Music / Features
Sunset Sounds -
Jazz Party
Words and interview by Francis Tait
Friday 12th January, 2018

After a break out 2017, Jazz Party are opening up for the The Bamboos this Sunday for the second Sunset Sounds show of the year, and we expect it’ll be about as big a party as you can get for a free, all ages show in one of Melbourne’s nicest gardens.
In the middle of 2016, Jazz Party were throwing packed out Monday night residency shows in the front bar of Boney, for a couple of hundred Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes fans who’d heard there was a pretty good new band made up of a few of the band’s members. By the end of 2017, Jazz Party had brought the jazz party to stages at festivals like Golden Plains and Queencliff Music Festival and released their debut album Monday Night, which was featured all over PBS and RRR. By the start of 2018, it feels like the hype is still well on its way up and we got in touch with the band to ask them all about it.

TJ: A free show on a Sunday evening in Central Park, Malvern East sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday. Looking forward to it? 

JP: Definitely, we don’t often do early shows so it’s a nice opportunity for some of our fans who have young families to see us in a relaxed setting. Also Darcy (Sax and Band Leader) Gideon (keys) and myself (Loretta Miller, Vocals) are all southsiders so for us it’s lovely getting to play near our homes for once!

For those who don’t know your music, what can people expect from a Jazz Party show? 

High energy, we much prefer our audience to be involved and to dance and shout, a bit of drama, thrown in. We play a mixture of New Orleans Jazz, Soul, RnB and Calypso with our own personal style and defiant edge.

It was a busy 2017 - heaps of shows, a few residencies, a bunch of festivals including Golden Plains and Queenscliff Music Festival, and you capped the year off with the launch of your debut album Monday Night. How have you survived the year?

JUST hahaha.

It was triumphant and terrifying, the work load was huge and getting an debut release out is a huge feat for indie artists, especially with a name like “Jazz Party”. I find people can make their minds up about us very quickly and assume they don’t like what we do… Then a friend who’s been to one of our Monday night gigs twists their arm says “you have to see this band” and they cross over haha. It was great year for us but definitely a big test.

Monday Night came out in early November. How’s the response been a few months on? 

The response has been really great, everyone's who’s listened has given us a lot of love and it’s not just one crowd, it’s nice to know we appeal to all kinds. Lots of people have told me it’s their album of the year which is very humbling. We get some solid love from PBS and RRR and we just released it on super limited red vinyl as well and that’s been moving pretty quick so it’s been good I would say.

There are a bunch of other great bands playing these Sunset Sounds shows throughout January. Anyone you’re particularly looking forward to? 

I’m a big Saskwatch fan, in my previous band “Clairy Browne & The Bangin Rackettes” we played a lot of shows with them and it’s been great seeing their music reach more and more people and evolve. They’ve always been great, Nkechi is a force! Of course it’s an honour to play with the Bamboos, they’re amazing. Everybody loves Kylie Auldist, she’s such a joy to share a stage with. 

How is the rest of 2018 looking for Jazz Party?

We’ll be doing a bunch more festival shows throughout the summer/autumn including River Boats, St. Kilda Fest and we’re particularly excited about Womad… also a bunch of others that haven't been announced yet. So we have our hands full for a while. 

What’s your perfect Sunday?

Perfect Sunday… My perfect days always involve drinks and good food with friends, the beach, or music depending on the weather. Being a muso Sundays aren’t always the same as they are for everyone else! You have to take time off where you can get it! Can’t beat the classic combos though. I do enjoy a good bolognese and movie on a quiet Sunday night if I can swing it.

Catch Jazz Party opening up proceedings before The Bamboos this Sunday at Central Park in Malvern East.