Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran, Victoria 3181, Australia

The award-winning Stonnington Jazz Festival returns for its 14th year, presenting world-class Australian artists performing cabaret, afro-beat, bebop, spiritual jazz, trad jazz and more over 11 days right in the cradle of Melbourne’s jazz birthplace.

Jazz as a musical art form continues to be hip, relevant and wildly popular among musicians and listeners of all ages, continuing an Australian love affair with jazz that ignited in the 1920s. When US soldiers brought big band jazz records Down Under, the exuberant new sound soon filled our dance halls, and the southern suburbs of Melbourne (Prahran, St Kilda and South Melbourne in particular) quickly became a melting pot for the development of our thriving jazz scene.

Now, we consistently continue to produce world-class jazz musicians (such as Grammy-nominated Barney McCall) and showcase them at Stonnington Jazz. This acclaimed festival, artistic-directed by Chelsea Wilson, continues to punch well above its weight in terms of the quality of musicians and diversity of jazz styles, as well as the one-off collaborations, special concerts and commissioned works for which Stonnington has become renowned.

Jazz, especially improvised jazz, is best experienced live, existing in the moment as a musical ‘conversation’ with listeners. With its unique combination of performances, parties, community events and a professional development summit, Stonnington allows music lovers and musicians alike to be part of that conversation. Audiences can even interact with a jazz jam session, a jazz DJ masterclass, a big jazz singalong and interactive art, storytelling and writing events, as well as free jazz story time sessions for children.

Concert highlights include:

  • WAR CRY—six unique voices from across Australia unite to explore the political, socially aware and thought-provoking spirit of jazz, accompanied by a band created especially for this concert by Claire Cross;
  • THE ARROW OF TIME—spiritual jazz performed by funk guitarist Lance Ferguson’s Menagerie;
  • THE PLAINS—the Australian premiere of this work by the Australian Arts Orchestra (celebrating its Silver Jubilee year), inspired by Australia’s iconic landscape;
  • HEARING THE BLOOD—presented by award-winning pianist Barney McAll and his band—experience the master in concert;
  • QUEENS OF THE JAZZ AGE—re-creating the halcyon days of the big band era, celebrating everything jazz and cabaret, and starring Rhonda Burchmore, Dolly Diamond, Stella Angelico and Cougar Morrison with the Jack Earle Big Band;
  • COOL NIGHTS HOT JAZZ—the Festival’s extraordinary finale with a stellar lineup of Australian musicians (including Monique DiMattina, Bob Sedergreen and more) playing homage to the Melbourne’s trad jazz legacy; and
  • JAZZ INDUSTRY SUMMIT—panels, keynote speeches (including by San Francisco Jazz artistic director Lilly Schwartz) and workshops for musicians’ professional development.

“Every year it’s exciting to showcase the finest Australian jazz and musical talent, right here in Stonnington’s exceptional venues,” says Cr Steve Stefanopoulos, Mayor, The City of Stonnington.

“We’re delighted to welcome you to this year’s festival, with outstanding musical performances and an invitation to be involved in dance and visual arts events for adults and children alike. There’s also an Industry Summit to connect some of our greatest musical minds. Stonnington Jazz is truly a world-class event.”

The diversity and eternal evolution of jazz means there’s something for everyone at Stonnington Jazz Festival—even those who claim they ‘don’t like jazz’! From trad to New Orleans to spiritual jazz to hip-hop, from intimate acoustic trios to big band swing and beyond, from smoky streetwise grit to high glam, Stonnington has got it all.

Event Details

What: Stonnington Jazz Festival

When: Thursday 9th to  Sunday 19th May 2019

Where: Chapel Off Chapel and various venues throughout Stonnington

Cost: Ranging from free events to $75 pp

Further information:

4 Possum Place, Pakenham, Victoria, 3810, Australia
0 4318411510 431841151
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

John Hardaker is a Sydney musician, graphic designer and writer. He writes on music in order to peer deeper into its mysteries. His blog is at

Melbourne, VIC, 3000, Australia
+61 404 355 933+61 404 355 933
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia // 0432 534 // 0432 534 484
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia // 0432 534 // 0432 534 484
Noarlunga Downs, South Australia, Australia
0402 612 1740402 612 174
PO Box 6833 Melbourne Vic 3004
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616 Harris Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
1 Terrace Rd, Dulwich Hill, NSW, 2203, Australia
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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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616 Harris Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
616 Harris Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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Foundry 616, 616 Harris St Ultimo, Sydney, NSW

Described by ABC Jazz’s Mal Stanley as a talented young vocalist and pianist and ‘one to watch’, Frances is a classy young entertainer based in Sydney and performing at jazz clubs, festivals and other venues around the country.

Frances’ music is mostly original and jazz-oriented, although it also includes blues, bossa and covers of timeless classics.

While she’s been compared to a young Diana Krall and Norah Jones, Frances captivates her audiences with a combination of her genuinely warm stage presence as well as a voice and style that is uniquely her own. She is also a talented and engaging original composer so when she performs her own swinging tunes and beautiful ballads, they merge seamlessly with the standards she covers.

As jazz legend James Morrison said “Frances has a wonderful feeling for jazz and blues standards but what makes her a real stand-out are her original songs and her unique style.”  Matt Bailey, Presenter of Jazz Vibes on Fine Music 102.5 FM said “Frances’ music is a river of original and heartfelt material, truly a creative force not just in the jazz idiom, but as a genuine contemporary songwriter.”

Frances’ regular band includes some of Sydney’s most talented young jazz musicians as well as a few old hands. With Frances on vocals and piano, the band normally includes double bass, drums, guitar, tenor sax, trumpet and backing vocals. Changes in tempo and in the combinations of people on stage – from Frances performing ballads solo to the whole band swinging together – give her live shows nuance and variety.

Frances’ album ‘If this Were a Dream’ debuted at #5 on the ARIA Jazz Album charts and has sold steadily since. John McBeath, Jazz Critic for ‘The Australian’ newspaper said “the new album by Frances Madden impressed me more than most debut albums do. Frances has an individual expressive ability, a musical professionalism, a good feel for swing in jazz and she plays fine piano . . .”

Frances’ performances include pro bono and charity work. In 2014 she performed in Mexico for a Susila Dharma International benefit concert and she performed to support the 2015 Tour de Cure here in Australia.

More information and contact details can be found at





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616 Harris Street, Ultimo, New South Wales, Australia
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