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.

  • 04 Feb 2010

    getting off the wall with a thriller:
    jazz musicians giving props to the king of pop :

    Michael Jackson

    featuring anna rizzo, tj eckleberg, pete harding, ella nielson, spike mason, and the incredible Adrien Andre :  six Sydney based musicians and vocalists offering their own takes on wonderfully crafted and immortal songs that have shaped us all... Including songs such as Billie Jean, Thriller, Man in the Mirror, Human Nature... Plus a special group performance of "We are the World".

    Read 3682 times
  • 11 Feb 2010

    i've seen them playing around the hyde park fountain in the wee hours, busking on king street in the mornings, and opening a music festival.  They are Charlotte Craib (vocals) and John Maddox (Acoustic Bass, Kazoo, Percussion) - a very modern interpretation of depression instrumentation.  Maddox is a long-time member of Nadya's 101 Candles Orchestra, and is a legend on the Jazz / world music scene; Charlotte brings amazingly clever insights into standards from Ella Fitzgerald to Horace Silver and original songs, not always finished.

    Barney Wakeford

    Long-time collaborator of senor Maddox and one of the people responsible for all of the music we present, Barney presents original compositions (never the same way twice) and the songs of Vince Jones and Chet Baker

    Read 3799 times
  • 18 Feb 2010
    Gavin Ahearn quintet


    Performing unique arrangements of Sting compositions.

    with Dave Longo - guitar; special guest Gareth Lewis (Canada) - alto sax; Nic Cecire - Drums; Matt Greubner - Acoustic Bass; and of course Gavin Ahearn - piano and arrangements


    Read 3956 times
  • 25 Feb 2010

    singing Jazz / Latin / Funk originals

    This young jazz singer, recently graduated from the Australian Institute of Music, will bring her sweet hot grooves to your loungeroom our lounges.

    Read 3542 times
  • 04 Mar 2010

    How many times can you play Stella by Starlight? 70s and 80s pop tunes are now standards, and Barney will be giving the classic 1971 funk-soul album What's Going On an improvised Sydney piano trio treatment.

    The night will open with a solo piano set by Gavin Ahearn - if you missed him a fortnight ago, well you don't have to miss him again.

    Read 2865 times
  • 11 Mar 2010

    Tony Gorman (alto clarinet), Stephen Morley (horn), Mary Rapp (cello),
    Boyd (bass clarinet), Sam Pettigrew (double bass) /"Each time we play
    something is found, a collective space is arrived upon, and so the
    journey begins anew even as it continues"/
    made possible by a Go For Gold Scholarship from the MS Society.

    Read 4633 times
  • 12 Mar 2010

    The first performance of Spike Mason’s long-awaited new work - a significant new Australian composition for jazz sextet: Spike Mason (saxophones, composer), Henri Peipman (piano) Kristin Berardi (vocals), gareth lewis (trombone), gillian smith (violin), steve elphick (double bass)

    Read 2996 times
  • 18 Mar 2010
    Darrin Archer trio

    Darrin Archer (Melbourne)

    Piano trio with Sam Anning (Acoustic Bass), Raj Jayaweera (Drums)
    "original songs exploring harmonic and improvisational concepts"

    here's his flyer, with a photo of Darrin playing a few tunes by the old

    Read 2445 times
  • 25 Mar 2010

    Steven Barry with Alex Boneham and Cam Reid - new original compositions, all written this year!

    I've been promising a set from Steven for nearly six months, and finally the tomorrow has come!  After a great performance at 505 a couple of weeks ago, on their way to another one at SIMA next month, Steven, Alex and Cam
    are on a roll.  Of course, none of those other venues allow youngsters or let you bring your own wine, and the chairs aren't nearly as comfortable...

    If you've seen this trio perform, you'll be here.  if you haven't, think of your favourite musician who you used to hear all the time until they got too busy and stopped playing the comfortable gigs...

    Read 3676 times
  • 01 Apr 2010

    Debut Performance - here's what they say:

    This newly formed jazz quartet features Tim Bradley on Drums, Chris
    Frazier on Bass, Kelvin Haisman on Piano, and of course Ed Goyer on

    The Hung Drawn Quartet is a jazz group with diverse musical influences.
    All four members have contributed to the compositions, giving the
    quartet a high degree of interplay and a unique sound.

