Eclectic young Singapore band The Steve McQueens are the latest to join the line-up for this year’s Jazz by the Bay festival in Dunsborough, Busselton and Margaret River, a region renowned for its world-class wines, gourmet produce and spectacular coastline, from June 2 to 5.
Describing their music as ‘neo-vintage soul-funk’, the sound of The Steve McQueens draws influence from artists like Theolonius Monk, James Brown, Erykah Badu, Amy Winehouse, Brad Mehldau, Steely Dan and Robert Glasper – from soulful and sultry to eclectic and eccentric, Jazz by the Bay said in its release on 24 March.
Their appearance in Western Australia is made possible by a new relationship established by Jazz by the Bay organisers with the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, which is held over the same weekend. The McQueens will play in Melbourne and then head straight to the South West for a Sunday night performance, the release informed.
The band’s name is inspired by the 1960s and 1970s actor Steve McQueen as an icon for his anti-hero persona and iconic films. Their recently released latest CD, Seamonster was produced in London at Livingston Studios.
The Steve McQueens have been winning fans around Singapore and Asia, playing to glowing praise at festivals like Japan’s iconic Summersonic, Indonesia’s Java Jazz, Singapore’s Singjazz and London’s O2 Indigo. In 2016 they toured South Korea and received great reviews for their performances at the Brisbane Festival and Oz Asia Festival in Adelaide.
The quintet joins the legendary Buena Vista Social Club Young Guns with popular Perth jazz crooner Adam Hall and the Velvet Playboys; UK-based jazz singer and recording artist Karen Lane with her four-piece band, and festival favourite Cathrine Summers.
Festival Director Cindy Wiese said, ”Thanks to a growing demand, this year’s festival is expanding to four days for the first time. We are shaping up to have more than 200 individual performers appearing across the weekend. Jazz by the Bay turns the heat up in winter and for our overseas guests, especially those from Singapore/SE Asia, this will be a cosy experience to enjoy cool jazz.”
Also confirmed for Jazz by the Bay 2017 are Nadira and Friends. Hailing from Tasmania, Nadira has performed at the Tasmanian jazz festivals and the Devonport Jazz Fest in 2016. She’s performed at venues across Hobart and Melbourne including MONA, Dizzy’s Jazz Club, Open Studio, and Paris Cat.
Nadira will be accompanied by well-known local jazz band Jazztrix for a foot stomping and heart swooning performance!
Further acts include Doxy, Cassandra Charlick, SSB Quintet, The Sets, Freddie Grigson and Allira Wilson (Australian Bell Award for best jazz vocal album 2014), Serge Le Goueff, Elle Deslandes, South West Trad Jazz Collective, Mr & Mrs Smith, Pete Jeavons, Chris Tarr, Danny Moss Jnr, the Penny King Quartet, Jazz Jacks, WA Youth Jazz Orchestra and more.
Free and ticketed events are scheduled across the Jazz by the Bay long weekend indoors and outdoors catering for lovers of jazz soul and funk. Taking place at the onset of winter, Jazz by the Bay provides a complete feast for the senses with many events including stunning local food and wine experiences.
More acts will be announced in coming weeks and a full program of Jazz by the Bay performances will soon be available from the event website along with ticketing information.
Now in its fifth year, Jazz by the Bay is a celebration of jazz, gourmet food and wine set against an extraordinary backdrop of top surfing beaches, magnificent landscapes, ancient caves, gigantic trees, cultural experiences, premier wineries, award-winning restaurants and gastronomic produce located within a three-hour drive south of Perth. Perth is a five-hour flight from Singapore.