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.

  • 29 Jan 2015

    Chris Abrahams - piano
    Mike Majkowski - bass
    James Waples - drums

    Established in 2007, ROIL play their own original style of jazz-inspired improvised music. Their music draws upon a varied pallet; at times it comes close to free jazz, at other times to experimental improvisation, while also referencing other styles such as minimalism and ambient music. A roil piece incorporates aspects of textural improvisation, bringing extended techniques to bear on a collective sound world, while also being melodic and conventionally rhythmic. Bringing together the abstract and the figurative.

    ''A beautifully weighted trio, full of delicacy, mesmerizing accumulations of detail and engulfing power.'' - John Clare

    This performance celebrates their 3rd release 'Raft of the Meadows' (limited edition LP) on the Lithuanian label NoBusiness Records

    web link:

    Read 3581 times
  • 05 Feb 2015
    Four forces of improvised sound - fused, deflected, blended or refracted in an spontaneous explosion of raw energy. Double bass, electric guitar, trumpet, drums and bunch of random objects played in real time by real humans, to create something that could only be described as UNREEEAL!

    An improvising ensemble from Sydney/Berlin guitarist Julia Reidy, featuring:

    Shota Matsumura on trumpet
    Clayton Thomas on double bass
    Dorian on drums
    and Julia on guitar

    Here are a few links to give you the vibe


    Read 2743 times
  • 12 Feb 2015
    Mark Isaacs Trio

    Mark Isaacs - piano; Brett Hirst - bass; Tim Firth - drums.

    This rhythm section - following its 6 year role as the engine room of Mark's fusion-orientated Resurgence band (which released several recordings and toured internationally) - is currently enjoying exploring the core jazz tradition in its unique way, and that is what it will do at Colbourne Avenue.  Their ongoing collaboration with Briana Cowlishaw included doing the Cup Eve Concert at last year's Wangaratta Festival of Jazz (alas, Bri won't be with us this evening).
    Mark's classical career continues apace, he has been writing major works for - and performing with - the finest classical players in Australia. His first symphony was premiered by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in late 2013, and he was co-producer of a television program of this premiere, which you can see on Foxtel. He has just completed a Chamber Symphony, which will be premiered in July at the City Recital Hall, Sydney, by the Omega Ensemble and soprano Jane Sheldon.  And amongst all that, he grounds himself with occasional performances in the classic piano trio format.
    Read 3824 times
  • 19 Feb 2015
    Chuck Yates and James Ryan

    It's Chuck's 79th birthday this month.

    And this week is the official renaming launch of The Glebe Justice Centre (formerly Glebe Cafe Church). 

    Chuck was born in Bendigo, bounced around between Sydney and Melbourne during the 60s and 70s, studied in New York in the 80s, and washed up at the Bald Faced Stag in Leichhardt in 1994.  He's be taught by legends, and in turn he has taught legends ("I taught myself how to teach and I also taught myself by teaching").  These days his public performances are rare, and always in duet with James Ryan.

    i discoverd this great interview with him on Australian Jazz :

    Read 2810 times
  • 24 Feb 2015
    Håkon Kornstad Tenor Battle

    By using his imagination and a simple electronic device to record and play back “loops” as he performs, saxophonist Håkon Kornstad is able to realize in concert what his aptly named and newest album states – Symphonies in My Head. His instrumental technique is both traditionally solid – he has beautiful tone on whichever saxophone or wind instrument he selects – and also extended by the use of the keys to make percussion sounds and the use of overtones to broaden his palette of sound colors. Lyrical melodies glide and float over layers of sound that grow gradually into an orchestral accompaniment, and virtually all of it is improvised. His restless muse has recently taken him into unexpected, new territory, as he has pursued study as operatic tenor singer and has begun to integrate this new expression of lyricism into his solo performances, giving unprecedented meaning to being a jazz “tenor.”

    This will be Håkon's only public concert in Australia, after two decades of touring Europe and North America.  It will be the best concert you go to on a Tuesday night all year.

    Watch and listen here :



    Read 1754 times
  • 26 Feb 2015
    Duo Ramírez Satorre

    Experience the sublime music of Argentina with Hugo Satorre and Adrian Ramírez. These maestros belong to a new generation of Argentine musicians who bridge the vast distance between academic and popular music. The Duo formed in 2008 with the intention of exploring the music composed by the great Astor Piazzolla. The Duo's critically acclaimed debut album, Piazzolla de Camara, was nominated for a 2013 Latin-Grammy. In addition to their investigation of the work of Piazzolla, the Duo perform works from the rich tapestry of Argentine music - tango, folkloric music, classical repertoire - to create a sound that is both refined and unquestionably Argentine.

    Hugo Satorre : Bandoneon
    Adrian Ramírez : Guitar


    Morena dancewear and Tángalo are proud supporters of this tour.

    Here's them :

    And their latest album :

    Read 2434 times
  • 05 Mar 2015
    Date Bros
    The Date Brothers return once again to Colbourne Ave. 
    Enjoy the great sounding acoustic guitars played with great passion and skill.
    This is the Brothers only  performance in the inner west this year so don't miss it!
    They will have some guests dropping in to add to the musical fun. 
    They will be playing some jazz, some blues, some original material and their take on some classical themes.
    See you there!!

