Events

Join us for four nights of parties where we’ll be celebrating the incredible musical contributions of some of the biggest and best-loved figures in jazz history, performed by some of Australia’s finest jazz bands of today. All the details below!

Billie Holiday 1949

Thursday Evening – Billie Holiday

Legendary singer, composer and lyricist Billie Holiday is one of the best jazz vocalists of all time and was recognised by her peers as “one of the most advanced instrumentalists there had ever been”. ‘Lady Day’ sang for a short time with the Count Basie Orchestra where she could match any other soloist in invigorating the dancefloor. What better way to open MLX18 than with Billie Holiday and her amazing voice as the best DJs in town showcase some of her finest tunes in their sets.

Date: Thursday 22 November 2018
Location: The Space ‘Sky Deck’, 318 Chapel Street, Prahran (map)
Time: 8pm until midnight
Cost: $25 or free with an MLX weekend pass
DJs: Noni Healy, Trevor Hutchison, Matt Greenwood
Dress: Them There Eyes: Could be some fancy lashes or a mask, be as creative as you dare!


Ella Fitzgerald 1968

Friday Evening – Ella Fitzgerald

The First Lady of Song, the Queen of Jazz. Ella Fitzgerald’s voice is I C O N I C. With a career spanning sixty years, from the Apollo Theater’s legendary Amateur Night, to singing with Chick Webb’s house band at the Savoy Ballroom, to leading the band after his passing and ultimately collaborating with every other big name in jazz right around the world, it’s little wonder that it’s almost impossible to go to a social dance and not hear Ella. Tamsin West & The Savoy Ballroom Boys will be celebrating Ella with a set inspired by her time at the Savoy Ballroom on Friday evening of MLX18.

We’d like to thank the City of Yarra for being the major sponsor of this evening.

Date: Friday 23 November 2018
Location: Collingwood Town Hall, 140 Hoddle St, Abbotsford (map)
Time: 8pm until midnight
Cost: $50 or free with an MLX weekend pass
Live Music: Tamsin West & The Savoy Ballroom Boys
DJs: Shaz Callaghan
Dress: Exactly Like You: Exactly like another MLX attendee. You can wear the same top, the same shoes, or the same outfit from head to toe – find your MLX twin and have a dance!


Benny Goodman in Stage Door Canteen

Friday Late Night – Benny Goodman

From the Queen of Jazz to the King of Swing: Friday’s late event will shift into a Benny Goodman kind of mood. As a clarinetist, composer and bandleader, Goodman brought swing music from dancehalls and nightclubs into New York City’s Carnegie Hall in January 1938 (which previously had only hosted the likes of Prokofiev and Horowitz). The music will be just as swinging tonight as Chonk channels this icon of the Swing Era in their late night set.

Date: Friday 23 November 2018
Location: Forever Dance, 432 Church St, Richmond (map)
Time: Midnight until the wee hours
Cost: $25 or free with an MLX weekend pass
Live Music: Chonk
DJs: Julia Wharington, Sam Carroll, Noni Healy, Naomi West, Kenneth Gosnold
Dress: My Blue Heaven: Something blue, something heavenly. Could be a floaty dress or some cloud pyjamas or anything in between!


Portrait of Jimmie Lunceford, New York, N.Y.(?), ca. Aug. 1946)

Saturday Evening – Jimmie Lunceford

Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra were well-known for their hot and hard swinging tunes and for their showmanship, which included comedy routines, costume changes, and choreography with their instruments. It’s fitting that for the Saturday evening of MLX, we have the magnificent Oz Big Band who are also known for their onstage antics joining us for some Lunceford flavour.

Date: Saturday 24 November 2018
Location: Hawthorn Town Hall, 360 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn (map)
Time: 8pm until midnight
Cost: $50 or free with an MLX weekend pass
Live Music: Oz Big Band
DJs: Matt Greenwood
Dress: T’aint What You Do: A touch of vintage


Duke Ellington at the Hurricane Club, 1943

Saturday Late Night – Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington was instrumental in shaping the swing sound. Starting with a residence at the Hollywood Cafe just off Broadway in 1923, Ellington drew early inspiration from ragtime and blues. Together with his longtime collaborator Billy Strayhorn, Ellington composed some of our favourite songs to dance to and many other jazz standards besides. Flash forward to 2018 and Andrew Dickeson’s Blue Rhythm Band will be including some of their favourites in their sets at the Saturday late night party.

