Colbourne Ave started after musician Spike Mason was travelling around Europe in 1996. He went to some beautiful jazz concerts that were acoustic, and more like concerts than he was used to in the Sydney jazz scene. One of these was in the round, and it was so moving and intimate that he decided to try and recreate the experience in his own scene back home. After much searching, he found that the church in Glebe he was working for had perfect acoustics for listening. From 2000 to 2009 the venue was called "eight oclock sharp", the name of the first ever series - a season of the play Waiting For Godot with five jazz piano concerts. There was a very strict 'no talking during the music' rule, and the promise that the music would start exactly on time - eight oclock sharp!

Over the years, and with help from Andrew, Barney, and the CafeChurch community, the concert series grew from half a dozen performances a year - almost always acoustic, often in the round with great musicians and respectful audiences - until in 2008 they organized their third 'Jazz Piano Master Series' with sixteen solo pianists over four weeks. It was so good they decided they had to do it every week!  Over the next couple of years we managed to organise a consistent series of concerts, and changed our name to Colbourne Ave.

  • 05 Feb 2009

    The first concert for the first year where we decided to run a concert every week, and the first in our series of bands led by bass players

    Sydney's favourite bass player, irrepressible and unpredictable.


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  • 12 Feb 2009
    Steve Elphick with Paul Cutlan and Phil Slater

    The second in our series of bands led by bass players:

    a double bass player with a beautiful and generous style, Steve will play solos duos and trios, with a balance of composition and improvisation, the music he's been borrowing and stealing and making up for all of this life

    with two other recognised composing and improvising masters,
    Paul Cutlan on saxophone and clarinet
    and Phil Slater on trumpet
    who knows what might happen!

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  • 19 Feb 2009
    Craig Scott with Spike Mason

    Craig Scott is one of Sydney’s most amazing Jazz double bass players... and probably the most influential. He is the head of Jazz Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and has taught most of the musicians who have been through the course in the past 20 years.

    For this special duo concert he teams up ex-student Spike Mason on saxophones. Together they will play a collection of songs they love.

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  • 05 Mar 2009
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  • 12 Mar 2009

    The third in our series of bands led by bass players:

    Possibly Australia's best female double bass player, with heartwrenching songs and a voice like honey. Now working in Melbourne, Liz will be joined by local pianist Nick Southcott and Newcastle guitarist Robbie Long (current Australian flat-pick guitar champion) for an evening of stupendous revelations and unearthly delights.

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  • 19 Mar 2009

    Rodrigo studied bass, electric bass, and composition at the University of Brazilia, Escola de Musica de Brazillia, and the Conservatoruium of Gustav Hitter.

    In this country, you're most likely to have seen him with Lolo Lovina. That would have made you very happy, but this is a rare chance to hear him close up.

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  • 16 Apr 2009

    I love watching family members improvise together.  Those moments of dischord which go right back to fighting over the last bowl of coco pops, the resolution that comes from knowing you'll be brothers your whole life. 
    Ben and James Waples have both been finalists in the Wangaratta jazz competition and currently comprise two thirds of the Mike Nock trio.  It'll be perfect.

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  • 23 Apr 2009

    with Jono Brown and Simon Barker

    come on.

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  • 07 May 2009

    everybody's favourite gypsy,
    the man who never stops playing,
    the face behind the bass,

    John Maddox

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  • 14 May 2009

    pete kohlhoff (bass), charlie meadows (guitar), gary daley (accordion), cameron reid (drums) - sorry i didn't get you in the picture
    Beautiful grooves from this new quartet - they'll rock your socks off, in a scandinavian / country / roots sort of way.

    Charlie and the Maddox Factory

    Charlotte Craib and John Maddox will get you happy with their quirky choonz.  we don't book many singers - we've got that thing about amplification.  but charlie and jonny don't need anything between you and their vocal chords except their smiles.

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  • 11 Jun 2009

    From the early 20th century to the not so distant past, the Pre-Loved will  take you on a musical journey guaranteed to entertain and breathe new life into songs from days gone by.  Take a trip down memory lane as The Pre-Loved revive the lost art of harmony singing in an feel-good acoustic instrumental setting.

    The Pre-Loved are Jess Green and Arne Hanna on vocals and guitars and Nick Hoorweg on vocals and double bass.

