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About Us | Melbourne Jazz Co-op

About the MJC

The Melbourne Jazz Co-operative is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting and promoting original live jazz performance by established and emerging artists in Melbourne. Since 1983 our objectives have been to increase the exposure of contemporary jazz performance by making it accessible to audiences, and to provide award waged performance opportunities for emerging and established artists.

In addition to support derived from member contributions, the MJC is assisted by  the Victorian Government, through Creative Victoria, via its Arts Development Programs, and by APRA/AMCOS.

MJC was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body from 1983-2017 inclusive, and is delighted to have again received Australia Council funding of $60,000 for our 2019 program.

Formed in 1982, the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative has been supporting jazz and improvised music continuously for over 36 years. Since presenting the Browne- Costello-Grabowsky Trio at its inaugural concert in January 1983, the MJC has presented over two and a half thousand performances featuring many of Australia’s most respected musicians from Melbourne and interstate, as well as a number of expatriates and international artists. Between 1998-2016, the MJC presented an average of 110 performances per annum, featuring over 100 different ensembles and over 300 musicians (reduced in recent years to an average of 60 performances by 60 different ensembles, and over 200 musicians).

The MJC has premiered several significant new projects, including the Paul Grabowsky Orchestra (forerunner to the Australian Art Orchestra) and Andrea Keller’s Bartok Project. The MJC has also debuted interstate acts, providing a vital link to touring musicians and exposing Melbourne audiences to the best jazz from across the country. Of note, the MJC provided Melbourne debuts for The Necks, the Catholics, Sandy Evans, the Mike Nock Quartet and Bernie McGann Quartet.

In addition, the MJC is responsible for bringing jazz in concert format to the Melbourne Festival since 1992, and in 1997 the MJC founded the Melbourne International Women’s Jazz Festival, which it directed and presented until 2004 The core of the MJC’s work, however, is to provide opportunities for local musicians to present new work in key Melbourne venues. While the MJC regularly presents well known, established artists, it is also committed to developing young talent. In recent years the MJC has supported performances by Melbourne’s most significant emerging artists, including Josh Kelly, Carbo-Carter-Gunno, and Kade Brown.

The MJC has presented one the largest continuous programs of its type in Australia, and as such, remains a key entity in Melbourne’s diverse arts community. The MJC assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and the Victorian Government, through Creative Victoria, via its Arts Development Programs, and by APRA/AMCOS.

What we do

The Melbourne Jazz Co-operative is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting and promoting original live jazz performance by established and emerging artists in Melbourne. Over the past 18 years we have presented at least two performances each week with our objectives being to increase the exposure of contemporary jazz performance by making it accessible to audiences, as well as a viable endeavour for artists. We:

  • provide artists with a prestigious performance venue and concert conditions
  • guarantee musicians fair award wages for their work
  • provide publicity and advertising for the event.

The MJC also offers membership on a calendar-year basis and publishes a fortnightly enewsletter to keep jazz fans up to date with our latest gigs, as well as other news on the jazz scene.

 

HISTORY

Formed in 1983, the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative has been supporting jazz and improvised music continuously for over 30 years. Since presenting the Browne-Costello-Grabowsky Trio at its inaugural concert in January 1983, the MJC has presented around two and a half thousand performance,s featuring many of Australia’s most respected musicians, from Melbourne and interstate, as well as a number of expatriates and international artists who otherwise may not have performed in Melbourne. Since 1998, the MJC has presented an annual average of 110 performances featuring over 100 different ensembles.

The MJC has premiered several important new projects, including the Paul Grabowsky Orchestra (forerunner to the Australian Art Orchestra) and Andrea Keller’s Bartok Project. On top of this, the MJC has regularly debuted interstate acts, providing a vital link in any Australian tour, and exposing Melbourne audiences to the best jazz from across the country. Of note, the MJC provided Melbourne debuts for The Necks, the catholics, Sandy Evans, the Mike Nock Quartet and Bernie McGann Quartet.

This has all been done while the MJC maintains its core work – providing opportunities for local musicians to present new work in some of the country’s best jazz venues. High standards have been set by the established generations, and the younger generations of musicians have well lived up to expectations. In recent years the MJC has supported performances by the some of the finest musicians emerging on the scene, such as Marc Hannaford, Sam Anning, Shannon Barnett, Aaron Choulai and Gian Slater. It continues to do so with artists such as Joseph O’Connor.

Since 1993 the majority of MJC performances have been at Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, though in recent years the regular program expanded to include performances at the Uptown Jazz Café (after a series at the Paris Cat ovewr 2007-2009), as well as supporting other performances around Melbourne. In 1992 the MJC was responsible for bringing jazz in concert format to the Melbourne Festival for the first time, and in 1997 the MJC founded the Melbourne International Women’s Jazz Festival, organizing the festival until 2004 before handing it over to a Festival Board.

Alongside SIMA, the MJC has presented one the largest program of its type in Australia, and is a crucial element in Melbourne’s diverse arts scene. This organisation has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and the Victorian Government, through Creative Victoria, via its Arts Development Programs, as well as APRA/AMCOS since 2013/2014.