Just like Dave Brubeck, we’re taking five each month to give you the scoop on five things we’re excited about.

This month, we’re beyond thrilled to see the return of some live (in person!) music to Melbourne. It’s just the beginning, but we’re looking forward to more venues and artists being able to get back to doing what they do best.

NAIDOC week will also kick off on 8 November – keep reading to find out about events and a music special that will begin the that week that recognises the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Plus, we’ve got a playlist of 2020 GRAMMY stars to catch up on before 2021 nominations are announced later this month and a chance to re-fresh our work from home wardrobe to help Australian musicians.


8-15 November is NAIDOC Week

This annual celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will this year be centred on the theme Always was, always will be with events that celebrate and recognise the 65,000 years of connection of First Nations peoples to country.

The week kicks off with a special episode of ABC TV’s The Sound – available here on ABC iView – with an all-star lineup (including Archie Roach, Dan Sultan and Midnight Oil with footage of much-missed Gurrumul, released with the blessing of his family). And on November 10 you can tune in to a special NAIDOC Week concert featuring Kutcha Edwards, Kee’ahn and Emma Donovan and The Putbacks on your local ABC Radio station.

You can check out more events (many of them live streamed in Victoria) on the NAIDOC website here.

Live jazz begins to make its return to Melbourne venues

The easing of COVID restrictions in Melbourne in November means live music is slowly starting to return to venues – albeit with some changes. At present, outdoor venues can welcome back patrons with a limited capacity and masks will be essential for all attendees (including the band). Jazz clubs as we know and love them are probably still a little while away and it’s important to note that not all the clubs have the capacity to host outdoor shows.

Brunswick’s The Jazzlab which will be making their return from 9 November with the Ivy Sessions on a custom built outdoor stage. Limited tickets will be available from the Jazzlab website.

Another venue set to reopen is Fitzroy favourite, the Night Cat with a new urban beer garden – The Night Cat Cantina – in a newly converted carpark complete with outdoor bar, a stunning mural and BBQ (walk ins are welcome!). Live music at this venue is on the cards but they need some help to get there. You can support them by signing their petition to bring live music to the outdoors in Melbourne. Visit  for more details.

More music from the Bird’s Basement vault

For those in need of a live-music fix, some good news: you can still get it at home courtesy of Bird’s Basement. This much-loved Melbourne jazz club has opened up the vault to bring you a series of stellar past live performances from the club’s stage. This Friday 6 November you’ll find a 2019 set from Dave Graney & the Mistly playing songs from throughout their careers. And on Saturday the 7th, The Messenger Legacy featuring an exceptional group of musicians who are all ex-members of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.

You can find out more about these performances and others from the Bird’s Basement vault here.

GRAMMY award nominations are just around the corner

GRAMMY 2021 nominations will take place on 24 November and will include honours for jazz musicians and albums across five categories. In the meantime, you can catch up with the 2020 nominees and winners in our specially curated playlist on Spotify.

Support Australian musicians – and look good doing it!

Friday 20 November is Aus Music Tshirt Day, a national holiday (ok, not quite but we really think it should be) on which we don our very best music merch to raise funds for people working in live music doing it tough. And 2020 has been a rough one.

Aus Music Tshirt Day raises funds for Support Act’s Crisis Relief and Mental Health & Wellbeing services which have seen greater demand than ever during a truly tumultuous year for the industry. Job and income loss has hit live music workers hard this year and they need our help.

You can join in #AusmusicTShirtDay as an individual or as a team here, invite your networks to do the same and to donate to the cause. Then, show your favourite acts some love by posting a selfie in your music merch using the hashtag #ausmusictshirtday and tag @supportact, @triplej, @aria_official.

In need of some new threads to show off in your morning Zoom meeting or Facetime date? Plenty of your favourite local acts sell tshirts, CDs and other merch on Bandcamp. You can support them directly by purchasing a tshirt for #ausmusictshirtday.

Sign up to Festival e-news