    Over the past eighteen months, the group has been writing, rehearsing
    and recording original music. Constantly work-shopping new ideas and
    approaches, they have developed an open attitude to writing and
    performing while successfully maintaining a musical synergy between the

    Read 4336 times
  • 15 Apr 2010

    Almost twenty years as chair of the percussion unit at the Sydney Con, Daryl will be playing vibraphone with his brand new sextet.  New work designed especially for this ensemble, their first concert...

    Read 3217 times
  • 22 Apr 2010

    Each time we play, something is found, a collective space is arrived upon, and so the journey begins anew even as it continues.

    Read 3860 times
  • 29 Apr 2010

    PJ Wolf finds bios either make him sound cooler than he is, or alternatively; in trying to achieve exactly that end, far less cool than he'd like people to imagine him. That being said…

    Drawing on an eclectic range of musical influences from Erik Satie to Bob Dylan, PJ Wolf explores the beautiful, the terrible and the profound through his unique alt-pop sound.

    In 2008 PJ was a winner of the triple J unearthed Top Song competition. His winning track was described on the Unearthed website as:

    “… indie pop… while still being serious. And Seriously Good. The quirky instrumentation and lush harmonies make PJ's winning track "Skin And Bone" a standout winner”

    This win came after a number of his demo’s were picked up and played on the station. Just prior to receiving the Triple J honour PJ was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Young Australians to help produce his current EP Arcadia Street, an collection of pop songs about death.

    For years we've loved his last album, Storms Dreams and Flying Machines, and the new Arcadia Street is beautiful.

    Read 4087 times
  • 06 May 2010

    Nigel Date (guitar), Daniel Weltlinger (violin), Stan Valacos (double bass), Tim Bradley (drums)

    This sophisticated jazz ensemble is well known for its swinging renditions of the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli of the ‘Quintette du Hot Club de France’.

    Come along and settle in on one of our lounges for what will be a fabulous night of ‘Gypsy Jazz’, and your last chance to see Daniel play before he leaves to tour the world with Lulo Reinhardt.

    Read 3343 times
  • 13 May 2010
    Climbing Tree

    Hewetson.  McMahon.  Slater.  Barker.
    need i say more? ok i will...

    Alexander Hewetson, the original bass player in the highly successful 90’s jazz groove outfit D.I.G, also played and recorded with funksters Swoop between 1992 and 1998.  With Climbing Tree he brings his unconstrained grooves and evocative compositions to three of the defining voices of Sydney's jazz scene, trumpeter Phil Slater, pianist Matt McMahon and drummer Simon Barker.

    Climbing Tree launched their debut album Tree Music with us back in february 2009 and have been regular visitors ever since.  I love them.  This music is good.  really really good.  if you're think trumpets are too loud, or bands without singers aren't interesting, or modern jazz is boring, come and have your mind changed.

    here's what they say:

    Climbing Tree are very happy to be back at Colbourne Ave, looking forward to the warm surroundings and friendly atmosphere of Café Church. Climbing Tree’s debut album Tree Music showcases Alexander Hewetson’s talent as a composer with the highly evocative music featuring all original compositions. Alexander’s group showcases three of Australia’s finest musicians in trumpeter Phil Slater, pianist Matt McMahon and drummer Simon Barker, with whom he previously played for about ten years in the group Baecastuff. The group played an integral part in the arrangements and Alexander notes that “sometimes the arranging and writing becomes one and the same thing, especially with such great musicians as these.”

    Read 4096 times
  • 20 May 2010

    colbourne ave reimprovisationcome and discover Sydney’s most unique music space!


    A sculpture by Ian Scott will be on sale for $1000.

    Beer from Little Creatures, wine and food for sale.

    media enquiries (02) 8013 8219 / 0405 726 753

    $20 / $10 lounges, candlelight, tea and coffee - wine, beer, and food available for this night only.

    Read 4717 times
  • 27 May 2010
    Mike Nock

    Sydney's piano master plays from his acclaimed 1994 album, Touch.


    Read 4251 times
  • 03 Jun 2010
    Ben Panucci

    Guitarist Ben Panucci is part of a new generation of young jazz musicians with an immediate appeal and individual sound and approach.  Accompanied by Alex Boneham on bass and Jody Michael on drums this will be a special event...

    With Sam Dobson (bass) and Jodie Michael (drums)

    Read 4843 times
  • 10 Jun 2010
    The Mark Ginsburg Band

    Mark waited a long long time to record this first celebrated album.  Melding Jewish tradition with contemporary Australian jazz, it is a ground-breaking musical odyssey.  At times haunting, yet melodic and beautiful, the group strikes a skillful balance  between moments of intensity and tranquillity. Generations explores Markʼs musical roots and heritage combining ancient modes with modern themes. Markʼs research work, part of a Master of Music degree at the Sydney Conservatorium, examines the linkages between  Jewish cantorial singing and jazz improvisation.