    Youtube channel


    Read 3091 times
  • 12 Mar 2015
    Spike Mason and Henri Peipman

    Henri and Spike have been playing music together for almost 20 years. They play in each other's bands, record on each other's albums, and both really like Arvo Part (but Henri is Estonian so that's a no brainer).  This musical meeting will give these two friends the opportunity to play some of their own original music in an intimate and personal setting.
    And their other friend Jeremy Sawkins has just agreed to play.  so it will be a trio.  probably in the round.  with the new lounges.  certainly great sydney jazz.

    it might be a tiny bit like this : or this

    A conversation without words...

    Read 3166 times
  • 19 Mar 2015
    Barney Wakeford Trio

    Autumn in New York

    Barney spent three months in NYC last year.  He listened, he learnt, he composed.  With his trio, he'll play some of each.  And tell some stories, probably.


    Read 3306 times
  • 26 Mar 2015
    Miriam Lieberman trio
    “Lieberman is a robust singer with a sensual yet brittle undertone.  Her songs are beautifully melodic, richly textured but can have pointed themes.  Simply brilliant!”
4 and a half stars – Jeff Glorfeld -  THE AGE
    Miriam Lieberman’s music seamlessly blends African influences with blues and folk infused melodies.   Her songs are a collection of stories beautifully told through strings, powerful lyrics and her unmistakable voice.  She plays kora-  21-stringed  West African harp as well as acoustic guitar. She will be playing with her trio -Violinist Lara Goodridge and cellist Kate Adams who add their sublime strings and vocal harmonies.

    Miriam released her new album Birds of the Moon in August 2014. Since that time the trio has toured the album around Australia. Birds of the Moon was made album of the week on ABC Radio National and it has so far been awarded four star reviews in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Weekend Australian and also had an Aria nomination. The album travels in mood from the sinister beauty of the Indian city of Varanasi, to a Mexican love story to the bright hope of dawn.

    Here's an interview with Miriam, about how she become one of Australia's best Kora players

    Read 1740 times
  • 02 Apr 2015
    Brendan Clarke quartet

    In 2001 Brendan was the first bass player ever to win the prestigious National Jazz Award at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival. Since then Brendan has played bass on over 50 albums and has appeared at all the major Australian jazz festivals including the Manly Jazz Festival, Thredbo Jazz Festival, Wangaratta festival of Jazz and Blues, Bellingen Jazz Festival, Dubbo Jazz Festival, Freemantle Jazz festival, Glenelg Jazz Festival and the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. He has toured Europe several times including performances at the Berlin jazz festival with the Sandy Evans Trio and Locarno film festival with David Blenkhorn. In 2004 he recorded at the famous Rainbow Studios in Oslo, Norway  as part of a European tour with the Sydney band “Theaktet” led by saxophonist David Theak.  Brendan has also represented Australia and performed in the Australian pavilion at World Expo in Japan in 2005 and again in Shanghai, China in 2010 with the George Washingmachine Trio.

    In 2013 Brendan's quartet released their first album, Stretch.  Come and hear it live.

    Read 3032 times
  • 09 Apr 2015
    Barney Wakeford's Double Shot

    Barney Wakeford's Double Shot Quartet, featuring the duelling guitars of John Blenkhorn and Paul Mitchell Brown.

    Those who know Paul from his live performances with blues legend Joe Louis Walker can now see his other side, that of an increasingly unique jazz guitarist and composer.  John has returned to Sydney having wowed audiences at Italy's Astona Jazz Festival with the Australian All Stars featuring Emma Pask.  With Barney on jazz organ and Joel Davis on drums, this will prove to be a memorable crossing of musical swords.

    Read 2877 times
  • 16 Apr 2015
    Matt Keegan

    Stu Hunter will open the night performing a solo piano set of new material.  He's a genius, so arrive early.

    Soulful and sonic - Matt Keegan's new group produces a sublime atmosphere that highlights his melodic talents and beautiful sound. 
    This will be the second outing for this new group. The band will showcase Keegan's new work as well as some selected tunes from his back catalogue.
    Mary Rapp - Cello
    Dave Rodriguez - guitar FX
    Matt Keegan - Bari Sax
    Hanna James - Bass
    Miles Thomas - Drums


    Listen to Matt Keegan on BandCamp

    Read 2916 times
  • 23 Apr 2015
    Gai Bryant

    Relax on a comfy chair or sofa, bring some wine & friends

    listen to

    Brendan Clarke - bass
    Paul Derricott - drums
    Danny Carmichael - trumpet & trombone
    Jeremy Sawkins - guitar
    and Gai on saxes


    play romantic ballads, quirky originals, Cuban cha-cha-cha and more 


    Read 3088 times
  • 30 Apr 2015
    Dreams of Falling

    Buried in the dark pasts of Bruce Cale (strings), John Shand (drums, percussion) and Phil Treloar (marimba, percussion) is some common history. In the same early 1980s period that Phil played drums in the Bruce Cale Quartet (a mighty band completed by Roger Frampton and Dale Barlow), John sought out Phil as a teacher and wrote about him for Jazz magazine. More recently Bruce and John found themselves near neighbours in Katoomba, and for two-and-a-half years have been playing together several times a week, with Bruce having added violin, viola and cello to his double bass, and with John having returned to the drums after a 15 year hiatus. Last year, on one of Phil's trips back to Australia from Japan (where he has been living for 25 years atop a snowy peak near Kanazawa), the Cale/Shand duo became a trio that performed in the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre. It instantly felt more like a reunion than a new project: intimate improvisations that the three mountain-dwellers call Dreams of Falling.


