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What is music hunter ? 

Based in the Blue Mountains on the Western edge of Sydney, Music Hunter is more than a booking agency and different from a traditional promoter. Music Hunter has a unique approach to showcasing live music.

 

We are grounded in a commitment to bring incredible musicians to brave, curious audiences. We are creating a community of people who care about music, who dare to venture beyond the mainstream, and who enjoy the thrill of discovery and that warm, tingly connected feeling you share with a pack of music lovers at a live performance.  

 

Live music is good for your health. We've known this anecdotally for ages, and now the scientists have weighed in. Listening to live music promotes mental health and wellbeing. 

Musicians need audiences and audiences need music.

It's not just a transaction, it's a very special thing. Music Hunter is about nurturing the connection between us.

Making a contribution feels good. So does being a part of something big.

Volunteer to crew or help out. Music Hunter gigs are built on community inclusion.

 

 

 

 
 

gigs +& Tix 

we are taking bookings now for events from 4th Dec 2021 into 2022.

We hope you've been able to make the best out of the quarantine lock down. We look forward to bringing monthly live music concerts to the Avalon, we'll be involved in a couple of tours and also present gigs at Blue Mountains Theatre and some great community halls.

 

Last year Music Hunter and Avalon tossed soul sustaining lifelines to musicians and audiences with the Afternoon Delights concert series every Saturday since July 4th 2020 after the first Covid restrictions lifted.

 

Over the 12 months between lockdown #1 and #2 by July 2021, we ran 45 shows, gave work to 90 musicians and lifted the spirits of 900 audience members. Even while the numbers were initially restricted to 19, Music Hunter has guaranteed fees, broke even, and it's been a super worthwhile social enterprise. See Vazesh featured in the video who have since been nominated for two ARIA awards.

With most of the shows SELLING OUT it's a top tip to BOOK EARLY. 2022 Afternoon Delights series at Avalon has changed from weekly to monthly, while we also engage in presenting some larger scale events at Blue Mountains Theatre, Baroque Room and Community Halls around town. We'll also be taking a couple of bands on tour. 

SCROLl DOWN for our list of gigs & Get Tickets to events@various locations

The video to the right was from an interview with John Shand in 2015 with Meg Benson, featuring some live music footage and mentions a former crowdfunding campaign. 

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Afternoon Delights Concert Series
Saturday, 4th December

2PM-4.30PM


DOWNSTAIRS@Avalon 

18 Katoomba St.

1st set starts 2.30pm sharp

Tickets $38/ Intimate venue

Dine and Discover vouchers accepted.

Craft beers, local wines +

sweet & savoury dishes. 

Phillip Johnston: soprano saxophone
Peter Farrar: alto saxophone

Tim Clarkson: tenor saxophone
James Loughnan: baritone saxophone

Celebrating the French publisher Lenka Lente’s release of Lacy (Unfinished), edited by Guillaume Tarche, a 400 + page tri-lingual book celebrating the life and music of soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, Phillip Johnston presents a program of saxophone quartet arrangements of music by Lacy, including selections from his 1975 LP of saxophone quartet music, Saxophone Special.

 

The concert will also include new arrangements of Lacy music, and some of Johnston’s own new music for saxophone composed and/or arranged during the COVID quarantine. (Johnston’s essay on Lacy’s ‘Prospectus’ is just one of the 41 contributions to the book). 

Johnston has been performing Lacy’s music since the late 1970s. Both of his 90s Black Saint recordings contain Lacy tunes, and his 2010s band with Melbourne pianist Jex Saarelaht, Tight Corners, played Monk, Lacy and Herbie Nichols. He has continued to obsessively arrange and re-arrange Lacy’s solo tune ‘Hemline’ for different ensembles for the last 40 years. It will, of course, be played at this. 

“Johnston is a composer of considerable wit and seemingly boundless imagination.” – John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald

LISTEN TO RADIO INTERVIEW WITH Phillip Johnston and Meg Benson.

