Dear Reader,

It is unfortunately that time of year when our friends escape this Melbourne winter to frolic and enjoy summer overseas, leaving us here fighting the cold and looking enviously at their photo's. But never fear we've put together a list of 5 things to inspire your creativity, and most importantly to keep you warm. They include some of our favourites, a sneaky tip or two and a little inspiration to get you grooving this winter!


Fancy somewhere cosy to sit and listen to some seriously good jazz? Tucked away down a side street in Brunswick, the Jazzlab's long carpeted room is set up perfectly for dreamy evenings of drinks and jazz. The owner Michael Tortoni; musician, artistic director of Melbourne International Jazz Festival and former owner of Bennets Lane Jazz Club, created this venue with a very clear vision in mind. "I think Jazz clubs should be a bit of a hang...Got to have a vibe; a place musicians want to hang out and workshop." Jazzlab hosts a variety of different artists and will give you a completely different experience to the jazz gig's we're used to as dancers. Go sit and listen, this is a wonderful place to escape the cold.



Originally composed by Count Basie and Harry "Sweets" Edison 1939, 'Jive at Five' is a favourite for so many in the swing dance community. It has since been covered by the likes of Lester Young, and perhaps the most well-known version by Jo Jones. Each artist brings their own flavour to the song, changing the tempo and feeling, which in turn can affect the way we move as dancers. Find a version that resonates with you, have a play in your living room or groove around the kitchen, I promise 'Jive at Five' will get your feet tapping and shoulders shimmying. What better way to warm up. Also check out the videos below featuring 'Jive at Five' and get inspired!


Performance: REMY & RAMONA ILHC 2016

Remy Kouakou Kouame, Ramona Staffeld and Nina Simone. What an absolute dream team. I can't even describe adequately what I felt watching this for the first time, the butterflies, the goosebumps, the thrill and the awe. It was one of those moments for me when something I love so much, was summed up so beautifully and simply. It is just perfect. The super clear rhythms, the wonderful flow of momentum and clear connection these two share, it's no surprise the performance placed firs!



Louie Armstrong was as passionate about music as he was about food. So much so that he often combined them, singing about his meat and no potatoes or performing Struttin With Some Barbeque. Famously he would sign off many of his written letters with "Red Beans & Ricely Yours," after his favourite food made by his wife Lucille. The recipe for Red Beans and Rice was released in true Louie style, within one of his final albums, a very limited edition recording of an impromptu concert in Washington 1971. The album contained a booklet full of his favourite recipes, many were by New Orleans chef Christopher Blake, but it also included his wife's infamous
Red Beans and Rice.

                                                              Courtesy of the Louis Armstrong House Museum

                                                              Courtesy of the Louis Armstrong House Museum


Last but definitely not least, has to be Rugcutters, surely one of the best regular social nights here in Melbourne. Live music, performances by Echoes of Harlem and the perfect opportunity to be inspired on the social floor. For myself the atmosphere of the venue is just as important as the music and the floor, and can make a good night great. Rugcutters is lucky enough to have all three. If you haven't been before, come along this month on the 29th to the wonderful Bella Union! Echoes of Harlem are performing so you wont want to miss it. Come and catch up and dance with our lovely community.
I can't wait!


Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours,

1929 Studios. X