    Read 2162 times
  • 07 May 2015
    Phil Treloar - improvised solos for marimba and drum kit

    My search for an expressive mode that would bring together sound exploration with compositional thinking was given impetus in the early 1970s by Stockhausen’s Mikrophonie 1 and the music of John Cage, particularly the Sonatas & Interludes for Prepared Piano, Credo In Us, and Indeterminacy. A little-known trio formed in ’72 comprising myself, Roger Frampton, and Peter Evans – the latter two having worked extensively with David Ahern’s TELETOPA – met once a week over a period of about fifteen months to improvise with sound, doing so without having recourse to any established musical language or traditional processes in instrumental techniques. These highly inspirational encounters would prove to be influential in the development of my creative trajectory. 

    Some forty years further on my passion for and commitment to the exploration of sound remains undiminished. Through concerted efforts I found common ground for sound exploration and compositional thinking. Then, round 1987, I clarified the parameters by which improvisation and notated composition might interact dynamically, coining the term Collective Autonomy as a reference to this field of exchange; a field upon which compositional processes and improvisation engage in structurally related dialogue; dialogue in which predetermined concepts &/or materials interact with in-the-moment discovery. The nature of these interactions varies greatly: at times unconstrained, at times predetermined &/or limited by defined contexts; at times realised in group exchange while at others, as is the case for this May 7 performance, in a solo setting. Crucial for my music’s making is expressivity – a meeting and weighing of Feelings and Thoughts, the substance of which is conveyed through an instantiated sonic topography. Each topographic contour reflects the thrust, collisions, cohesions, vortices, vertices and energies by which sonic elements are transported, shaped, and made manifest in a formed architectonic.

    Several CD releases indicate various aspects of my creative enterprise and these, along with some DVD clips, can be found on my website at


    Read 2318 times
  • 14 May 2015
    Nick Charles

    Nick Charles is known internationally as “Australia’s virtuoso of acoustic blues and roots”. With years touring the world playing festivals and concerts, including ten US tours and a dozen acclaimed albums, this show is a must for lovers of great guitar music and classic folk blues songwriting.

    Nick’s 12th album and his latest, Into the Blues, is a tour-de-force and return to the fundamental elements. It’s reached number two on the Australian Public Radio charts and won “Blues Album of the Year 2013”, “Blues Song of the Year 2013 and 2014”, “Solo Performer of the Year Vic/Tas 2013” as well as “Instrumental of 2013 – Australian Song Contest”.                                                                                               

    He’s toured with artists of the calibre and diversity of BB King, Taj Mahal, John Hammond, Guy Clarke, Ralph McTell and Chris Smither so take this opportunity to hear the dazzling strings and a lifetime’s stories and songs from the world’s musical highways! 

    Nick was also named 2014 Port Fairy Folk Festival Artist of the Year! (Australia’s highest folk accolade)



    Read 1107 times
  • 21 May 2015
    George Washingmachine trio

    Piano, violin, double bass.  George is calling it "intimate".

    Featuring the most entertaining man in jazz, George Washingmachine, with Sydney's great swing player Peter Locke, and the endlessly creative bass legend, Jonathan Zwartz.  Great jazz, great entertainment, it's going to be all-around great.

    Read 3212 times
  • 28 May 2015
    Janet Seidel and friends

    Celebrate Janet's birthday with the trio and many guest artists.

    There will be lots of musicians sitting in.  Champagne and candles.  I'm not going to say which birthday it is, because I would never give away a ladys age, but come and celebrate and find out for yourself.

    Janet has asked that we put the concert price up to $25, with the extra five dollars going to the Nepal earthquake appeal.  Even the musicians performing on the night will be putting in their $5.  A great way of giving back.

    Read 3212 times
  • 04 Jun 2015
    Solo Jazz Piano Master Series vii : Matt McMahon : Gary Daley

    This year, Matt released his first album of solo piano pieces, paying tribute to his (greatgreat) grandparents, William and Mary. It's great. Matt has won the Wangaratta award and the Freedman fellowship, and lectures in piano at the Sydney Conservatorium. 

    Gary is a magical piano and accordion player, whose two recent projects "Sanctuary" and "Bungarribee" have brought focus to his composing and band-leading talents. This week we're going to remember what a simply amazing player he is.

    Read 3378 times
  • 11 Jun 2015
    Solo Jazz Piano Master Series vii : Barney Wakeford : Casper Tromp

    Casper Tromp is a Dutch industrial designer turned jazz piano player (he plays pop and classical pianos as well).  He's been living in Sydney the last few years, working with his improvising trio, experimental quartet, and playing lots of other formats.  Following from Gary's beautiful accordion tunes last week, Casper is also a big fan of Messiaen.

    Barney Wakeford is an endlessly creative improvisor whose understanding and experimentation with form and harmony and the mechanics of playing piano has reached profound depths.

    Read 3226 times
  • 18 Jun 2015
    Solo Jazz Piano Master Series vii : Barney McAll : Mike Nock

    Two of Australia's greatest jazz pianists.

    Barney McAll has returned to Sydney for a year (after 17 years in New York) to take up the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Residency.  He will be working on a number of new composition projects including solo piano pieces for next year’s Kinetic Jazz Festival in Sydney which have been influenced by the gospel church music he has been playing in Queens, New York, and works for two pianos, homemade instruments, celeste and vibraphone with Eugene Ughetti and his mentor Mike Nock.

    Mike Nock (who lived in the US for 25 years) is perennially re-working, re-inventing, and sharing and creating with each new generation of musicians. He won the Don Banks Award last year, and described himself as a "missionary for jazz".

    There will be grand piano, various electronic keyboards, and a final duet between these two masters of improvisation.

