Thursday, 16 March 2017

Bebop - Jamie Oehlers and the WAAPA Jazz Students (16 March 2017)

What a way to commence WAAPA's 2017 performance season with the very first public show in the glorious Edith Spiegeltent now on the ECU Mount Lawley campus after its stint as home to La Soiree during Fringe. It is a venue that is fast becoming one of my favourites with an old world charm that is unique in Perth. 

Add a night of bebop jazz by two talented ensembles of students, a cider from the bar to be enjoyed during the show (a first), and good acoustics from my 4th row seat and this was an enjoyable start to the year.

Standouts from Set 1 were Chris Musitano on trumpet and Malachi George on guitar with the highlight being Lover Man, sung by Reece Clark with smooth as 60 year old Scotch style.

Set 2 gave that song a run for its money as the "quintessential bebop tune" with Thelonius Monk's 'Round Midnight featuring Daniel Khaimov on alto saxophone though the latin flavoured Barbados was the highlight for mine. Standouts were Adriane Galante on clarinet and 18 year old Michael Ellis on guitar.

But everyone played well with plenty of solos and engaging introductions by Oehlers and Galante as respective 'emcees' for their sets.

There are far worse things to be doing on a Thursday night than sitting in a venue with atmosphere and history to burn listening to a distinctive style of jazz, drink in hand, marvelling at the talent of the students and that 'old guy' Jamie Oehlers, Senior Lecturer and a mean sax player in his own right.

*originally published at

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