustic and electric guitars; Sandy Evans - saxophones; Paul Cutlan - clarinets and saxophones; Andrew Robson - saxophones; Sam Golding - trumpet, sousaphone; James Greening - pocket trumpet, trombone; Gary Daley - piano accordion; Lloyd Swanton - double bass; Tunji Beier - drums and percussion
A kaleidoscope of musical colours between gypsy brass and jazz big band.
The Mara! Big Band is a 12-piece ensemble that straddles the Eastern European gypsy brass band and jazz big band traditions. It is a kaleidoscope of musical colours including brass, piano accordion, percussion and voice. The new work is called Zashto? meaning “Why?” in Bulgarian. Exploring the experience of migration to Australia through music and featuring poetry by migrants and refugees. Sharing stories of displacement, hope, longing, despair and resignation in their journey towards a new life in Australia. The Mara! Big Band features some of the greatest names in Australian jazz and world music. The Mara! Big Band Project is supported by Create NSW, The Australia Council For the Arts, The Australian Govt. Regional Arts Trust & Flying Arts Alliance.
$40 Premium/$35 Standard/$20 Student
Click HERE to Purchase Tickets
Peter Farrar – saxophone; Mike Nock – piano; Cameron Undy – bass; Pheeroan akLaff - drums
American jazz/avant-garde drummer and percussionist, Pheeroan akLaff has appeared with some of the more adventurous musicians in jazz of the past 20 years. He has performed and recorded the world over with some of the most prominent musicians on the free jazz scene including trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's New Dalta Ahkri, a longtime association with altoist Oliver Lake (including work with the reggae group Jump Up), Henry Threadgill's Sextet, Mal Waldron and Cecil Taylor to name a few. In 2006 he co-founded Seed Artists in Brooklyn and in 2009, he reestablished his creative partnership with Leo Smith after thirty years, resulting in a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013.
For this rare performance, akLaff will be joined by a stellar band featuring the living legends Mike Nock on piano and Cameron Undy on bass plus firebrand saxophonist Peter Farrar.
$30 General/$25 Concession/$20 Student
Tickets available now:
Eric Harland (USA) - drums; Will Vinson (UK) - saxophone; Gilad Hekselman (ISR) - guitar.
Trio Grande is the debut statement from a brand new project that unites three of the most inventive, exciting and accomplished musicians working at the interface of New York’s contemporary musical culture, where the city’s rich tradition of jazz meets crosscurrents blowing in from across the world.
Vanessa Perica is a Melbourne based composer, arranger, conductor who is rapidly gaining an international reputation as a jazz composer of the highest order. The ANJO Youth Big Band brings together Australia’s brightest and youngest jazz stars, aged 18 - 25, from across the nation. Expect an exhilarating concert of powerful writing and memorable melodies and grooves as one of Australia’s most dynamic composers meets the best of Australia’s young jazz musicians.
$35 General/$30 Concession/$25 Student
Sandy Evans - tenor sax; James Greening - trombone; Gary Daley - piano/accordion; Jon Pease - guitar; Llyod Swanton - bass; Fabian Hevia - percussion; Hamish Stuart - drums
Formed in 1991, the Catholics are one of Australia’s most distinct contemporary ensembles. Over three decades, they have formed a unique body of beautifully crafted music that takes in various African, Caribbean, Latin, and Eastern influences.
$35 Premium/$30 Standard/$15 Student
Other Cool Jazz Gigs around the Gong
Sunday Jazz at Five Barrel Brewery on the first Sunday of each month.