    Mike and Barney both have sections of their websites devoted to their solo work: 

    Read 2798 times
  • 25 Jun 2015
    Solo Jazz Piano Master Series vii : Tim Stevens : Joe O'Connor

    What's the best thing to come out of Melbourne?  The Hume Highway  boomtish

    Travelling up the Hume this week are :

    Joe O'Connor - winner of the National Jazz Award at Wangaratta in 2014, and the Bell Award for young jazz artist of the year in 2014

    Tim Stevens - Ph. D. in jazz and leader of many jazz ensembles in Sydney and Melbourne over the last two decades.

    Read 2640 times
  • 02 Jul 2015
    Alfredo Lopes w/ Matt McMahon, Jonno Brown, Troy Lever, Mike Kenny

    About the music:

    The ensemble plays original material by the composer, drawing on stylistic influences ranging from melodic explorations of Ornette Coleman, harmonic forms of Wayne Shorter, modal inventions of Miles Davis and hard-bop progressions of Joe Henderson to culminate in a unique jazz quintet sound.


    About the members:

    Alfredo Lopes (Leader/Composer/Saxophone)

    Alfredo Lopes has been involved performing and writing jazz repertoire since his studies at Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1993. He is now working on a Doctorate of Musical Arts at Queensland Conservatorium of Music, working with jazz composer and educator, Dr Stephen Newcomb. He has worked with and co-led music ensembles with some of Australia’s best jazz musicians including: George Golla, Judy Bailey, Craig Scott, Alan Turnball, Mark Isaacs, Paul Mac Namara, Bernie Mc Gann, John Morrison, Jeff Usher, Matt Mc Mahon, Sean Wayland, Jan Rutherford, Cathy Harley and Sharny Russell.

    Mike Kenny (Trumpet)

    Since completing an Associate Diploma in Jazz Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium in 1992, Michael has become a recognised artist on the local jazz scene; performing with the likes of Mike Nock, Judy Bailey, Rod White, Tim Oram Big Band, Son Veneno, Club Havana, Buzz Band and Wycliffe Gordon (USA). As band leader and principal composer, Mike formed the ten-piece jazz ensemble Selah in 1995. Selah produced two CDs and toured country NSW, Victoria, and overseas to Turkey in 2001 and Kazakhstan in 2002. This year Mike will release a live album with sextet – ‘Mike Kenny’s Lab Band’.

    Matt Mc Mahon (Piano)

    Matt McMahon is a pianist/keyboardist /composer based in Australia. He leads the Matt McMahon Trio and co-leads "Band of Five Names" with Phil Slater and Simon Barker. Matt won the national Jazz award in 1999 and the Freedman Jazz Fellowship in 2005. He has played/recorded with Dale Barlow, Greg Osby, Phil Slater, Katie Noonan, Vince Jones, Bobby Previte, Dave Panichi, Steve Hunter, Jazzfolk, Guy Strazzullo and many others, playing at concerts and festivals throughout Australia and Asia. His recent albums include Paths and Streams and Ellipsis, both recorded for the Kimnara label.

    Jonathon Brown (Double Bass)

    Over a number of years, Jonathon Brown has worked as a freelance bassist in the Sydney music scene. He has been a member of the Matt McMahon trio for fifteen years, playing some memorable performances at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Sydney Opera House, and Jazz in the Domain. He has also played with Mark Issacs, Dale Barlow, Zac Hurren, Katie Noonan, Stephen Magnusson and Steve Clisby.

    Troy Lever (Drums):

    In one combination or another, Troy has played with a multitude of veterans of the Sydney jazz scene and taught in correspondingly respected institutions. After a virtual hiatus of some years and inspired by all sources of passionate, pursuant musical erudition, Troy emerges yet again to combine his explorations in this fresh group of old friends.

    Listen to Alfredo here :

    Read 3878 times
  • 09 Jul 2015
    Mike Kenny's Lab Band : album launch

    It's an album launch, of an album recorded at Colbourne Ave over two nights in the heat of January 2013.  

    It was great then, it'll be great now.

    see the songs as recorded on YouTube

    Read 3259 times
  • 16 Jul 2015
    The Pocket Trio

    The Pocket Trio are a feel-good ensemble with an incredible sense of energy and rhythm. Drawing influence from the trios of Oscar Peterson, Bill Charlap, Wynton Kelly and Red Garland, their focus is on tight arrangements and groovy pockets. The Pocket Trio are guaranteed to provoke smiles, foot-tapping and good times. 

    Andrew Scott (piano)
    Tim Geldens (drums)
    Brendan Clarke (bass)

    It's Love :

    Too Close for Comfort :

    Cute :


    Read 2827 times
  • 23 Jul 2015
    Chris Cody

    Chris is Australian and French.   To prove the French part, here he is in France with a French flag fluttering behind him.

    Chris is another Australian musician who left our shores to find fame and fortune where the grass is greener.  He's back, after 25 years composing and playing piano in Paris (and London, Rome, Algiers, the Brussels Jazz Marathon etc).  In that time he's recorded nine albums of his own, and heaps of composition commissions including one for the Sydney Theatre Company, eight films, plus radio, special events, you know the story.

    Chris says:
    Having just returned from France, a concert in Paris and the Bastille Day celebrations, we will be playing an exciting mix of originals, standards, and some French pieces including: I love Paris (Cole Porter), La Javanaise by French maestro Serge Gainsbourg, and even some Eric Satie! We re-work the French music to capture the more contemporary sounds and grooves of Paris and the many African and Arab influences. This music is featured on the album we have just recorded, due for release in the  spring. The band has also been invited to perform at Wangaratta.