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  • 01 Jul 2009

    John Harkins, Kevin Hunt, Barney Wakeford, Gavin Ahearn

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  • 02 Jul 2009
    anyone who knows Barney Wakeford will know that in the right environment he can be absolutely transcendent
    with Mark Lau and Cameron Reid he is in the right environment
    for the second week in a row, and the last time in years, eight oclock sharp presents the Barney Wakeford Piano Trio
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  • 16 Jul 2009

    with his old friends Spike Mason (sax), Richard Maegraith (sax), Tim Firth (drums)

    We love it when Mark comes home for a visit.  He says his new album, Centrical, "moves freely from beautifull stripped down ballads to aggressive, distorted horn textures and loops" - they are playing different aspects of the music at Jazzgroove on Tuesday and everyone's favourite secret Jazz venue on Wednesday - on Thursday we're getting the beautiful stripped down set, see if you can get to all three!

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  • 23 Jul 2009
    New Vintage Tunes for the Hammond Organ

    Darren Heinrich has been all over Sydney the last couple of years - you've probably seen him play and didn't even know it.  but next week he's leaving for the USA to study with legendary organist Lonnie Smith... So this thursday is your last chance to get your funk out, your brown suit on, and groove to the tunes of

    Darren Heinrich (organ)

    Steve Brien (guitar)

    Andrew Dickeson (drums)

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  • 30 Jul 2009

    Tim and Mark both used to live in Sydney.  then they both left.  they've since performed together at Pori Jazz and Umbria Jazz and in Melbourne, but this will be the first time they've hunted on their old turf for the beautiful equality only an improvising duet can bring.

    "even in a country so richly endowed with superior jazz pianists, Tim Stephens is one of those at the very top of the pile" john shand

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  • 06 Aug 2009

    A New Zealander recently arrived in Sydney, Steven is influencened by the trios of Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett, and Brad Mehldau. With a focus on the groove, the band will play a mix of original compositions and new takes on old standards.

    "At his young age I consider him to be one of the best Jazz piano players in the country (and definitely the best “Be Bop” player). He is my first choice for piano player on any gig. His talent is really quite something; and more than that - as an improviser he is inventive, creative, humorous and exciting to listen to. Steven has great time feel, amazing ears, fantastic compositional skills..." Roger Manins

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  • 20 Aug 2009

    The first in our 2009 duets series.

    Both winners of international awards (Kristin won the vocal competition at Montreaux in 2006), both widely loved, respected, and recorded, Kristin and James are launching an album perfect for the cafechurch space - voice and guitar and nothing else.

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  • 27 Aug 2009
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  • 29 Aug 2009

    A fundraiser for their ABC Melbourne recording, playing a mix of originals, jazz standards, and jewish tunes. 

    You've probably seen Leonie accompanying David Campbell, Christa Hughes, or Edwina Blush.  This trio have been playing together for nearly ten years and are about to record their second album for the ABC. 

    “Cohen’s own playing is spacious and lyrical whether soloing or in support. The music is seductive and melodic and the solos are often exquisite.”
    Dave Curry - Canberra Times

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  • 03 Sep 2009

    A progressive, improvising piano trio from Canberra.  If you liked Tim Stevens and Steven Barry, you'll like Pollen .

    "Key to Amalgama is the trio's understanding of the delicate art of subtlety. Even in a moment like the rousing climax of 'Honest Iago', there's a definite restraint at play."

    -Adam D Mills-Mess+Noise

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  • 10 Sep 2009

    Charlie & the Maddox Factory

    The cutest, quirkiest duet you've ever heard sing an Ella Fitzgerald song.  The vocal and instrumental improvisations of Charlie (vocals) and John Maddox (one-man orchestra) are a pleasure to watch - beautiful, funny, and unpredictable.
    bio type thingy


    Gareth J Malone's warm, melodic songs, backed by the subtle, richly arranged vocals and instruments of Nick Hoorweg (bass),  James Hauptmann (drums) and Charlie Meadows (guitar, The Shakers)

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  • 24 Sep 2009
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  • 01 Oct 2009

    Our favourite chicago blues-man.

    John sent a photo of an old black monkey playing with two baby white tigers


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  • 08 Oct 2009

    The Gumnut Memorial Band:

    Barney Wakeford and Johnny Maddox

    Two intuitive improvisers who have been playing together for a decade.  Piano, double bass, kazoo, and the unexpected.

