MEDIA CORNER

For any media enquiries on our artists, shows, venue or upcoming events, please get in touch with us by filling out the form below. We will reply to your enquiry as soon as possible or call 03 9863 8357.

CURRENT PRESS RELEASE

YVETTE JOHANNSON

One of Melbourne’s most respected and endearing vocalists – she has had audiences calling for more over the last decade, and in particular for her sell-out tributes to Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday - Yvette grew up listening to and loving such varied performers as Barbara Streisand, Donna Summer, Aretha Franklin, and Michael Jackson. Today she is one of our finest jazz singer-songwriters, with a captivating charisma on stage and a repertoire that covers the field, from jazz, to contemporary, from soul
to funk.

Bird’s Basement Octet

An evening of unadulterated jazz, hard and hot with the emphasis on all-stops out Latin, Bird’s Basement Octet will now be a regular Monday night attraction. Gianni Turcio conducts, arranges for, and plays piano with a magnificent seven other Melbourne musicians -  Tim Wilson (alto saxophone, flute), Greg Clarkson (tenor saxophone, flute), Pat Thiele (trumpet), Roger Schmidli (trombone), Patrick Schmidli (bass), Darryn Farrugia (drums) and Salvador Persico (percussion). Gianni has worked with one of the world’s top three tenors, Roberto Alagna, on his recent Australian tour, and with the likes of the Daryl McKenzie Jazz Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Marina Prior and James Morrison.

Urbanity

A brilliantly successful fusion of two top talents, long time collaborators, guitarist Albare (Albert Dadon) and Phil Turcio (keys), playing at Bird’s with Pablo Bencid (drums) and Peter Mollica (bass), URBANITY in a short while has made its mark internationally. Albare and Turcio’s eponymous album has had Billboard chart success and completed seasons in major clubs across the U.S.

Soul Cupcake

Adelaide Clark sings funky, fabulously. And when she’s got Soul Cupcakes’ non-stop excitement behind her – a 4-piece rhythm section and edgy 4-piece brass, all driven by Salvador Persico’s pounding percussion - you can see why fans of jazz-funk have packed out Bird’s Basement every time they appear.

Jeff Lorber Fusion

By the late 1970s, trailblazing keyboardist/composer/producer and multiple GRAMMY® Award winner Jeff Lorber had become a prominent figure in the movement known as jazz fusion – a marriage of traditional jazz with elements of rock, R&B, funk and other electrified sounds - and has since evolved from ‘fusion’ into what is currently known as contemporary jazz. His band, Jeff Lorber Fusion, first honed their craft in the Portland, Oregon club scene and rapidly expanded their reach to a national and international audience with a powerful combination of complex harmonies, unconventional time signatures and compelling rhythms. 

 

Mark Fitzgibbon & Friends

“Mark Fitzgibbon’s playing is relentless, inventive, respectful but most importantly swings like hell. He’s one of the finest artists in Australia, one of the most incisive musical minds out there.” - Simon Tedeschi ABC 24 Hours. A piano student of Fred Thomas, Marie Driscoll, and Trevor Barnard, Mark also studied alto sax with Peter Clinch. In the 80’s Mark moved to the UK, performing around Europe and working as a freelance pianist for the 606 Club, Pizza Express and Ronnie Scott’s. His notable bands have included Tommy Chase Qt, Alan Barne’s Pizza Express Modern Jazz Sextet, Clarke Tracey Gerard Presencer qt, Jean Toussaint, Ruth Rogers Wright Moontwist, The Moodists,  Bryan Spring trio, Don Weller, Art Themen, Henry Lowther qt, Tina May and Claire Martin.

 

Soul Sacrifice

Soul Sacrifice is an eight-piece band that pays genuine tribute to the great music of Carlos Santana. For the band, it's all about the music and putting on a great show focusing on classic Santana (late 60's/70's) with a splash of later hits covering Latin rock, jazz, funk, Latin soul and rock genres. Classics such as Black Magic Woman, Evil Ways, Oye Como Va & Smooth create the infectious grooves and rhythms of Santana. If you love Carlos Santana, you will be sure to enjoy every minute of this masterful fan band. 

James Morrison & Friends

James Morrison is, by anybody’s standard, a virtuoso in the true sense of the word. Besides the trumpet, this multi-instrumentalist also plays piano, all the brass, saxophone, and double bass. James began playing professionally at the age of 13. He enrolled in the jazz course at the Sydney Conservatorium, and before graduating, was touring with his mentor, Don Burrows. It wasn’t long before he began making waves internationally, performing at major European jazz festivals (Montreux, Pori, North Sea), sharing the stage with legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Herbie Hancock, Cab Calloway, Woody Shaw, Red Rodney, George Benson, Ray Charles, B.B. King and Wynton Marsalis. James has maintained a busy performance schedule throughout his career, whether leading his own band or appearing as a guest soloist with the Philip Morris Superband, the London Symphony Orchestra or the London Philharmonic Orchestra, to name just a few.