    Read 3217 times
  • 30 Jul 2015
    Spike Mason

    Spike Mason will be once again visiting the North Island to play the saxophone.

    At this Colbourne Ave gig you will have the chance to hear him create new melodies with the amazing New York based double bass legend - Mark Lau, who will be visiting Aus for a few brief weeks. Spike and Mark have been musical compadres for over 20 yrs so there will be great music and many stories too. Joining them both will be the always inventive and rhythmically satisfying James Waples on Drums. This will prove to be an exciting nite of new music, old music, and never heard of before or since music...


    *actual band may not match photo.

    Mark has an extremely minimalist website, even for a jazz musician :

    Read 3706 times
  • 06 Aug 2015
    Jacob Neale Trio

    Jacob, Brad and Jarrod are three young cats from Newcastle.  They played with Robbie Long last year.  They were great.

    They supported James Morrison in Brisbane last year, Manly Jazz the year before, and once played at the pre-show private party for Elton John's concert.

    Listen here :

    Jacob Neale on piano
    Jarrod Gibson on bass
    Brad Reinberger on drums

    with special guests Shane Landry (tenor sax) and Scott Gelzinnis (vocals)

    Read 2380 times
  • 13 Aug 2015
    Barney Wakeford and Julien Wilson

    This week and next, we have two of the four finalists of the jazz section of the APRA art music awards.  Come and hear Julien Wilson in duet with Barney Wakeford, Tenor sax, grand piano, improvisations.


    Read 3139 times
  • 20 Aug 2015

    Two years ago now-long-time collaborators, Alister Spence and Raymond MacDonald invited guitarist/sampling magician/producer and HellosQuare Records president, Shoeb Ahmad to join on the ‘Stepping Between the Shadows’ launch tour.

    After playing gigs together it was pretty clear that this trio had to continue making music together…and a new project, Sensaround, was born!

    While still on tour the three recorded at Shoeb’s Brick Lane Studios in Canberra to record their first album, Isotropes, released in mid 2014.

    Sensaround explores their shared love of, sound, free improvisation, electronic music and indie pop with acoustic melodies wrapped up in wind textures, Rhodes tones and sonic detritus.


    ★★★★ 4/5 stars

    the music surrounds you. Sounds of seeming substance loom out of a swirling mist of smaller sounds, but then dissolve, so all is ephemeral and ghostly, just like life.
    John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald

    Rare musical insight and a magical release.
    The WIRE

    Isotropes is a rich and vibrant album, capturing the three musicians deeply engaged in sonic conversation. It’s beautifully sculpted and presented.
    Cyclic Defrost


    Alister Spence (Sydney): Fender Rhodes, Pedals
    Raymond McDonald (Glasgow): Alto + Soprano Saxophone
    Shoeb Ahmad (Canberra): Boss SP-202 + SP-303, Pedals

    Read 2696 times
  • 27 Aug 2015
    Clocks & Clouds

    Clocks and Clouds feature specially retuned vibraphone and pump organ. Often they are joined by like-minded musicians to include other instruments of their ensemble, such as the Mesotonal (meaning ‘between tones’) Marimba and thundering bass Meru Bars.

    These unique instruments - with their pure harmonic tuning - explore the beauty of room resonances via ancient sacred scales and multi-dimensional geometries. It is not uncommon for an audience to experience the sensation of harmonics sweeping through space due to the way in which sound waves from the instruments interact with the environment.

    Read 1214 times
  • 03 Sep 2015
    Phil Treloar with James McLean

    James McLean, a young musician from Melbourne, has already made a substantial contribution to creative music in Australia having recently committed to disc landmark accounts with Mark Hannaford and James Macauley among others.

    Composer/Performer, Phil Treloar, has a creative history in Australian music that dates back to the early 1970s as co-founder of the benchmark Jazz Co/Op and from then, a continuous stream of exploratory initiatives through to the present.

    Dispositions is the name James and Phil have given to their newly established collaboration; one planted firmly in egalitarian soil. Fundamentally a duo which investigates spontaneous possibilities to be experienced in performance, they explore their respective compositional interests to includes other like minded individuals as situations arise. Recent recipient of an Australia Council Grant, Dispositions will record in December this year and on this occasion extend their collaborative cast to include the artistry of saxophonist, Scott McConnachie, and bassist, Sam Pankhurst. Concert performances in Melbourne and Brisbane are also scheduled for December. Meanwhile, Dispositions, September 3 at Colbourne Ave, promises to whet the creative appetite for more in the future.

     Dispositions is supported by The Australia Council, Korogi marimbas and xylophones, and Just Percussion

    Read 2163 times
  • 10 Sep 2015
    John Harkins Trio

    John recently launched his new CD, Cognition, at the foundry.  If you missed it (or if you loved it and you want to hear it again), he'll be playing it again for us.

    Read 3251 times
  • 17 Sep 2015
    Hard-hitting jazz meets Scandinavian inspired pop and Australasian roots in this powerful collaboration!

    Described during their recent tour of Australia as “a great blowing band with dense heads, occasional free and floating segments, room for solos and some great grooves” (Canberra Jazz) this is music drawn from diverse influences ‒ modern New York jazz meets Swedish indie pop and European free improvised music. Audiences are first drawn in by introspective, timbral improvisations and then set to foot-tapping with danceable beats, songlike melodies and fiery solos.
    Having extensively toured Australia and New Zealand last year, Antipodes are back on the road again, with shows in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Hobart before they head to New Zealand.

