Category Archives: guitar

Judy Carmichael’s Australian visit

JUDY Carmichael, one of the world’s leading interpreters of stride and swing piano, is making another of her very welcome visits to Australia, this time under the auspices of the US State Department’s celebrations of International Women’s Day.

Judy’s first stop was on Saturday 23 February at Burnie, Tasmania where she ran a workshop for “an impressive group of intelligent and engaged students”, and in the evening gave a performance in the High School’s Performing Arts Centre. Someone at this school must be on the ball – the UK band The Dixie Ticklers did a similar gig there in October last year (2012).

Judy with Burnie High School students

The rest of this whirlwind tour sees Judy in Brisbane (27-28 February), Adelaide (1-3 March) and Canberra (4-5 March) at venues “to be advised”. She then has two public performances in Melbourne on Thursday and Friday, 7 & 8 March at Bennetts Lane, 25 Bennetts Lane, Melbourne. 8.30pm. $28. Book online

She will be performing with UK guitarist Sam Dunn.

Sam Dunn

“Sam Dunn is a wonderful musician on all levels. He has a wide, interesting repertoire, beautiful sound, and is equally compelling with ballads and burners. And with his fast ears and quick wit, he’s great fun on the bandstand” Judy Carmichael

As well as a busy life as a performer Judy also hosts and produces her own weekly radio show Judy Carmichael’s Jazz Inspired which is broadcast on 170 Public Radio stations across the United States. Celebrated artists discuss their creative process and how their passion for jazz has inspired their work. They share their favorite recordings with the listener as well as insight into their life and art. We can listen to it here in Australia via SiriusXM Channel 122 Click here.

Another outstanding guitarist who in the past has joined Judy Carmichael on the world stage is American guitarist James Chirillo. Here Chirillo plays with The Judy Carmichael Trio at the “I Love Jazz” Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2009. The third arm (leg?) of the trio on that occasion was saxophonist Harry Allen.

And finally,to demonstrate how everything is connected to everything else eventually, here’s a clip of James Chirillo playing with The Earregulars at The Ear Inn, a jazz-friendly restaurant at 326 Spring Street, Soho, New York City. Bria Skonberg, fabulous trumpeter who sometimes plays with Baby Soda, a street band which I did post about a few weeks ago is part of the group. This video is by Michael Steinman, of Jazz Lives. May 2012

Ultrafox CD Launch: the Baylors’ Gypsy Swing band

THE Baylor brothers, Peter and Andy, are consummate musicians who move effortlessly between different styles – traditional and mainstream jazz, western swing, rockabilly, bebop, cajun, and gypsy swing….

The trad jazz fraternity is probably most familiar with their western swing band, The Dancehall Racketeers which performed at the Victorian Jazz Club last Saturday, 10 March.

But another superb “string to their bow” (pardon the awful pun) is ULTRAFOX, the outstanding gypsy swing band which is about to launch its debut album, Chasing Shadows, named for Alby Silver’s lovely romantic ballad from the 1920s, and which Peter sings so melodiously on the disc.

Ultrafox CD: Chasing shadows

Featuring some of Australia’s finest jazz musicians, the CD is a beautifully crafted selection of 15 tracks ranging from elegant swing, through smoky mood pieces, tender ballads to Le Jazz Hot. All are firmly rooted in the traditions of French jazz – of course Reinhardt, but also other lesser known but equally gifted musicians.

Up front are the sparkling guitars of Peter Baylor and Jon Delaney. On violin is Andy Baylor whose command of all things swinging is legendary. Michael McQuaid adds clarinet and tenor saxophone to the mix. Two different bass players were used on the CD: up and coming player Kain Borlase and, on a fleeting visit from Paris where he has been living and playing for more than a decade, Sebastien Girardot. Sebastien was one of Melbourne’s precocious “jazz babies” of the 1990s who have gone on to great things in their music. (Stephen Grant, Jo Stevenson, Simon Stribling, Mark Elton, Michael McQuaid, Simon Vancam, James Clark, Ashley Gaudion, Emelia Wilmot, Eugene Ball, Lindsay Flint – I’ve probably missed some).

Julie O'HaraAnd if that weren’t enough to whet your appetites, Julie O’Hara adds her effortless vocals and her own lyrics to some Django standards and lesser known tunes.