Lacy performs PROSPECTUS

Link to the Publisher of "Lacy Unfinished"

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Afternoon Delights Concert Series
Saturday, 22nd January 

2PM-4.30PM


DOWNSTAIRS at Avalon Restaurant, 18 Katoomba St.

1st set starts 2.30pm sharp


Tickets $38/ Intimate venue

Dine and Discover vouchers accepted.

Craft beers, local wines

+ sweet & savoury dishes. 

STEFANO ROCCO QUARTET:

Stefano Rocco - guitar

Muhamed Mehmedbasic - double bass

Nick Southcott - piano

Ed Rodrigues - drums

Formed in 2019, Stefano Rocco Quartet is a jazz project from Sydney, lead by the italian guitarist who previously lived and performed in London.

Blending the modern vibes of jazz with the tradition of classic jazz, combining bouncy grooves and lyrical melodies, Stefano Rocco Quartet delivers its sound: “...in a cunning and uniquely collective fashion taking the listener on a journey through different moods and places.”

(Barry O’Sullivan, Jazzandbeyond.com.au).

Released in January 2020, their debut album “A New Night, a New Day” has gained great reviews in Australia and overseas and was described by AllAboutJazz as: “crisp and audacious...a sparkling gem of an album” 

After an exciting 2020 album launch at Sydney’s Foundry 616, the quartet returns on stage with a thrilling mix of originals and reinterpreted compositions from the jazz and fusion world.

 

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Afternoon Delights Concert Series 

Saturday, ​19th February

2pm-4.30pm

DOWNSTAIRS at Avalon,

18 Katoomba St, 

1st set starts 2.30pm sharp

Tickets $38/ Intimate venue

Dine and Discover vouchers accepted.

Craft beers, local wines +

sweet & savoury dishes. 

Delay 45 is a unique emerging Australian jazz voice led by award-winning trumpeter Tom Avgenicos, featuring close collaborators Roshan Kumarage (piano), Dave Quinn (bass) and Ashley Stoneham (drums). Delay 45 play songs and connect them together through improvisation. The result is a fluid exchange between structure and spontaneity, creating an immersive listening experience that traverses various moods, colours and textures.

 

Delay 45’s sound is built upon a deep understanding of each other's playing, stemming from their very first musical meetings in high school. This is evident in the way they respond and interact with one another. The group have quickly gained recognition among peers, critics and audiences for their debut release Big Ears, and will be releasing their 2nd album Flux in 2021. "a bold new chapter in Australian jazz". – Sydney Morning Herald “The four members of Delay 45 have developed an approach to performing that is creative and individual…” - Loud Mouth.

4 Star SMH Review by John Shand.

Just as you can still an argument with a kiss, so musical agitation can be softened by a single note. A defining quality of Delay 45 is the astuteness in when to build tension and when – metaphorically – to kiss and make up...... read more 

 

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Afternoon Delights Concert Series 

Saturday, ​5th March

2pm-4.30pm

DOWNSTAIRS at Avalon,

18 Katoomba St, 

1st set starts 2.30pm sharp

Tickets $38/ Intimate venue

Dine and Discover vouchers accepted.

Craft beers, local wines +

sweet & savoury dishes. 

Set Me Free is an album collaboration between 9 years imprisoned refugee poet-artist Jalal Mahamede and Australian Art Music Award finalist Keyna Wilkins, working via zoom from his prison cell, with many special guests. It is a musical setting of 12 of his poems around themes of justice and freedom with 19 guest musicians.  In 2021,

 

Jalal has been in detention for 9 years. He has never been charged or tried. This has included 6 years on Nauru and 7 months on Christmas Island and he is currently held in a Brisbane detention centre.  Doctors Without Borders describes conditions in Nauru refugee camps as "beyond desperate", UNHCR described it as "some of the worst conditions seen" and Amnesty International describes them as "cruel and extreme". During his long-term confinement, in often horrific conditions, Jalal has experienced serious mental health issues, as well as suffering a vicious attack on Nauru. Jalal is a refugee who has committed no crime, but he remains in limbo, with no time frame, end date or guarantee of release.  Through this immense pain has come an understanding of tragedy, humanity and compassion. His poems are evocative, soulful and beautiful. This is his story set to music.