    Read 3664 times
  • 15 Oct 2009

    2ser 107.3FM - one of Australia’s longest running community radio broadcasters - turns 30 years old on October 1.  Known throughout this time as a crucial hub for exposing diverse and new music, widescreen culture and independent reporting, they're throwing more than 20 parties around Sydney between October 1 and November 1, 2009.

    The World According to James

    Sydney's funkiest trombonist cuts a deep deep groove, with Andrew Robson, Steve Elphick, and the world's happiest drummer, Toby Hall

    Miss Little

    The debut performance for this lineup of Miss Little.  Sarah McCallum will be joined by Matt Keegan on sax and a reel-to-reel tape machine playing drums – all that analogue warmth, with no sweat.

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  • 26 Oct 2009


    Gareth Malone works hard when he's here, so you will have seen his name up all over town.  this is it, he's got to get back to Zurich, but we're not in a hurry so if you're a long-time fan there will be time for some of what you've been missing.
    The presence of Bowie or Mercury with the lightest touch, a poetry perfect for our candlelit vibe.  Don't miss two whole sets of amazingly poised vocals with the beautifully textured support of Meadows, Hoorweg and Hauptmann.

    Andrea Soler

    She left to find her roots in Paris, built a gypsy following in France and England, then fell into the limelight.   Euro-jazz-folk with a big smile, you'll hear her on a big festival stage one day and remember the intimate night you spent together in Glebe.

    Read 3534 times
  • 12 Nov 2009
    Probably Australia's most awarded and influential jazz musician.  Over thirty years of pushing boundaries and bringing musicians together, she has helped shape jazz music in australia.
    Judy Bailey, Craig Scott, Tim Firth. rare.  exciting.
    Read 3249 times
  • 16 Nov 2009

    Barney, an absolute rock of the Sydney jazz scene; a rock held aloft by Steve Elphick; forming a contraption propelled by Dave Hibbard.  Mostly standards, a few new pieces; intimate improvisations for an intimate room.

    Read 2741 times
  • 17 Nov 2009

    Two men who have taught and inspired generations of Sydney jazz musicians. Absolute legends, i'm not even going to say more than that.

    Read 6186 times
  • 26 Nov 2009

    almost fifteen years ago a young bassist by the name of Cameron Undy plucked the courage to invite his mentor and band leader Mike Nock to record some of his own music.
    the album "temple" resulted and was a landmark in undy's career. it was voted the number one album of the year by Craig Pearce of 'Drum Media' (1995).  the musical connection between undy and nock spanned over a decade of music from 1989 until undy branched out on his own fully as the leader of 20th century dog and as the artist kidzen.  nock continues to be an outstanding figure of inspiration in contemporary music world wide.
    for this performance both parties will be distilling a decade of experience. revisiting the album 'temple' and no doubt some well loved standard material.

    Read 1506 times
  • 03 Dec 2009

    The musical lives of pianist Alister Spence and reedsman Paul Cutlan regularly cross in groups like the Australian Art Orchestra and Steve Morley's Squall. They have recorded together as a duo for the ABC and performed in Canberra and Sydney. Tonight they will combine their love of tradition with natural curiosity and playfulness as they explore a widely varying repertoire of originals and standards.

    In the second set they welcome the wonderful vocalist Susan Gai Dowling for renditions of rare and beautiful songs.

    Read 3948 times
  • 09 Dec 2009

    Liz Frencham / Caroline Trengove / Greg Bryce with Nick Southcott & Simon Pitchers.  It's an album-recording rent party - Liz says:
    We've been in the studio all week recording a large chunk of album #5 which we've been working up live over the past year. All was well 'til we smashed open the piggy bank and only a couple of sad five cent coins rolled dejectedly around the table top.
    So we need your help. We've arranged a fund raising concert (to keep the project running) next wed in Sydney. We'll be playing a whole evenings worth of Jigzag music in return for a suggested donation of something like $20.

    Read 3580 times
  • 10 Dec 2009

    Mark Ginsburg, Ryan Grogan, Karl Dunnicliff, Tim Firth : playing music from their new album "Generations"

    Based on Mark’s thesis research into the linkages between Jewish cantorial singing and jazz improvisation, this album pays homage to his prior generations as well as cultural experiences in early childhood that influenced the development of his musical voice. Extensive reading, listening and conducting of interviews with musicians propelled Mark into further examination of the subject via interpretations of music of Jewish origin as well as his own compositions.

    Read 2896 times

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