THE LAUNCH of this beautiful CD will be held on Thursday 29 March at the Paris Cat Jazz Club, 6 Goldie Place, Melbourne CBD. Show time: 9.00pm Bookings on line or 9642 4711.

But if you can’t make it to the launch, Julie O’Hara will be singing with Ultrafox at the Famous Spiegeltent in the Arts Centre forecourt on Sunday March 18 at 3pm in the Jazz High Tea series. I’m sure the CD will be available then also.

As a teaser, here’s one of my favourite tracks from the CD. Royal Blue composed by Etienne “Sarane” Ferret, one of several astonishing gypsy guitarist brothers who worked with Reinhardt during the 1940s. In this track Michael McQuaid plays the part which was usually played by the violin in Ferret’s Le Swing Quintette de Paris.

For further information, CD purchases etc. contact Peter Baylor 0430 484 373 or

The Date Brothers visit Melbourne

Ian Date

Ian Date

GYPSY jazz giant, Ian Date is making one of his welcome home visits from Ireland in November and early December, and with brother Nigel will present an array of performances.
We are lucky that two of these will be in Melbourne:

SATURDAY 12 NOVEMBER at Czech House, 497 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne.
This concert begins at 8.30pm. Tickets $26/$24.
Or by phone to 0425 835 705 or 0403 947 836.
For this performance, the Date Brothers will join forces with legendary violinist Daniel Weltlinger and master bassist Howard Cairns to create a world class Hot Club quartet in the style of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli.
Here’s a sample of the quality of music you’ll hear, this time with George Washingmachine on violin rather than Daniel Weltlinger.    Ian Date, Howard Cairns, Nigel Date and George Washingmachine at OZManouche 07 play I Wonder Where My Baby is Tonight.

For a taste of Daniel Weltlinger’s magic, here’s a clip of him playing in Israel in 2009 with Lulu Swing (Lulo Reinhardt) with Swing de Gitanes.

Czech House

You may not have discovered Czech House as a venue before. It is a rare find even in multicultural Melbourne, hosting a variety of live music performances ranging from folk to jazz, gypsy to blues.
The venue has a bar, and for a pre-concert dinner there are a number of agreeable eating houses in the area.


TUESDAY NOVEMBER 15 at 9.00 pm
At The Paris Cat Jazz Club, 6 Goldie Place, Melbourne.
Bookings recommended $20/$15

Hetty Kate

Hetty Kate

The Quartet will be joined by the sensational jazz vocalist, Hetty Kate.

NOTE:  Hetty will also be singing on Saturaday 12 November at the Victorian Jazz Club 163 Carinish Road, Clayton. Telephone: 98553 3850 for bookings.

The Paris Cat has established a reputation as one of Melbourne’s premier contemporary jazz clubs and performing arts venues. It has launched the careers of many up and coming Australian  artists and hosted an array of outstanding international jazz concerts over the past 5 years.

Click here for a list of all the Date Brothers’ Australian gigs

AND FOR A Bit of biog if you don’t already know:
Ian was born in Northern New South Wales where he started playing professionally at 14. He moved to Sydney and carved out a very successful jazz career, playing with all the well-known names: Bob Barnard, George Golla, Tom Baker, Don Heaps, George Washingmachine, Janet Seidel etc. He has played all over the world, has made numerous television, radio, festival and concert performances, and is regarded as one of Australia’s great guitar players. He first started playing gypsy jazz as a teenager and ran several Hot Club style bands in Australia. He lived for a year in Holland where he met and played with some of the great gypsy jazz musicians. Since 2002 he has lived in County Cork, Ireland where he performs regularly, and makes frequent tours of Europe.

Nigel Date

Nigel Date

Nigel has worked as a guitar player for over 20 years. He has performed at major jazz festivals world wide including The Cork International Jazz Festival in Ireland, The Bay of Islands Jazz Festival in New Zealand, The Gypsy Guitar Festival in New Caledonia, Sydney Darling Harbour Jazz Festival and Wangaratta Jazz Festival, as well as numerous radio and TV appearances and 1000s of gigs around Australia with some of the country’s finest jazz musicians.