Jazz Under the Stars

This is a past event


Friday 26 March 2021
7pm - 9pm


Main Square

*NOTE: This event has now been changed to Friday 26 March, due to the weather forecast on Saturday*

What better way to celebrate the end of summer than the ultimate free night out for families, friends and lovers of all things Jazz.

Relax at Fed Oasis in a comfy deckchair or beanbag – or sit on the grass if you prefer, we’ve got that too now! – and enjoy a starlit picnic as the Daryl McKenzie Jazz Orchestra and multi award-winning singer Nina Ferro whisk you away with a two-hour set of Jazz classics.

We are also giving the first 100 guests to arrive from 6.45pm a delicious picnic hamper for two valued at $75 – thanks to our friends at Transport Kitchen.

Each hamper contains:

  • 2 x bottles of sparkling water
  • rice crackers & nam prik dip
  • 2 x baguettes (1 x smoked salmon / roast beef or vegetarian option)
  • Wombok salad with whipped tofu
  • popcorn, and
  • 2 x mouth-watering brownies.

Note: there are a limited number of vegetarian and gluten free hampers available.

If you miss out on a hamper, not to worry! We are also giving away free gelato, or you can order food directly to the Square, from an range of Fed Square restaurants.

So, make sure you arrive early to grab yourself a good possie!

Daryl McKenzie Jazz Orchestra

The Daryl McKenzie Jazz Orchestra (DMJO) is an Australian cultural icon, bringing together Melbourne’s most exceptional instrumentalists to perform original jazz music as well as accompany some of the country’s finest local and international performances across multiple genres and mediums.

The DMJO is a hugely important part of Australian music history. The ensemble began in the 80s as the Graeme Lyall Orchestra and the Australian Showband. It was in the 90s however that the orchestra began to hit its stride as the band for the iconic Australian TV show Hey Hey its Saturday, under the leadership of musical director, trombonist, composer and arranger Daryl McKenzie. Since this time, the orchestra has continued to diversify and broaden its audience to include the jazz-going public as well as commercial and corporate contexts.

The DMJO’s experience with international artists is unparalleled in Australian music. They have backed artists as significant as Tom Jones, Joe Cocker, Barry Manilow, Bonnie Raitt, Tommy Emmanuel and Billy Thorpe.

Just as importantly, they have sustained long working relationships with some of Australia’s finest performers over the past 20 years. Such artists include Wilbur Wilde, Rhonda Burchmore, Grace Knight and Nichaud Fitzgibbon. They have performed with countless other artists from across the country and the world.

They have performed at various jazz festivals, including in the USA and Malaysia, and major Australian events such as the Australian Grand Prix. They have also held a 17-year monthly residency at The Apartment/ Paris Cat Jazz Club, performing original Australian jazz compositions, often by band members including McKenzie, as well as international works.

The DMJO has recorded five critically acclaimed albums of original music, and also recorded sections of the soundtracks for iconic Australian films such as Bran Nue Dae, Two Hands and Love and Other Catastrophes. Members of the band under Daryl’s direction have also provided music for the TV series Australia’s Got Talent, the Good Friday Appeal and Dancing With The Stars.

Follow the Daryl McKenzie Jazz Orchestra on Facebook or Instagram.

Image: Evan Schoo.

Nina Ferro

Melbourne-based Nina Ferro is a multi award-winning soul singer, songwriter, session and recording artist with a powerful, evocative voice, impressive vocal range and captivating stage presence, considered by her peers and audiences alike to be one of the top vocalists around. An Australian and British citizen of Italian parentage, Nina has built an international following of fans and is in high demand both locally and abroad. Having lived in London for a decade, Nina divides her time between Australia, the UK and wherever else her superb voice is requested and as such, she has earned an enviable international reputation for her #vocalbadassery!

Nina has made guest appearances on ARIA award-winning albums and her extensive and impressive live performance history includes appearances on TV, radio and in print media throughout the USA, UK, Europe, Australia, Asia and the Middle East.

Nina has performed alongside artists such as Tony Bennett, Hugh Jackman, Jose Feliciano, Jessica Mauboy, Zac Brown Band, Renee Geyer, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Vanessa Amorosi, Jon Stevens, Guy Sebastian, Kate Ceberano, John Farnham, Kyle Eastwood, Billy Ocean, Ricky Martin, Chris Botti, Dave Sanborn, Frank McComb, Chick Corea, The Zac Brown Band, The Cat Empire, The Commitments and many more.

Nina has opened as the special guest artist for Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Juanes and Grammy Award winning industry legends Gregory Porter, Charles Aznavour and Neil Sedaka – and wowed not only the judges but also Aussie audiences when she appeared on Season 5 of The Voice Australia (2016).

Nina has produced eight solo albums throughout her career. Her most recent album release Into The Light is her most personal album to date, incorporating influences from Soul, old-school R&B, Funk, Blues and Country – which Nina brings into her songwriting.

Image: Sam Tabone.