    Antipodes was formed after Baxendale met Sweeting at a jam session in Berlin in 2013. Their musical connection became immediately apparent and they began writing and performing original compositions together. Sweeting from Sydney is a pianist known for his indelible work with jazz-improv group the Grey Wing Trio. Saxophonist Baxendale a key force behind the burgeoning Kiwi band The Jac and is one of the most energetic forces coming from the underground Wellington jazz scene.

    After returning from their time overseas they set to work touring NZ and Australia with an expanded group in early 2014, producing several live recordings and garnering positive reviews from critics. Motueka born guitarist Callum Allardice, a frequent collaborator of Jake’s, joined them in NZ and contributed a number of his own compositions. The new sextet also features Sydney musicians Simon Ferenci (trumpet) of Mothership Orchestra fame, one of Sydney’s hardest working double bassists Max Alduca and Harry Day of electro-pop band Beaten Bodies.

    Jake Baxendale (saxophone) 
    Luke Sweeting (piano) 
    Callum Allardice (guitar) 
    Simon Ferenci (trumpet) 
    Max Alduca (bass) 
    Harry Day (drums)

    Read 2902 times
  • 24 Sep 2015
    Rae Howell (Sunwrae)

    Launching her long-awaited solo albums Invisible Wilderness Volume I & II, London based contemporary composer-pianist Rae Howell returns home to tour an exclusive and intimate concert series..

    In Sydney for the first time in 4 years, Rae performs original and improvised works that oscillate effortlessly across genres with immediacy and vibrancy rarely experienced in contemporary music. With support from the New Music Network, the performance also showcases London-based Australian jazz-pianist Meg Morley on piano.

    Recorded over ten days in St Paul and Minneapolis (USA), Invisible Wilderness is a diverse double volume solo album featuring a collection of Rae Howell’s piano and keyboard works from contemporary, popular and cinematic styles to jazz infused improvisations.

    Complete with hand drawn illustrations, Invisible Wilderness: Volume I was recorded on a Steinway concert grand and is accompanied by a sheet music publication that features 12 works in printed manuscript format. Volume II is more abstract, sidestepping the traditional piano sound, performed on a Fender Rhodes and various upright ramshackle pianos that immerse the listener in different textures, including the hammers, felts and pedalling.  and

    Meg Morley is an Australian pianist-improviser who, after obtaining a Master of Music in classical piano (USQ), decided to pursue jazz improvisation (studying for a year at the VCA). She is currently living in London where she is composing, performing and playing for ballet and contemporary dance, and will be in Australia to promote her latest solo piano EP. 

    You can pre-book tickets for this show at


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  • 01 Oct 2015
    Susan Gai Dowling

    Susan Gai.   You might know her from her jazz radio shows : monday nights on Fine Music FM or fridays on Eastside

    Or from a thousand gigs all around town with Evan, Carl Dewhurst, Greg Lloyd, Bermie McGann, or dozens of others.

    Or you might just recognise what she does - jazz standards sung the proper way, with attention to the song, the story, and the feeling.  She'll be doing that with the great Evan Lohning (pianist, arranger, and composer) on piano.

    The night will be opened by Tania Bowra who owes much to music, it has been a constant and carrying force in her life since she was a young kid.  She’s enjoyed not just the love and labour of creating and performing music for 40 years, but the pleasure and privilege of facilitating many others along the way.  In the years since her still remembered 1989 ARIA nominated Heaven And Earth, Tania has grown into a multi-faceted musician, music producer, director and teacher.  Her songs have drawn parrallels to those of David Gray, Neil Young and Fiona Apple - and certainly, the classic singer-songwriters of the early seventies have been the most recognisable influence in her recordings.  Tania has always revelled in singing the beautiful songs of others – perhaps to no greater disinction than in Joni – a Tribute to the Legendary Joni Mitchell where she appeared alongside a handful of artists including Wendy Matthews and Katie Noonan to a full Sydney Opera House Concert Hall.  Now writing and playing in new band Girls On The Avenue - with Melanie Forbes’ (sistermadly, Jenny Morris) and Julia Day (Geoff Achison, Jeff Duff Orchestra) - Tania can still rarely say no to a chance to play the songs of Joni Mitchell.. especially not when invited by (local jazz legend and dear friend) Susan Gai-Dowling.

    Read 2782 times
  • 08 Oct 2015
    Liz Frencham album launch

    Liz Frencham used to be in a band called Jigzag.  someone just asked me about them today (that could have been months ago, since you're not reading this today).  For ten years she pretty much just played with Greg and Caroline.  Since then she's playing with pretty much everyone, especially in her ongoing duet project "you & me".  She records (and later, when it's convenient, performs) duets with people she loves.  could be one of her songs, or one of theirs, or just one they love.  she's recorded dozens of them, with friends and family and famous people and should-be-famous people.  At colbourne ave she'll be launching volume 2 and volume 3, with as many special duet guests as sydney can provide.

    Read 2860 times
  • 15 Oct 2015
    Laurence Pike / Mike Nock album launch 'Beginning And End Of Knowing'

    Four decades and a world apart, Mike Nock and Laurence Pike have come together to forge a musical union like no other. 

    Their individual talents are well established: Nock, at 75, a legend of Australian jazz, a pianist recognised worldwide for his work with the best of the genre. And Pike, 36, an iconoclastic drummer whose genre-bending projects include the pioneering electronic rock group PVT, as well as key roles in the music of Jack Ladder and Sarah Blasko. 

