The Fringe Jazz (As seen on The West End Magazine)

If you haven’t already checked out the line-up for this year’s Brisbane Fringe Festival then get in quick. There have been some seriously excellent performances scattered over Brisbane this last week or so.

I was lucky enough to see some of Brisbane’s best up and coming jazz singers on Sunday night at Upstairs 199. The Fringe Jazz Upstairs: Singers event featured the Charlotte Mclean Organ Trio, the Mel Lathouras Duo and the Sarah Ashton quartet.

Mel Lathouras

Kicking the night off was the lovely Mel Lathouras, who quickly charmed the crowd with her cheeky and relatable repartee. Hailing from Bundaberg, the now West End-based singer was paired with the talented guitarist Chris Bancroft. Together they performed jazz standards, originals and a little bit of country.


Next up were Sarah Ashton and Lee Brackenborough, with Nick Quigley on bass and Nathan Macgregor on drums. I have been fortunate to see these performers a number of times now and they have never disappointed. Most of the music performed was original compositions written by Sarah. The set included a number of interesting interpretations of the jazz style.

The third and final act was the Charlotte Mclean Trio. Coming off her recent album launch at the Brisbane Jazz Club, Charlotte has been performing her songs with her trio, consisting of Jake Bristow on the organ and Gary Eldershaw on the drums. Charlotte’s performance was a fusion of R’n’B, Soul and Jazz. Her impressive vocal range meant that she had no problem navigating through various styles.

It was a night filled with beautiful music and toe-tapping jazz. Each performance maintained a wonderfully high standard and thoroughly impressed the crowd. Passersby on the street below were frequently stopping and poking their heads upstairs to try and hear the source of the music sweeping out onto the street. So next time you’re walking down Boundary Road and hear jazz coming down the stairs, I highly recommend you follow it up there.

Chelsea Heaney

Images by Matt Taylor


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