McCoy Tyner and Patti Austin Head Up Melbourne Jazz 2012 -
Patti Austin

Patti Austin

McCoy Tyner and Patti Austin Head Up Melbourne Jazz 2012

by Tim Cashmere on March 13, 2012

in Live,News

Soulful jazz-belter Patti Austin and legendary pianist McCoy Tyner head up a fantastic line up of local and international jazz for the Melbourne Jazz Festival, 2012.

McCoy Tyner had made a name for himself playing with John Coltrane, appearing on a number of his albums including A Love Supreme. In his Jazz Festival performance this year, he’s bringing a “contemporary exploration of John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman” to the stage with the McCoy Tyner Trio featuring Chris Potter and José James.

Patti Austin released her first single The Family Tree in 1969 at the age of 19, but it wasn’t until 1982 when she had a major hit with the song Baby Come To Me – a duet with James Ingram. This time she is using her voice to pay tribute to the “first lady of song”, Ella Fitzgerald in the show For Ella. Austin will also give a free talk entitled Voice at the Wheeler Centre.

One show not to miss will be the legendary Dr. Lonnie Smith who brings his Hammond B3 organ to Bennetts Lane Jazz Club on June 7 and 8. Smith has played with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie to Etta James to George Benson and if you’ve ever heard what his fingers can do, you’ll grab yourself a ticket ASAP.

Japanese pianist Hiromi Uehara will play three shows in three different modes. Her “club session” will take place at Bennetts Lane, she will team up with the Eli Degibri Quartet at the Melbourne Recital Centre and she will do “The Trio Project”, also at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

For those who like their music soaring, American film-scorer Terence Blanchard’s performance at the Melbourne Recital Centre will surely leave you with your hairs standing on end.

Out of Ethiopia, the Samuel Yirga Quartet will take their mashup of sounds to the Comedy Theatre in a show that promises to be one of the more fascinating shows of the festival.

For those who don’t like to dwell on the past, Future Now is a modern collaboration of Robert Glasper, José James and Taylor McFerrin (yes, that is Bobby’s son). Taking place in Melbourne’s most beautiful theatre, The Forum, this will be one to be at.

Want to see some live Australian talent? Katie Noonan, Vince Jones and Kristin Berardi are all teaming up for the opening gala at the Palais in St. Kilda. Neo-soul band Saskwatch take over the Hi-Fi Bar and for the kids, Play School’s Big Jazz Adventure will take place at the Melbourne Town Hall.

For the full program and ticketing details head to

The festival takes place from June 1 – 10, 2012 at venues all over Melbourne. Tickets are on sale RIGHT NOW, so what are you waiting for?

Follow the author Tim Cashmere on Twitter.

Here’s a few videos for you:

Dr. Lonnie Smith (on stage with Lou Donaldson):

The McCoy Tyner Trio not stopping for Jools Holland’s schedule:

Hiromi Uehara plays The Tom and Jerry Show:

A little taste of Future Now:

Patti Austin sings for Ella:

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