A seaside jazz affair
“Some of the artists have strong links to St Kilda and Port Phillip,” says one of the Artistic Directors , Kaye Blum. “When Vince played at MEMO last year, he shared quite a few entertaining anecdotes about his time in St Kilda. Peter Gaudion ran several jazz nights and played in Port Phillip for nearly 10 years. Rebecca Barnard’s amazing jazz family history includes her grandmother Cath Barnard playing with her big band at the Palais de Danse in the 1940s.”
St Kilda celebrates its rich history of jazz with St Kilda Summer Jazz (SKSJ), a weekend featuring a diversity of artists and jazz styles from trad to contemporary, in a range of St Kilda venues that are both historic and eclectic.
The program includes saxophonist Julien Wilson’s exclusive album launch of This Narrow Isthmus; the Alexander Nettelbeck Quartet, The Horns of Leroy, Justine Jones, Happy House with Paul Williamson and friends, Margie Lou Dyer Quartet, The Sugarfoot Ramblers, and more.
Sadly, some of St Kilda’s most significant historic jazz venues no longer exist, such as the Palais de Danse and Jazz Centre 44. Others like the iconic Esplanade Hotel, which hosted major jazz acts and dances from 1920 to 1925 in the Eastern Tent Ballroom, still grace the St Kilda sky-line.
The St Kilda Sports Club (affectionately known as the Bowlo) is the festival ‘hub’. This grand old dame is 150 years old and has a reputation for hosting live music over the years.