 

More info about the project here 

 

For more info about Jalal see here.

A 100 page book of his illustrated poetry will be published next month by Tangerine Books In QLD. 

LISTEN TO A PODCAST OF THE INTERVIEW WITH KEYNA WILKINS 

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Afternoon Delights Concert Series 

Saturday, ​2nd April

2pm-4.30pm

DOWNSTAIRS at Avalon,

18 Katoomba St, 

1st set starts 2.30pm sharp

Tickets $38/ Intimate venue

Dine and Discover vouchers accepted.

Craft beers, local wines +

sweet & savoury dishes. 

​The music of Melanie Oxley and Chris Abrahams gently unfolds before you as classic. Lyrically thoughtful, playful and clever, musically deceptively simple. Abrahams extraordinary talent reveals itself in every facet of every song while Oxley's voice continues to uplift and beguile. Extraordinary.

Although they have played together since 89, live performances are rare. 

Mel and Chris have been in the studio recording over the last year and are currently mixing their new album….so be ready for lots of new music from these two amazing musicians.

Melanie Oxley is an Australian musician, singer-songwriter and primary school teacher. Oxley was a member of the dance pop group, The Sparklers (from 1985 to 1989), which in October 1988 issued their debut album, Persuasion. Since 1989 Oxley teamed with keyboardist, Chris Abrahams (ex-Benders, The Sparklers), to perform and record as a soul pop duo, Melanie Oxley & Chris Abrahams. 

They have released four studio albums, Welcome to Violet (1992), Coal (1994), Jerusalem Bay (1998) and Blood Oranges (2003). At the ARIA Music Awards of 1993 Welcome to Violet was nominated for Best Independent Release.

Christopher Abrahams is a New Zealand pianist,best known for his jazz work.

Abrahams has been a member of the Benders, Laughing Clowns, and The Necks. He has recorded several solo albums, as well as collaborations with Melanie Oxley from the Sparklers. Abrahams has also been a session musician on albums for artists such as The Church, The Whitlams, Midnight Oil, Wendy Matthews, Skunkhour and Silverchair.

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Afternoon Delights Concert Series

Saturday, 7th May

2pm-4.30pm. (Doors2pm)

 

DOWNSTAIRS at Avalon Restaurant 18 Katoomba St. 

Tickets $38/ Intimate venue

Dine & Discover vouchers accepted.

Craft beers, local wines +

sweet & savoury dishes. 

One of Australia’s most talented jazz/blues/vocalist/songwriter/pianists, Daryl Aberhart is  celebrating the release of his latest album Shake These Blues Away and another couple of new albums releasing early 2022. 

 

Daryl has played at many of the great Australian jazz and blues festivals over the years. Daz is back with a cracking new collection of tunes, and a killer band comprised of not only his all-time favourite rhythm section, but with one of his favourite local guitar legends as a cherry on the top.

 

Nic Cecire/Drums:  an incredibly versatile player with a signature sizzle to his swing and a serious snap in his groove. During his illustrious career to date, Nic has worked, (and continues to work regularly) with a veritable who’s who of Australian jazz, rock and soul/r+b artists. Nic is also one of Sydney’s most in demand teachers, and is a long term member of the tertiary education team at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney.

 

Brett Hirst/Bass: In terms of a stellar music pedigree, just like Nic, throughout his extensive touring and gigging lifetime Brett has worked with many of the greats in both the local jazz and pop scenes, with musicians such as Mike Nock and Lior seeking out Brett as their bassist of choice. A perfect fit for an artist such as Daz with his eclectic mix of styles and influences, Brett always knows exactly what’s required, and serves it up just right up, every single time.