    On stage, too, they could hardly have been more of a contrast: the diminutive veteran hunched over the piano like a sorcerer while the other a jumble of energy and physicality at six foot four. But close your eyes and the empathy is obvious. Together, Mike Nock and Laurence Pike embrace their differences. On stage and in the studio, they share a belief in the power of storytelling through improvisation. This new album, Beginning And End Of Knowing, marks a significant milestone in the journey of these two remarkable musicians. 

    They travelled to Oslo to record with renowned engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug, the founder of Rainbow Studio and the man responsible for the majority of the recorded output of the ECM label. The trip was made possible when Laurence received a Music Project Fellowship from the Australia Council. A fan of Kongshaug since his school days, Pike is a musician fascinated by the possibilities of sound, so Oslo beckoned strongly. It also happened to be the place where, back in 1981, Mike recorded his seminal album, Ondas, for ECM. 

    So there they were at Sydney airport, preparing to board a flight to Europe, when Mike turned to Laurence and laughed. “You crazy mother-,” he said, “making us go all the way to Norway to make an album.” It was indeed an ambitious adventure, since they had no idea what they would be playing once they arrived. Their music, as always, would be entirely improvised. The recordings they brought home revealed two artists working as one. Several hours of music were reduced to 12 tracks that variously contained moments of quietude and vitality, soaring lyricism, vigour and beauty. 

    These tracks were also a memento of this new environment, Oslo, the way a change of scene can shape the contours of improvisation. Every morning, for instance, Laurence braved the cold to jog along the Akerselva – and this was the river that lent its name to one of the songs. 

    The music also contained their usual combination of electronics and acoustics, with Laurence using live electronics via his drums to add new layers to the sound. These subtle elements permeate the improvisations seamlessly, almost imperceptibly, and their presence makes the album a triumph of modern creative music. 

    The title, Beginning and End Of Knowing, refers to a phrase that Laurence used when asked to describe what goes through his mind while playing. “It’s a balancing act of the conscious and unconscious, a willingness to accept you know nothing while still drawing from a deep well of experience,” he says. This was their second album together. Their 2012 release Kindred was described by John Kelman, from All About Jazz, in glowing terms: “Conceived as music-making without a safety net ... it’s clear that Nock and Pike — separated by nearly 40 years — don't need one.” 

    Read 2937 times
  • 22 Oct 2015
    Guy Strazz eastern blues quartet

    Master guitarist and experimental composer, Guy Strazz, returns with the exciting Eastern Blues Quartet to Colbourne Ave.  Experimental jazz nuanced with Indian classical music and Latin funk where the scintillating sounds of two guitars are driven by a hard swinging, vibrant rhythm section.

    Comments from last month’s performance at Jazzgroove:

    EBQ -
    Blending aspects of jazz, Indian, blues and Latin music. In fact, the word "aspects" is probably redundant, so completely are the component parts integrated, providing the players with unique rhythmic and melodic fields upon which to unleash their improvising skills’.  J. Shand SMH

    ‘Oh. My. God!
    ’ Ben Panucci, director @ Jazzgroove

    Brilliant!’ David Rasko (spectator and guitarist)

    Eastern Blues takes influence from Ravi Shankar and the Coltranes to name just a few - an approach coupled with a strong sense of the improvisational elements of Indian music.
    **** Jazz & Beyond

    "Guy Strazz is amongst the most lyrical players in the land, the influence of the Indian sitar tradition can be traced beside that of the the combustive fire of Brazil and the explosive virtuosity of the likes of John McLaughlin and Egberto Gismonti" - John Shand, The Sydney Morning Herald.

    Guy Strazz – electric guitar   
    Aaron Flower – electric guitar   
    Toby Hall – drum-kit   
    Hugh Fraser – electric bass   

    Read 2756 times
  • 29 Oct 2015
    Benny Lackner trio

    Benny and his trio played for us on their way to Christchurch last year.  They're on their way back again...

    Superbly modernistic piano trio music…
         Mark Bolam, Enlightened Planet, Australia

    US/German pianist Benny Lackner brings his trio on a whirlwind Asia Tour. Lackner has a unique compositional voice and arranging style which blends jazz, electronica and acoustic sounds into a modernistic feel. 

    "The Trio’s raw creative energy and brute force is directed by Lackner's musical sophistication and imposing technical facility”   Thomas Conrad, JAZZTIMES

    Lackner, who studied under the direction of Charlie Haden and mentor, Brad Mehldau has a reputation for interesting re-interpretations of jazz and modern songs - from the electronics-tinged version of Charles Mingus’s “Moanin’”, to Bowie, Prince’s “Sign Of The Times”, and the critically acclaimed ‘Sugar Man’.

    The Trio was founded in New York City in 2002 and they have shared the stage with John Scofield at the Traumzeit Jazz Festival, headlined at jazz clubs such as the Blue Note, Joe’s Pub and Smalls in NYC, played to packed houses at the Sunset in Paris, the Augsburger Jazzsommer, and toured the U.S.A., Germany, France, South Africa, Austria, Turkey, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Eastern Europe.

