Instead of hibernating like many Perthies do this time of year, why not get your ‘Melbourne attitudes’ on and check out some of Perth city’s hip jazz bars? Not sure what to do on the weekends this coming month? Then consider checking out some jazz in July and following this swingin’ set.
Thursday Night Jazz in Perth @ The Moon Northbridge
2/323 William Street, Cnr. Newcastle St, Northbridge | 8pm – Midnight
The Moon Late Night Cafe has a grungy, ‘art student’ kind of vibe about it. It’s cosy, intimate and a great place to get a feed while checking out live jazz music. Every first and third Thursday night of the month, the Moon’s house jazz band plays from 8pm to midnight. The Fix has played in the Moon courtyard since 2004 and featured some of Perth’s most talented jazz musicians over the years. The venue has eclectic, mismatched decor, a varied wine list, and not always consistent food. It attracts a hip and arty-student type crowd and is slightly seedy and dingy. But you come here for the vibe. And awesome music. And coffee whiskies. Plus with $20 burger and beer deals on Thursday nights, how can you not be set for a great night out?
Friday Night Jazz in Perth @ Jazz Cellar Mt Hawthorn
139 Buxton St, Cnr. Scarborough Beach Rd, Mt. Hawthorn | 7:30pm – 10:30pm
The Jazz Cellar is one of Perth’s best-kept secrets. Tucked away on one of Mt. Hawthorn’s residential streets, entry to the underground jazz venue is through an old red telephone box. This is definitely a jazz club with a difference! Be sure to come prepared as they’re not licensed to sell food or alcohol but you can bring your own. Pizza from a local shop can be ordered by phone from the cellar and delivered to the venue. Tea, coffee and water are complimentary.
The regular Friday night band is the Corner House Jazz Band. The band has played there every Friday night for… wait for it… the last TWENTY years. Now that’s commitment. They are a ‘trad jazz’, Dixieland group and keep the place jiving with the sounds of Sousa marches and Louis Armstrong numbers until 10:30pm. Unlike other jazz clubs, you can talk through the band performance and get up and dance if you feel the urge. This is a jazz club that is comfortable with their image and is under no pretence of being sophisticated. What’s not to like?
Saturday Night Jazz in Perth @ The Ellington Perth
191 Beaufort St, Perth | 10:30pm – Late
The Ellington Jazz Club feels like an authentic New York City jazz club. In fact, it was designed based on inspiration from NYC’s intimate jazz clubs. The sophisticated jazz venue offers a casual tapas menu and features some of the most talented local jazz musicians as well as internationally renowned visiting artists. Last year, Ellington audience members were even treated to a surprise performance by Rolling Stones’ drummer Charlie Watts! The club regularly holds the late night groove series, which starts around 10:30pm on Saturday nights and usually strays away from jazz towards r&b, neo-soul, motown, blues and funk beats. Plus the bar staff whip up a killer espresso martini so I recommend ordering one and settling in to soak up some late night grooves.
Sunday Night Jazz in Perth @ The Laneway Perth
414A Murray St, Perth | 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Tucked away in a laneway opposite Shafto Lane, the Laneway Lounge is full of Old Paris elegance and New Orleans charm. The venue is decked out in opulent vintage décor and is the home of Perth Jazz Society (PJS) gigs. Every Sunday night from 6:30pm you can sit back with a classic jazz era cocktail and enjoy a relaxed and intimate jazz performance. I recommend checking out Ben Falle and Tim Jago’s trio gig on July 12 if you’re into modern jazz. A great way to end the weekend, the Laneway has three rooms to choose from: the Live Living Room, the Lounge (complete with private booths) and the Bar. Bookings are essential for dinner and private booths but walk-ins are also welcome for a more spontaneous night out.
Treat yourself to a long weekend of jazz this July and soak up the sounds of Perth’s dynamic jazz scene. After a few espresso martinis, you might just think you are in Melbourne.