 

Carl Dewhurst/Guitar: A true musical chameleon. Among the Australian community of improvising musicians and listeners, Carl is is renowned for being equally at home playing free-jazz, sumptuous standards, rockabilly, blues, soul, funk or anything you can throw at him really, and he can pull it all off with style and flair in a truly authentic way, yet with his own distinctive and compelling voice always shining through.

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Afternoon Delights Concert Series

Saturday, 4th June

2pm for 2.30pm start til 4.30pm. 

 

DOWNSTAIRS at Avalon Restaurant 18 Katoomba St. 

Tickets $30/ Intimate venue

Dine and Discover vouchers accepted.

Craft beers, local wines +

sweet & savoury dishes. 

Two sisters' musical worlds: piano songwriting ranging from the epic to the light-hearted with hints of Joanna Newsom, Regina Spektor and Tori Amos; gentle folk melodies on guitar influenced by great storytellers Joni Mitchell, Kate Rusby and Kate Bush.

 

Susie Bishop and Laura Bishop are the Meremba Sisters. Accordion, piano, violin and guitar create a backdrop for their beautiful vocal harmonies.

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Blue Mountains Theatre 

Sat 11th June 2022

$45 TICKETS on sale now.

Discover vouchers accepted

Baby et Lulu is the ARIA-nominated, ‘must-see act that will seduce your ears with its chansons’ (The Weekend Edition). Faux-French sensations Abby Dobson and Lara Goodridge, and their prodigiously talented band, launch their much anticipated third album, ‘Album Trois’.

Having put the release of this album and tour on hold for over a year, they are now delighted to return to the stage to perform songs from their new album in French in a celebration of love, life and passion… with a sultry, sometimes outrageous French accent. 

The ‘très charismatic pairing of sexy songstresses’ (AU Review) have performed at WOMADELAIDE, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane Cabaret Festival, The Famous Spiegeltent, Port Fairy, Woodford Folk Festival, as well as venues such as Adelaide Festival Centre and Melbourne Arts Centre. 

Don’t miss these two sassy and playful characters, with their extraordinary band, their femme fatale glamour and trèswitty banter. They will have you dancing in your seats in a veritable celebration of la vie française.

"It is impossible not to be charmed by the hypnotic voices of Baby and Lulu" Arts Hub

"Dobson and Goodridge had the seated audience eating out of the palms of their hands... and pranced off stage to the sounds of a standing ovation" The Music

Pre-order Albums of Baby et Lulu

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Afternoon Delights Concert Series

Saturday, 2nd July 

2pm-4.30pm. 

 

DOWNSTAIRS at Avalon Restaurant 18 Katoomba St. 

1st set starts 2.30pm sharp

Tickets $30/ Intimate venue

Dine and Discover vouchers accepted.

Craft beers, local wines +

sweet & savoury dishes. 

They're folk that resemble everything else- With captivating originals, entertaining stories and incredible energy, they pack punches but have songs to heal your scars.

 

Featuring a foot-stomping Kiwi girl and a Riverina country boy, We Mavericks make music that sounds more than the sum of it’s parts. Lindsay Martin’s masterful strings and vocal meets Victoria Vigenser’s mesmerising voice, with driving rhythms and a connection you have to hear to believe. 

 

The trademark tightness and strangely gritty, evocative performances have seen them on a steep and fast rise to festivals and shows in both home countries; Nominated Australian Folk Music Awards "Artists of the Year, Best Duo/ Group/Ensemble" 2021, nominated “Best Folk Artist 2020” in the Aotearoa (NZ) Music Awards and recipients of the 2020 Troubadour Foundation Award, We Mavericks’ organic blend of lyrical pop and acoustic folk vibes has echoes of soulful Americana and Celtic roots amongst the harmonies. 