 

 

Michelle Nicolle Quartet

“Michelle is a singer born to sing, born to charm, enlighten and seduce through music.” - Kurt Elling. Kurt, who first heard Michelle at Wangaratta Jazz in 1998 was also one of the judges for the National Jazz Awards that year. He and his colleagues were unanimous that Michelle was the standout singer in the finals of the Jazz Awards. That success helped establish Michelle’s reputation on the national stage. But it is the consistently high standards of her performances since then that have reinforced her position as arguably the finest jazz singer Australia has produced. 

 

Radiosuccessi: Italian Divas

Radiosuccessi, the only truly Italian jazz quintet in town, will take you on a journey to Italy, to discover its ‘Certified Genuine Italian Swing’. With classy, sophisticated and intensely original music from the 50's and 60's, Radiosuccessi will intrigue you with tunes that were made famous by the most iconic ladies of Italian music such as Mina, Milva and Jula de Palma, as well as some unexpected gems performed by goddesses of Italian cinema such as Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida. 

 

Renée Geyer

Renée Geyer’s career has spanned four decades and is still going strong with her 25th album of 2013 Swing. A precocious jazz, blues and soul singer in her late teens; Countdown royalty in her 20s; a string of pop, soul and reggae hits spanning the 70s and 80s; her LA years in the studio with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Sting, Joe Cocker and Chaka Kahn; her 90s renaissance with Paul Kelly. She is a singer, songwriter, producer, and author. In 2005 Renée was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, and in 2013 into The Age Music Victoria Hall of Fame, both proud occasions in which she joined the ranks of Australia’s most respected and accomplished musicians.

 

Antonia Bennett with Urban Groove

“Liza Minnelli. Natalie Cole. Norah Jones. Now, Antonia Bennett can be added to the list of second-generation vocalists with the potential to rival an iconic parent’s pizzazz. Antonia is the youngest of Tony Bennett’s four children.” — JazzTimes. Antonia Bennett, daughter of legendary singer Tony Bennett, has been performing alongside her father since she could walk and talk. Some of her early performances were shared with legendary American icons such as Rosemary Clooney, Count Basie, Regis Philbin, Don Rickles, and growing up with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Gene Kelly. It was inevitable that she would inherit a genuine passion for the arts. For the past 10 years she has what she considers the distinct honour of opening for her father performing all over the world. 

 

Russell Morris

Aria Hall of Fame Inductee. #1 selling Platinum Artist. King of Pop. Australian Icon. These are just a few phrases commonly used when describing Aussie legend Russell Morris. Shooting to fame in the mid 60’s with Somebody’s Image, Russell had a string of hits including Hush and the Bob Dylan classic Baby Blue. Since then, Russell has gone on to release various top-selling albums, has become an ARIA Award winner, and continues to deliver charttopping hits – most recently with his 2015 album Red Dirt – Red Heart. Russell has worked alongside industry heavyweights like Cher, The Bee Gees, Linda Ronstadt, The Beach Boys and toured Australia with the hugely successful Long Way To The Top in 2012. Constantly in demand, Russell still tours nationally throughout the year as well as making international appearances.

Karise Eden

After blowing audiences away on the first season of The Voice Australia, Karise Eden went on to break sales and chart records. Now she returns with an intimate performance of new music from her upcoming album, as well as soulful classics that channel the greats of our time.

Grand WaZoo

Since 1981, Grand WaZoo has been Australia’s premier soul music outfit – presenting the iconic 60s-70s Black Soul hits, rare gems and band originals to appreciative audiences, across generations. These soul kings perform the timeless music from Otis Redding, James Brown, Ike & Tina Turner, Motown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Eddie Floyd, Etta James, Sam & Dave, and numerous others of the era.

Chris Jagger

Chris Jagger comes from rock royalty. Watching his older brother Mick ascend with his band The Rolling Stones, Chris was soon turned onto music as well. He and Charlie Hart first met when Charlie was playing with psychedelic band 117 in Cambridge in the 1960’s and have remained friends ever since. Together they have written many songs for a series of albums, the pick of which have been assembled on a new album, All The Best, released by BMG this month. The pair offer a great show, combining Charlie’s mastery of various instruments - including piano, accordion and fiddle - playing both their own tunes and some covers from Clifton Chenier to Professor Longhair, as well as Cajun fiddle tunes. They have toured across Europe, the USA and Australia over the years and are still going strong. Chris has written and recorded over 100 tunes since his first LP on Asylum records in the 1970’s. Charlie has worked with Ronnie Lane, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison and Roger Daltrey amongst others.

