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The Ellington Jazz Club is arguably the best thing to happen to Perth since Daylight Savings reared its delightful head.
Those in the know will tell you that Perth is no slouch when it comes to the jazz scene. Perth has one of the most respected jazz programs in the country at WAAPA, which draws students from across Australia and indeed the world. We also have local artists like Troy Roberts, Jamie Oehlers, Ali Bodycoat, Russell Holmes, Daniel Susnjar, and of course Graham Wood, who rate up there as some of the best in their given fields.
It might then come as bit of a surprise that until recently Perth had not one club dedicated specifically to Jazz. Which is why there’s been such a ground swell of appreciation that Bernard Kong and Graham Wood have finally gotten The Ellington out of their heads and into reality. Not that it was easy mind you. The guys fought long and hard to be able to open the club, obtaining the first new liquor license in Northbridge in 8 years… incidentally which was finalised literally half an hour before the launch night.
Now I am certainly no jazz expert. In fact if it hadn’t been for my good friend Alex Millier inviting me along on a number of occasions I could very well have completely missed the point. Fortunately he persevered though, because it doesn’t take long before the intimate ensembles bring you in. The bass, the piano, the drums, the sax, the trumpet. All melding into pieces both abstract and harmonious. There’s something distant yet inviting about jazz, there’s a certain uniqueness about how each performer approaches a piece, which means there’s always something different to appreciate. And with a line up of fantastic local and international acts performing every night of the week, there’s a real sense of community happening around the club.
It also doesn’t hurt that The Ellington is a beautiful space. Low slung lighting, a big brass polished bar, separate lounge with a live feed from the stage upstairs (for those that like to talk during a performance), a solid wine list and some very generous serves of food. They’ve also created a very savvy website and online identity. Reaching fans and locals through facebook and twitter to great effect. Add that to the fact that it’s walking distance from my house and the door staff are lovely, and you can see why I love it so much :)
If you live in Perth, and you haven’t been in to check it out yet, I’d highly recommend you do.
The Ellington Jazz Club
191 Beaufort St, Perth