Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, Melbourne

3.7
#50 of 155 in Nightlife in Melbourne
We were once located in the quintessential setting of a dead-end Melbourne laneway called Bennetts Lane, which opened in November 1992.

The original room had great natural acoustics and hosted a great number of world-famous performers including Prince, Maceo Parker, Kenny Kirkland, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Harry Connick Jnr., Paul Grabowsky, Joe Chindamo and Leroy Jones to name just a few.



Our second room opened in January 2000 to coincide with the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, and we called it the "JazzLab" to emphasise the numerous creative collaborations and connections that our little jazz club had been renowned for cultivating. It presented even more international including Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Brad Mehldau, Kurt Elling, Wayne Krantz, George Garzone, Jim Black, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jason Moran, Kyon Harrold, Robert Glasper and many more. The JazzLab complemented the intimacy of our original room with the space for growing audiences to enjoy our program more.

With our dedicated 7 nights per week program, Bennetts Lane's devotion to presenting talented Australian performers was, and still is, paramount. We worked hard to provide secure and comfortable listening environments for audiences, clean and maintained instruments and staging for artists, promotion and recording opportunities, and championed music for and from all ages and inclinations. We were home to internationally acclaimed performers Allan Browne (who broke our hearts when he left us on our closing weekend), Tony Gould, Vince Jones, Katie Noonan, Renee Geyer, James Morrison, Harry James Angus, Andrea Keller, Eugene Ball, Jamie Oehlers, Jordan Murray, Scott Tinkler, Paul Williamson and many many more.

We host presentations from the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, the Women's International Jazz Festival, the Italian Jazz Festival, the Fringe Jazz Festival, and the Melbourne Jazz Cooperative. We have been instrumental in developing projects such as the Bennetts Lane BIG Band, presenting residencies for developing recording material, and curating educational programs for live recording studies. We are great supporters of aspiring and emerging talent through presenting assessment performances, graduation recitals, and performances from small school bands to large big bands, private and public secondary schools to the nation's best conservatories and universities. We host masterclasses and workshops and present educational seminars for all aspects of the industry. We offer our guidance to funding bodies and government agencies, and we sit on juries that determine talent, creativity, dedication and innovation in live music performance.

We have been awarded the "Best Australian Jazz Club" award every time the category ran in the Australian Bell Awards, and Lonely Planet named us the "World's Best Jazz Club".

We are currently working to build our new premises on Flinders Lane to open next year (2018) so when we've reopened please join us to hear quality live jazz performances from the cutting edge and avant-garde to the classics and standards. Our website will tell you about each performance, offer tickets, and if you’ve any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

P.S. I've been with the club since a few months after it opened (i.e. over 25 years), so if you've ever been in the past, or have any stories to share, know that I'll cherish them too. xx megglet
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
49 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Visited Bennett's lane to watch a group perform. Had a shared cheese platter and drinks which was part of the deal. The atmosphere was great, will go again.  more »
  • The only jazz club open on a Monday night in Melbourne and what a find. Big band really means big band ! We only stayed a short while but really enjoyed the show and atmosphere. It was just like the j...  more »
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