Mental As Anything

The Mentals are still at it with nearly 40 years of recording and non-stop touring, 25 top 40 hits in Australia and sustained international airplay. Martin Plaza and Greedy Smith are always writing songs - they simply can’t stop! – and on their upcoming EP, they demonstrate their range and depth of two lifetimes in pop song writing.

Mayfield

Melbourne’s very own six-piece soul outfit, fuse together soulful beats, smooth melodies and powerhouse vocals that give this classic sound a modern urban twist. Add in a pinch of R&B and a teaspoon of funk, and you’ve got one delicious combination of sonic flavours.

Patrick Roberts

Australian Violin Virtuoso Patrick Roberts has just released his new album PINK through Sony Music Entertainment Australia to help raise awareness and funds for life-changing breast cancer research. Widely considered an Australian TV phenomenon, Patrick Roberts has truly broken the mould of the traditional Violinist. His remarkable performances every year on The Good Friday Appeal, Carols By Candlelight, and live shows at The Palms at Crown Casino have captivated audiences far and wide. Patrick’s show at Bird’s Basement will take audiences on a journey through some of the most healing and inspirational songs ever written, such as The Wind Beneath My Wings, Smile, You’ll Never Walk
Alone, Hallelujah & many more.

Jon Cleary

A respected peer of such New Orleans R&B icons as Dr. John and the late Allen Toussaint (who wrote most of the horn arrangements for 2016 Grammy® winning album GoGo Juice) Jon Cleary came to international fame through his work in the bands of Taj Mahal, John Scofield, Dr. John and Bonnie Raitt, with Raitt unabashedly dubbing him “the ninth wonder of the world.” Catch Jon Cleary when he brings a piece of New Orleans, a Grammy® Award winning new album and his incredible Absolute Monster Gentlemen to Bird’s Basement!

Joe Camilleri & The Black Sorrows

The Black Sorrows have earned a reputation as a dynamic live act. There is a level of accessibility to The Black Sorrows that can appeal to the newest of fans. At the helm, Joe Camilleri steers the band through an energetic interplay of solid grooves and well-crafted songs that mix those well-worn ingredients of blues, soul, R&B, gospel, country and even Brill Building pop. Spontaneous (forget set lists) and emotionally driven, Joe ensures that no two performances are ever the same. Camilleri’s mantra is simple – “We come to play and leave the audience feeling exhilarated”. Writer of milestone Australian songs such as So Young, Hit And Run, Shape I’m In, Hold On To Me, Harley And Rose, Chained To The Wheel, Never Let Me Go and The Chosen Ones, Joe Camilleri’s music has become part of Australian music culture. As a member of Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons, Joe was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007. Camilleri has shown fans and critics alike that he is a performer with an undeniable energy and love of it all.

Lake Minnetonka

In 1987, Prince released two instrumental jazz/funk albums under the band name Madhouse that blended the bebopinfused saxophone wizardry of Eric Leeds (fDeluxe, D’Angelo) with heavy robotic grooves. It is from these instrumental Madhouse recordings that Lake Minnetonka took its cues, combining hard and irrepressible beats with infectious jazz riffs and incendiary solos. Based in Melbourne, Lake Minnetonka features bandleader and composer Adam Rudegeair (PBS FM’s ‘Black Wax’, The Bowie Project) on keytar and synths, Jack Wieseler on guitar, Ann Metry (Sol Nation) on bass, Emily Shaw on drums and Andrew ‘AJ’ Jackson on sax.

The Nate Najar Trio

Guitarist Nate Najar is emerging as one of this decade’s finest modern jazz exponents. He is a player who uses a distinctive technique to convey his artistic prowess- not many artists play acoustic classical guitar with right hand classical technique, yet it is the perfect choice for Najar’s comprehensive approach. Not restricted to single notes or chords, Nate seamlessly weaves melody, harmony and rhythmic freedom. The result is music that is swinging, emotional, inventive and intriguing.

Antonio Sánchez & Migration

Riding the crest of a musical wave that began with his Grammy® winning and BAFTA & Golden Globe nominated original score for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), followed by soundtracks composed for director Fernando León de Aranoa’s Política, Manual de Instrucciones, and EPIX network’s Get Shorty, Antonio Sánchez now returns with his most personal work to date, Bad Hombre. Antonio and his Quintet are thrilled to bring their show to Melbourne, exclusively at Bird’s Basement!

For general media enquiries

For any media enquiries on our artists, shows, venue or upcoming events, please get in touch with us by filling out the form below. We will reply to your enquiry as soon as possible or call 03 9863 8357.