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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Melbourne Is Getting a Brand New Jazz Club

It's set to kick off with a mini residency from American saxophonist Ravi Coltrane.
By Jasmine Crittenden
January 27, 2016
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By Jasmine Crittenden
January 27, 2016
  shares

For Melbourne jazzers still lamenting last year's announcement that Bennetts Lane will be closing this June, here's some consolation. On March 1, a brand new venue, named Bird's Basement, will open its doors. The program is already littered with big names, including saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and guitarist Lee Ritenour, both from the U.S., as well as local pianists Mike Nock and Joe Chindamo.

The club will be located in the CBD, in a purpose-built performance venue just off LaTrobe Street. Concerts will happen twice a night — at 6pm and 9.30pm — and head chef Luigi Buono, who has previously worked at Italian institutions Caffe e Cucina, Thirty Eight Chairs and Enoteca Sileno, will be taking care of the kitchen with an Italian a la carte menu.

The owner of this shiny new jazz club is Albert Dadon AM. As founder and chairman of the Australian Jazz Awards Limited and a prominent jazz musician himself, he seems like the absolute best person for the job. "I hope to create a permanent music festival in the heart of Melbourne," he says.

Ravi Coltrane — the son of jazz musicians John and Alice Coltrane — will take over the club throughout its opening week, playing six consecutive nights, from March 1-6. During his 20-year career, he inspired Grammy nominations, released numerous albums and founded RKM, an independent record label.

Following Coltrane's mini residency, the John Montesante Quintet will perform with vocalist Rebecca Mendoza on Wednesday, March 9, followed by vocalist Chris McNulty and her quintet on the Thursday night, and Joe Chindamo will perform his Romantic Project on the Friday.

While jazz will form the backbone of Bird Basement's schedule, there'll also be side-trips into folk, rock and blues. Other artists performing during March include Wendy Matthews, Joe Camilleri and the Black Sorrows, Brian Mannix (as one member of the Brat Pack) and The Young'uns, an acappella trio from the UK.

Bird's Basement will open on Tuesday, March 1 at 11 Singers Lane, Melbourne. For more information and the full program, visit birdsbasement.com.

Published on January 27, 2016 by Jasmine Crittenden

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