    Mark Ginsburg - saxophones : Greg Coffin - piano : Karl Dunnicliff - bass : Tim Firth - drums

    Read 4432 times
  • 17 Jun 2010
    Gavin Ahearn

    Exploring different textural combos with piano in duo, trio, quartet & quintet formations, Gavin will exercise his formidable improvisational ability.

    "Ahearn is every bit the beautiful, lyrical pianist he's touted to be" [ lloyd bradford (brad) syke, Australian Stage]

    Read 3622 times
  • 24 Jun 2010
    Briana Cowlishaw Quintet

    A beautiful singer with a great voice who understands the groove.  Bri has been playing all over town this year, and she deserves the great rap she's getting - but this is her farewell gig before she leaves for some jet-setting, so get your last fix...

    Briana Cowlishaw (Voice)
    Ken Allars (Trumpet)
    Greg Coffin (Piano)
    Brendan Clarke (Bass)
    Nic Cecire (Drums)

    Read 4503 times
  • 01 Jul 2010
    Barney Wakeford Trio

    Our own Barney Wakeford, a magnanimous accompanist, adventurous composer and interpreter, and sublime improvisor, playing his favourite piano in his favourite room - with Mark Lau on double bass, home from New York for a couple of weeks.  Catch them while you can.

    Read 4915 times
  • 08 Jul 2010
    Tim Stevens piano trio

    Tim Stevens and Mark Lau, two old friends now living in new york and melbourne, only get to play together every couple of years when they meet up in Sydney.  This is it...

    'Stevens is an improviser of endless melodic inventiveness and seemingly inexhaustible harmonic knowledge. He is clearly a diligent student of jazz tradition, yet he eschews imitation and cliché.' (Aaron Searle, Music Forum)

    Read 4140 times
  • 15 Jul 2010
    noordhuis/mason/dewhurst/lau/firth (nyc/syd)

    if the title isn't jazz enough for you... this will be a once-only collaboration between five great improvisers, long-time far-flung friends...
    nadje noordhuis: tpt (nyc) - (she's a expat sydneysider too, monk
    competition finalist etc.)
    spike - sax
    carl dewhurst - guitar (winner Ike Issacs International Jazz Guitar competition)
    mark lau - bass (nyc)
    tim firth - drums

    Read 4100 times
  • 22 Jul 2010

    Roil is a collaboration between pianist Chris Abrahams, bassist Mike Majkowsk, and drummer James Waples. Since forming in 2007, this Sydney-based trio has been developing their own approach to jazz improvisation. There is a controlled elegance to Roil’s music — not that this precludes the energetic. The music has an eddying quality that moves between group utterance and multi–stranded counterpoint, a weaving of textures that coagulate to form unified phrases before dispersing once more into the churning invention. ’Meaning’ is its first release and was recorded in one uninterrupted session on 2 April 2008.


    Read 3450 times
  • 29 Jul 2010
    Steven barry piano trio

    The best young piano trio money can't buy.  But you're welcome to make a bid...

    Read 3651 times
  • 05 Aug 2010
    John Harkins Trio

    John Harkins is Sydney's favourite Chicago blues man (or ours at least), playing a tribute to Hank Jones - the jazz legend who died last month at the age of 91.  In his 20s Hank worked with Hot Lips Page, and he played through the whole history of bop, bebop, and popular jazz working with Colman Hawkins, Ella Fitzgerald, Mailyn Munroe, Benny Goodman...  But it's not a tribute to any of them.

    Read 4993 times
  • 12 Aug 2010
    Visions Jazz Festival - Simon Barker, Intangible Asset No 82

    Wow, exciting!  A screening of Emma Franz's documentary about Simon Barker's incredible journey to the heart of South Korea's drumming tradition, Intangible Asset No 82.  Followed by a solo performance by Simon, Q & A with Emma, plus a set by Jim Denley / Mike Majkowski.
    This event is presented in conjunction with the Sydney Improvised Music Association - the film will start at 7pm and the cost is $25/$15, and you can actually book tickets!  check the SIMA website for more info :

    Read 4009 times
  • 19 Aug 2010
    Gavin Ahearn

    Gavin Ahearn, Matt Ottignon, Toby Hall, Karl Dunnicluff

    music inspired by winter

    with a solo set up front by John Dip Silas

    Read 3065 times
  • 26 Aug 2010
    Barney Wakeford's New Roses

    Barney Wakeford plays the piano.  With Pete Kolhoff on bass (he's been all around town with James Valentine lately), and Mike Quigley on Drums.

