Afternoon Jazz
The Melbourne Octet at St Ambrose Church

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Templeton Street, Woodend, Vic 3442
St Ambrose Church

The Melbourne Octet presents an afternoon of close harmony jazz arrangements.

Much of the repertoire in this programme was written in a period of history that saw recovery from a war and a devastating pandemic followed by the rule of several dictators across the world, mass unemployment, discrimination against and persecution of various groups, and unrest in international relations. Nearly a century later, the world has a disturbingly similar set of circumstances.

The lighthearted, slightly naughty, uplifting songs of this period were an escapist remedy for the times. Sumptuous harmonies, witty lyrics and cheerful melodies are an excellent distraction.

The programme was devised during the prolonged lockdown last year, when a desire to escape, a nostalgia for a mythical land of the past (which wasn’t ever perfect, but seemed to shine in comparison to the present), and a craving to let loose and run wild were recurring themes. A couple of more recent jazz compositions are thrown in the mix – the similarities to earlier pieces are surprising, and should come with a warning; you’ll be humming them all the way home.


Let’s Misbehave, Cole Porter, arr. Alexander L’Estrange
Dayton, Ohio, Randy Newman, arr: Richard Rodney Bennett
It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t got that Swing, Duke Ellington, arr. Ben Parry
Blue Moon, Richard Rogers, arr. David Blackwell
Dream a little Dream of Me, Fabian Andre, arr. Julie Gaulke
Night and Day, Cole Porter, arr. Alexander L’Estrange
The Girl from Ipanema, Antonio Carlos Jobim, arr. Deke Sharon
It’s De-Lovely, Cole Porter, arr. Alexander L’Estrange
The Teddy Bears! Picnic, John Bratton, arr. Andrew Carter
Tea for two, Vincent Youmans, arr. Peter Gritton
Begin the Beguine, Cole Porter, arr. Alexander L’Estrange
The Way You Look Tonight, Jerome Kern, arr. John Rutter
Beyond the Sea, Charles Trenet, arr. Alexander L’Estrange
Soul Bossa Nova, Quincy Jones, arr. Alexander L’Estrange

About the Octet

The Octet comprises of eight singers with extensive experience in ensemble singing, with sidelines in everything from jazz to opera. More information can be found on www.melbourneoctet.com

Listen to the Melbourne Octet and their sublime sound!