Jazz fest heads west

Lillian Albazi. Picture: Damjan Janevski.

Rising jazz outfit Lillian Albazi Quintet will be just one of the merry band of musicians making their way to Footscray in coming days as part of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

The Jazz Out West program features eight eclectic events, starting this Sunday with Ethio-jazz especially for kids and a mystery riverside “soundwalk”.

Singer Lillian Albazi said she started listening to jazz at the age of 14.

“By the age of 16 I felt I had found my musical calling. At 17 I started taking it seriously.”

Albazi met her fellow band members while studying music at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music at Monash University.

Their shared love of jazz saw them start to jam together and they soon started to score gigs around Melbourne.


Lillian Albazi



Albazi, who cites Anita O’Day, Nancy Wilson and Sarah Vaughan among her influences, says she is drawn to the spontaneity and variety offered in performing jazz.

“The concept of improvising is really interesting to me, the fact you can play the same standards at every gig you do but it will turn out a different way every time, it can have a different feel and a different groove.”

Albazi said she was looking forward to performing at Littlefoot Bar in Footscray next Thursday night, the first time they have been part of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

“We are really excited to be asked to play as part of the festival.”

Jazz Out West will also feature performances from the 30/70 Collective, Mister Ott, Paolo Angeli and Mulata Astatke.

For further details visit melbournejazz.com