    Benny Lackner - piano
    Bruno Schorpe - - bass
    Matthieu Chazarenc – drum set


    Read 1259 times
  • 05 Nov 2015
    Sandy Evans trio / Tim Clarkson trio
    Internationally renowned saxophonist and composer Sandy Evans OAM is one of the true legends Australian Jazz. The recipient of too many Awards to mention (most recently a Churchill Fellowship), Sandy is a composing member of the Australian Art Orchestra, The Catholics, The MARA! Band, and has been integrating her PhD studies of Indian classical music into her ever-broadening palette of musical invention.
    Sandy has invited special guests and fellow saxophonist-composers Jeremy Rose and Tim Clarkson to join her in an improvised suite of music, combining and re-combining in solo, duo and trio. With the breadth of musical experience of these three musicians, it’s sure to be a sonic adventure with a lush palette.
    Jeremy Rose’s composition and studies bridges Reggae to Norwegian Folk melodies, music of the Balkans and Cuba and jazz. An outstanding improviser and composer, he was a finalist in the Freedman Jazz Awards in 2012 and 2013. 
    Tim Clarkson is a multi-instrumentalist bandleader and composer and multi-instrumentalist who’s unique compositional voice is influenced by the classical and folk music he grew up with and the polytonal directions of modern New York jazz. He has written for large and small ensembles through to full jazz orchestra and has released three albums as bandleader. 

    “The stars seem to have aligned themselves… His playing achieves an aim of “stillness” in the air that is certainly evident.” 4/5 stars  – Peter Wockner, Jazz and Beyond

    “So Alex Boneham’s bass and Cameron Reid’s drums are very much equal voices with Clarkson’s tenor saxophone, which often twists itself into the knotty rhythms rather than flying above them; rhythms made even more sinewy by Boneham’s singular vigour”.     3.5 /5 stars – John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald
    Read 3383 times
  • 12 Nov 2015
    George Washingmachine trio

    George Washingmachine - the most entertaining musician we know.  His gypsy swing is infectious, his jazz chords are genius, his comedic timing is perfect.

    George will be playing his Stéphane Grappelli style gypsy jazz fiddle with Peter Locke on piano and Craig Scott on double bass - two of the most good-humoured men on the jazz scene.  They'll be pleasing all of the people.

    Read 2967 times
  • 19 Nov 2015
    The Cope St Parade
    The Cope Street Parade are releasing their 5th album this November and December. Kicking off an 18 date national tour, they are ready to fire for one night only at Colbourne Ave.
    The Parade are four young dynamic musicians who combine their love of traditional jazz with the energy and virtuosity of the 21st century.  With a broad repertoire of jazz classics, in addition to original compositions, The Cope Street Parade can melt your heart with a tender ballad before launching into gypsy-swing that is guaranteed to bring dancers to their feet.
    Capturing the spirit and warmth of early jazz styles, the band successfully blurs the line between the contemporary and the classic. Embracing influences such as Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Louis Prima and Django Reinhardt, The Cope Street Parade create their own unique style of Australian swing music.
    "[these] young musicians are students of this music. They love it.” – Australian Jazz
    "The Parade blends the hot sounds of gypsy swing with elements of New Orleans traditional jazz to create a style of music that sounds both new and old yet always uniquely Australian. Think if Django Reinhardt met Louis Armstrong in a good old country pub.” - Adrian Jackson

    “This is Ecstasy” – John Clare, Sydney Morning Herald
    Read 2804 times
  • 26 Nov 2015
    Bonnie Stewart's Criss Cross

    Bonnie Stewart is an Irish jazz drummer, composer, and singer-songwriter.  It's pretty much the perfect combination - she plays drums like a singer, she composes like a drummer, she leads her band with the song as the focus. She likes Monk and Bebop, she's studied jazz in Dublin and New York, she has some of Sydney's most creative improvisers in her band.  Also she's an excellent human being.

    Here's a video shot from under the piano at a jazzgroove gig.  you can't even see bonnie - most of the video is Peter Farrar standing still.  But the music is great.

    Peter Farrar - alto saxophone
    Luke Sweeting - piano
    Bonnie Stewart - drums & percussion

    Read 3061 times
  • 03 Dec 2015
    Virna Sanzone with Matt McMahon

    With her roots firmly planted in the fertile ground that lies between soul and jazz, Virna Sanzone has long been regarded as one of this country’s finest singers. Renowned for her heart on sleeve lyrics and her remarkable improvisational approach, Virna has worked with a broad spectrum of Australian greats, from Paul Kelly to Paul Capsis. 

    She will be accompanied by one of her conservatorium compatriots, Matt McMahon.  Voice and piano.  jazz.

    Read 3301 times
  • 10 Dec 2015
    Like a Summer Breeze

    Tania Bowra, Susan Gai Dowling and Leonie Cohen are gonna ring in the festive season with a night of beautiful music.  Great jazz tunes, ‘Joni gems’ and special originals..  songs to remind you how good life is!

    Sidestepping the mannerisms, childish desire to impress and look-at-me obsessions that beset most singers, Susan Gai Dowling dances into the arms of truth.”  In Summer (Susan Gai Dowling) review, John Shane

    a blessedly distinctive and gorgeous voice… she never loses sight of the song or its melody. For at heart, [she] is searching for the perfect song. ”  Place in the Sun (Tania Bowra) review, The Brag

    "Cohen’s piano is glorious. Not only is her playing extremely tasteful & sure, her sound is beautiful"  Jerusalem (Leonie Cohen) review, Jazz Australia

    Read 3137 times
  • 17 Dec 2015
    Spike Mason and Lea
    Spike and Lea Mason will be once again visiting the North Island to play their annual duet show at Colbourne Ave. Lea will create her new melodious interpretations of popular jazz standards, and Spike will support and inspire her with the prettiest chords he can find on the piano. 
    This year they will be joined by a special guest. Cameron Reid (aka the time machine) will add his soulful rhythms on the drums. Singing, piano and grooves - timeless songs about life and love - such a lovely way to spend an evening.
    Read 3924 times

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