    Read 4305 times
  • 02 Sep 2010
    Greg Coffin Trio

    "... a seemingly telepathic ability to begin and end each other's phrases."  John Shand reckons their CD is"among the finest recorded work of sinewy bassist Cameron Undy." I reckon i'm going to like it.  Reviews and stuff on the Jazzgroove site

    Read 4140 times
  • 09 Sep 2010
    Sunwrae Trio : Primavera

    A feast for the eyes and ears: a stunning musical experience from the Sunwrae Trio on vibraphone, double bass & harp. Featuring original music by Rae Howell, Sunwrae perform two new works from a recent Music Residency in Brazil. Another great Melbourne musician...

    Read 5633 times
  • 10 Sep 2010
    Guy Strazz World Jazz Quartet - the BrazIndia project

    Playing Jazz spiced with Afro-Brazilian rhythms, the band includes long time collaborator and bass man, Hugh Fraser; distinguished emerging guitarist, Aaron Flower and American percussionist Chris Field.  Read more at, or check the great story while you listen at

    This is a special one-off FRIDAY concert, to celebrate the birthdays of Guy and Aaron!

    Read 4956 times
  • 16 Sep 2010

    Amphibious continues our series of fine music concerts.  It's jazz, influenced by chamber music.  It's experimental, in a beautiful way. Sometimes it's a bit like Bach.  It's great musicians playing whatever they want, the sort of improvisation our lounges love.

    Their website is excellent:

    (and somehow, against all the odds, Amphibious got an article in the inner west courier!)

    Read 4058 times
  • 23 Sep 2010
    Matt McMahon trio

    Everybody loves Matt, and the synergy he has developed with Jono Brown and Simon Barker over a decady is astounding.  They will play pieces from their 13 year history and some brand new ones too.
    Of their cd "Ellipsis" John Shand said in the Sydney Morning Herald:
    "McMahon's playing is ravishing ... The recording quality is excellent and the music is as good as any current piano-trio jazz"

    Read 4494 times
  • 30 Sep 2010
    The Hung, Drawn Quartet

    Earlier year they played their first public show for us.  if you were there you'll know how perfectly constructed each song was.

    Read 4346 times
  • 01 Oct 2010
    Mic Conway & Robbie Long with Liz Frencham

    Stripped back, irreverent and shameless, Mic Conway of the legendary
    "Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band" and the infamous "Mic Conway's National
    Junk Band
    " has teamed up with one of Australia's finest guitarists and
    driest wits - Robbie Long. From Darwin Festival to Melbourne Cabaret
    Festival, it's a circus of comedy, magic and music - idiosyncratic songs
    that will make your jaw drop, toes tap and sides split. Featuring some
    Matchbox favourites like “My Canary Has Circles Under His Eyes” and an
    hilarious version of Tom Lehrer's classic, "Masochism Tango".
    They have been in the studio during winter, cooking up a duo album.

    The lovely Liz Frencham will be opening the evening ... peforming her
    gorgeous serenades.
    See Mic and Liz dueting "Paper Moon" :

    Read 4083 times
  • 08 Oct 2010
    Gavin Ahearn trio

    Right on!

    Read 4176 times
  • 14 Oct 2010

    the exploration of sonic soundscapes
    the flow of cascading rhythms
    the pathway into unknown territories

    David de Vries - Guitar
    James Waples - Drums
    Brendan Berlach - Saxophone
    Spike Mason - Saxophone

    Read 3852 times
  • 21 Oct 2010

    Glenn Henrich is a multi-instrumentalist who can be heard playing any of his extensive collection of saxes, clarinets, flutes, recorders, keyboards or vibes. His diverse musical interests and styles range from baroque to classical to romantic to modern 'serious' music, and certainly include many varieties of serious (and not so serious) jazz; latin to swing to bebop and beyond.  This Thursday he will continue our obsession with the vibraphones, playing homage to Milt Jackson and the Modern Jazz Quartet - a distinctive contrapuntal bluesy band who brought the vibes to prominence in the 50s and 60s (i don't know whether they'll wear the pin-stripes).