 

Now with their keenly-awaited duo debut album “Grief’s a Gardener” they bring connected and grounding original songs in the sort of show that’s sure to leave your tank topped up.

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THE MUSICIANS

The kinds of musicians who play Music Hunter gigs aren't your mainstream FM-friendly joes. These people are virtuosos from the Blue Mountains, around Australia and around the world.

Some of them play rare instruments, even instruments they have made themselves.

Or they might play rarely performed styles, or blend traditional and contemporary forms to create something unique.  They might be well known or not so well known, but they will always be extraordinary musicians who perform at the fringes and on the edges.

 

Whatever the case, the musicians who play Music Hunter gigs are deeply talented people who care about the music they play and the audiences they play to. 

THE AUDIENCE

Music Hunter audiences are made up of adventurous souls who dare to go beyond the classics and the safe territory of the charts. Our audiences are curious explorers. They like to take a chance on something they've never heard before. That's how you experience the joy of discovery. And once they've experienced a Music Hunter concert, they always come back. 

THE COMMUNITY

 Music Hunter is all about building a community of music lovers. It's a team effort, this task. We've been able to do it because of the support of some amazing people and partners whom we'd like very much to acknowledge.

 

Cheers to Kindlehill Performance Space for the use of their magnificent cob and timber hall. This warm, intimate space is where magic happens. Thumbs up to Blue Mountains Theatre, The Metropole, The Carrington,  Hotel GearinScenic World for being champion partners. Since Covid restrictions lifted mid 2020, we've had a home base DOWNSTAIRS at Avalon Restaurant, providing employment every week for musicians. 

 

Many thanks too to Daz's  Blissbeat Curry for catering many of our independant gigs with delicious soup, chai and cake.  

 

Our pristine listening experiences are enabled by BM Audio, Crisp Audio or KFM media. 

And, of course, cheers to the many volunteers who crew, shoot photographs and stick up posters and do the not-so-glamourous behind-the-scenes stuff that keeps Music Hunter cracking on.

 

Our community gives to us and we like to give back. Not everyone has the dosh to go to concerts, which is why we will happily exchange tickets for some mucking in. There are many ways you can volunteer to help Music Hunter by contributing skills and time and heavy lifting. 

 

Big Love to our talented photographers; 

Look Sharp, Inertia,  Brigitte Grant,  Sue Daley,  David Brazil Photography.

If you fancy helping out, sling Meg an email.

 

custom music hunting

Weddings, parties, functions, whatever. It's not always easy to find the right musicians that suit the mood and the crowd for your do. So who do you call? 

 

Music Hunter founder Meg Benson loves nothing better than tracking down the exactly right brilliant musos to play at your do.  With 27 years experience living and playing in the MTNS music scene, Meg knows a huge number of musos in the mountains, Sydney and beyond - musos who can play in all sorts of genres and styles, and who can cater to a mixed audience of still listeners and irrepressible dancers.

 

FYI Meg can also artfully dress your space in a style befitting the audience and occasion. You give her the brief - elegant or quirky or playful or outrageous - whatever you need, Meg delivers.

 

 

 

Join the Music Hunter community

'Music produces a kind of pleasure ​which human nature cannot do without.'
Confucius 

Join our mailing list

We'll keep you in the loop

 
 
Music Hunter is a supporter of The Haze Mag and is a Network Partner of the Blue Mountains Creative Arts Network.
Music Hunter is proud to bank with Bendigo Bank, who give back significant funds to the community.
Music Hunter is a member of  TOOLO & supports the share economy.
Meg Benson of Music Hunter hosts a regular radio show on Mondays 5-7pm  called Earthly Delights 89.1 FM, Radio Blue Mountains, rbm.org.au. 
Thanks also to the work of Brad from Blue Mountains Live in his efforts to celebrate live music in the Mountains.
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Earthly Delights with Meg Benson on 89.1FM
Giving back funds to out community.
The Haze Mag
Blue MTNS Creative Arts Network
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