Date: Saturday 24 November 2018
Location: Forever Dance, 432 Church St, Richmond (map)
Time: Midnight until we say so
Cost: $30 or free with an MLX weekend pass
Live Music: Andrew Dickeson’s Blue Rhythm Band
DJs: Sam Carroll, Jarryd Reynolds, Vanessa Nimmo, Megan Mundy, Naomi West
Dress: Beginning to See the Light: A hint of light – glow in the dark, light up brooch, stars. Please nothing excessively bright or flashy


Swing Man

Sunday Afternoon Special Event – Swing Man

Note: This is an external event and is not included in your MLX pass.

Join Damian Callinan Comedian & his swing dance partners, Melbourne’s very own Jeanne-Clare Storace and Genevieve Wallis Best, in a one-off reprise of the critically-acclaimed dance-comedy ‘Swing Man’.

Renowned character actor, stand-up comedian and three time Barry Award nominee, Damian Callinan, returns to Melbourne with his show about partner dancing, solo dancing and unfulfilled life goals. The swan-song of the show that debuted at Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2016 will be staged at Collingwood’s Melba Speigeltent to co-incide with the MLX this November.

“Slick and highly entertaining.” ★★★★ – The Advertiser

Damian Callinan, renowned character and stand-up comedian, suffers from OTTDS (Over The Top Dance Syndrome). After years of eschewing partner dancing and cutting up dance floors on his own he discovers that the only cure is to learn how to Swing Dance.

“Damian Callinan is a breath of fresh air” ★★★★★ – OutinPerth

NOMINEE: BEST COMEDY AWARD, FRINGE WORLD (PERTH) 2018

Date: Sunday 25 November 2018
Location: The Melba Spiegeltent – 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood, Victoria
Time: 4pm – 5pm
Cost: $15.20 – $25.33 (not included in MLX pass)

MLX attendees get $5 off their ticket with the code SWINGMLX

 

Book here!

 


Count Basie

Sunday Evening – Count Basie

When asked about her preference for 6 or 8 count swing legendary lindy hopper Dawn Hampton responded “The only count I know is Count Basie!”. With signature tunes such as One O’Clock Jump, Jumpin’ at the Woodside, and Shiny Stockings, Count Basie is one of the first names listed when you ask a lindy hopper what music they like to dance to. Andrew Dickeson’s Blue Rhythm Band will get you on the dancefloor with some swinging Basie tunes.

Date: Sunday 25 November 2018
Location: Forever Dance, 432 Church St, Richmond (map)
Time: 8pm until midnight
Cost: $50 (includes the late night dance) or free with an MLX weekend pass
Live Music: Andrew Dickeson’s Blue Rhythm Band
DJs: Jarryd Reynolds, Celia King
Dress: April in Paris: Think chic, think sophisticated. Or you know, wear a striped top and carry a baguette*

*please don’t dance while holding a baguette!


Photo by Anthony Cuskelly

Sunday Late Night – Easy Does It

Let’s ease into the end of the weekend with a comfy, good ol’ late night social dance. But the party’s not over yet! We’ll have the incredible Lazy Eye playing live blues in the back room and our stellar DJs playing in the main ballroom. Music will be playing at all tempos, so you can get your last fix of whatever gets your feet hopping on the dancefloor!

Date: Sunday 25 November 2018
Location: Forever Dance, 432 Church St, Richmond (map)
Time: Midnight until the wee hours
Cost: $25 or free with an MLX weekend pass
Live Music: Lazy Eye
DJs: Trevor Hutchison, Shaz Callaghan, Kenneth Gosnold, Vanessa Nimmo, Celia King, Megan Mundy
Dress: Something comfortable