    Read 4589 times
  • 28 Oct 2010
    Andrew Dickeson/Peter Locke/Alex Boneham Classic Jazz Trio

    Playing homage to classic 50s and 60s jazz piano trios - Ahmad Jamal, Oscar Peterson, Red Garland etc. Rather than trying to recreate the works of these classic trios note for note - we will be presenting some of their repertoire in our style, aiming to capture a certain "classic" trio sound in terms of dynamics, finesse and arrangements.

    Andrew Dickeson is steeped in this history, lecturing in jazz drumming at the sydney conservatorium. Peter Locke is the perfect pianist for the project - he is an unsung talent & a master of many styles. With Alex Boneham on bass it will be a magic combination.

    Read 4165 times
  • 04 Nov 2010
    Steve Foxe quartet

    For his debut performance at Colbourne Ave, Steve Foxe and his quartet will be exploring the music and ideas of Kenny Wheeler's Angel Song.

    Steve Foxe - bass
    Jeremy Sawkins - guitar
    Nick Bowd - alto sax
    Andy Fiddes - trumpet

    Read 5197 times
  • 11 Nov 2010
    The Date Brothers

    Nigel and Ian Date.  Gypsy jazz guitar.

    You're gonna love it!


    Read 3300 times
  • 18 Nov 2010
    Daryl Pratt Sextet

    The Daryl Pratt Sextet is looking forward to a return visit to Colbourne Ave. Influenced by recent developments in improvised music blending acoustic and electronic sounds, the band's repertoire features new pieces by Daryl designed especially for this outstanding line-up.

    Richard Maegraith - saxes

    Matt Mcmahon - keyboards

    Emile Nelson - bass

    Philip South - electronics & percussion

    Jared Underwood - drums

    Daryl Pratt - vibes

    Read 4002 times
  • 20 Nov 2010
    Tim Clarkson Trio

    Come and join the Tim Clarkson Trio for a magical Saturday twilight concert in what is surely Sydney’s most unique and inspiring music venue – the Café Church Space at Colbourne Avenue. Set in a beautifully restored heritage building Colbourne Avenue is renowned for its superb acoustics and intimate audience friendly setting. It’s the perfect environment to hear Tim and his trio reprise the launch of his outstanding Jazzgroove album CRAB and celebrate the beginning of the festive season.

    5:30 - 7:30 pm

    Tim Clarkson - tenor saxophone
    Phil Stack - double bass
    Cameron Reid - drums / percussion

    Read 3860 times
  • 25 Nov 2010
    The Fantastic Terrific Munkle

    Their 2009 album was called 'Music To Dance To', so be sure to bring your dancing shoes. You're also likely to hear a bit of bluesy goodness, music from other lands, and seemingly from other planets, all filtered through the unique Munkle lineup. Featuring players from The Tango Saloon, Mike Nock, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Secret Chiefs 3 and Monsieur Camembert.

    Read 3869 times
  • 02 Dec 2010
    Get Off Your Arts

    Get Off Your Arts is an arts festival and competition aimed at celebrating and supporting creativity in all its forms.

    So, whatever your chosen form of artistic expression, we want you to get off your ARTS!

    The opening night and prize giving is wednesday the 1st of December, on Thursday you can view all the finalists and Adam Ponting, a genius on the piano, will perform.


    Read 1682 times
  • 09 Dec 2010
    PJ Wolf and Band + Mike McCarthy

    PJ Wolf returns to Colbourne Ave hot on the heals of releasing his new EP Arcadia Street.

    He'll be performing songs from the EP as well as some all new material with his band (Barney Wakeford/keys, Jon Sewell/Bass and Tom Wright/Drums).

    For more information check out

    The night will be opened by Central Coast singer/songwriter Mike McCarthy.

    McCarthy has joined forces with Sean Cashin (Guitar/Vocals and Percussion) and Coral Latella (Vocals, Violin and Mandolin). The trio will be performing songs from McCarthy's six CD releases as well as songs being workshopped for a coming album in 2011.

    Read 3901 times
  • 16 Dec 2010
    Steven Barry Trio

    with Cam Reid (drums) and Alex Boneham (bass)

    Steven arrived at the Sydney Con from Auckland last year, with nothing but the shirt on his back and the blessing of Roger Manins.  he's travelled far though, winning awards including Most Outstanding Musician, Best Pianist and Best Composition at the Tauranga International Jazz Festival, and being fawned over by the likes of us.

    this is the best young jazz trio in sydney.
    let's call it a christmas party.

    Read 3133 times

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