Best of Music

Best of Music

Last Updated: 15 Dec 2015
Hannah Lawrance

Summer is king for local music lovers, with fresh programs from the city’s elite companies and a string of festivals delivering world-class acts from Australia and abroad. Whether your taste lies with classical and jazz, or gospel and rock, this season serves up a smorgasbord of sound.

House Gospel Choir showcases rousing musicians and their celestial voices in
a union of spirituality and euphoria. This choir is famous for its truly epic live shows, including their performance at the 2014 Glastonbury Festival. Their distinct brand of music-making has seen them collaborate with The Kooks, Labrinth and Gorgon City. Watch them deliver the world's biggest house tunes, including many 90s classics, in sweet gospel synergy, backed by a live DJ, percussion and keys. Chevron Festival Gardens, March 5-6.

Trumpet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis brings his world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to PIAF, taking audiences on a journey through jazz history. Performing his third symphonic composition, Swing Symphony, alongside the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Marsalis and his big band will treat local audiences to some of the best music from the American jazz scene. From ragtime and mambo to bebop and African-American church music, watch the evolution of swing and jazz unfold before your eyes. Perth Concert Hall, March 3-4.

She's known as the love child of legendary French film director Jacques Doillon and starlet and singer Jane Birkin – who is herself known for her extended affair and partnership with Serge Gainsbourg – but Lou Doillon is making a name for herself as a multi-talented artist. The former actor-model turned singer-songwriter has developed a richer sound, as seen in her new album Lay Low, a combination of songs that are honest and soulful. She brings her dreamy folk-blues to Perth for her So Frenchy 2016 tour. Rosemount Hotel, January 12.

When it was written, this rare two-part symphony was considered composer Camille Saint-Saëns' artistic triumph – but true glory would come a hundred years later, when its second movement was co-opted as the theme for the Babe movies. The second showing of Saint-Saëns' masterpiece pairs the organ piece with Paganini's First Violin Concerto and two beautiful Debussy piano preludes. Violin maestro Ning Feng (right) is front and centre. Perth Concert Hall, March 10-12.

PIAF hits home in 2016, with an opening performance featuring an epic West Australian cast. The Festival sees director Nigel Jamieson collaborate with Noongar elder and artist Dr Richard Walley to create an intriguing one-off event celebrating our landscape, culture and community. Set against a dynamic visual backdrop, Home will include performers such as John Butler, The Panics, Western Australian Youth Orchestra, The Waifs, Shaun Tan, The Triffids and Tim Winton. Langley Park, February 13.

Nothing says summer like a chilled-out day of live music. This event returns in 2016, promising punters the most energetic live-music lineup yet. With a 2013 APRA award for sweltering hit My Gun, The Rubens are guaranteed to set Fremantle Art Centre's lawn alight with their melodic rock anthems, while The Preatures promise to enthrall audiences with delicious grooves, hip-hugging bass lines and catchy choruses. Fremantle Arts Centre, January 16.

Jose Gonzalez

Elizabeth Quay lights up for 25 nights of live beats and sumptuous eats, as it plays host to PIAF's stellar contemporary music program. Catch a dynamic lineup of artists from Australia and abroad, including Jose Gonzalez, Natalie Prass, Marlon Williams, and Tim Rogers & The Bamboos. The Mainstage will showcase top acts from the worlds of jazz, rock, pop, folk and gospel, while The Garden provides a place to sit back and relax. Meet festival artists, catch
up with friends, or dance the night away. This is one of the jewels in the PIAF crown. Elizabeth Quay, Perth, February 11-March 6.

Chris Isaak.

Enjoy the picturesque surrounds of Leeuwin Estate in Margaret River during this beloved concert series. Showcasing his stellar songwriting, smooth baritone and effortless brand of retro-cool, Chris Isaak returns by popular demand for the 32nd annual Leeuwin Concert. John Butler Trio will join The Waifs for the Leeuwin Family Concert. Leeuwin Family Concert, January 23; Chris Isaak, Leeuwin Estate, February 27.

Australian playwright and director Michael Gow has created a contemporary pastiche that weaves classics by Handel and Vivaldi, alongside rediscovered treasures from little-known 18th century composers. Voyage to the Moon is an exciting collaboration between Musica Viva and Victorian Opera, and features a host of talent. International Baroque guru Alan Curtis sadly passed away before finishing the score, which will now be completed by Australian composer Calvin Bowman. Soprano Emma Matthews and mezzo Sally-Anne Russell share the stage with brilliant newcomer, bass-baritone Jeremy Kleeman, backed by a hand-picked band of leading chamber musicians. Perth Concert Hall, March 7.

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