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
dine and discover vouchers accepted at afternoon delights Series, Avalon.
Music Hunter and Avalon have been tossing soul sustaining lifelines to musicians and audiences with the Afternoon Delights concert series every Saturday 3pm-5pm since July 4th 2020 after Covid restrictions lifted. So far over the 12 months by March 2021, we've given work to 90 musicians and lifted the spirits of 900 audience members, and while the numbers were initially restricted to 19, Music Hunter has guaranteed fees and we just broke even, it's literally been a social enterprise.
Now the capacity is raised to 35, we are able to take a small contribution toward some of the hours spent running the project. Now that there is much more on offer these days, we have transitioned to fortnightly Afternoon Delights series events.
With most of the shows SOLD OUT it's a top tip to BOOK EARLY if you hope to attend some of these intimate events.
Hope to see you soon,
Meg, your Music Hunter.
"What Meg Benson does with her Music Hunter project in presenting Afternoon Delights downstairs at Avalon in Katoomba hugely enriches the cultural landscape of the Upper Mountains. She curates a wide diversity of music, with excellence being the common denominator, and in so doing she contributes to the cohesion of the community. Downstairs at Avalon is ideal for her purposes, especially in the COVID environment, the space being a rare example of one where social distancing and a sense of intimacy are not mutually exclusive. I had the pleasure to review the brilliant Vazesh (Hamed Sadeghi, Lloyd Swanton and Jeremy Rose) there on August 29 for The Sydney Morning Herald, and was struck by how ideal the room's acoustics are for presenting music that only requires minimal amplification."
DOWNSTAIRS at Avalon
18 Katoomba St, Katoomba 2780 NSW A menu of craft beers, local wines plus sweet and savoury delights are available at this charming retro venue.
SCROLL DOWN TO see gigs and Buy Tickets
Saturday, 19th June 2PM-4.30PM
DOWNSTAIRS Avalon, 18 Katoomba St,
1st set starts 2.30pm sharp
Tickets $35-Intimate venue- 30 seats
DINE AND DISCOVER VOUCHERS ACCEPTED
Craft beers, local wines + sweet & savoury dishes
'Passacaglia Nuova' is a Baroque Jazz ensemble featuring soprano Roberta Diamond, jazz guitarist Felix Lalanne and improvising double bassist Elsen Price.
The trio formed in 2021 with a combined passion for the various styles of Italian, English and French Baroque music, and the improvising language of jazz.
The trio has performed in Sydney to local acclaim. Individually, the members have led significant careers internationally, giving a broad sense of influence and individuality to some of Western Music's most creative works.
Roberta Diamond, currently studying at the Schola Cantorum Basilensis in Switzerland with Katarina Livljanic, and privately with Paul Farrington, specialises in the interpretation of medieval, renaissance and baroque music. She has appeared at festivals such as Trigonale Festival der Alten Musik, Laus Polyphoniae Antwerpen, the Utrecht Oude Muziek Festival, Mars en Baroque, the Goan Festival of Sacred Music in India and many more. She enjoys collaborating with folk musicians from all over the world in cross-cultural projects and especially enjoys singing in Arabic and Spanish, which she studied at university.
Felix Lalanne is an Australian freelance guitarist and composer. During his studies at the Sydney Conservatorium, he had the opportunity to learn and perform with some of Australia's leading jazz improvisers including: Mike Nock, Dale Barlow and Mike Rivett and international artists such as Reiner Baas. In 2015 he toured the U.S. with James Muller, David Theak and collaborated with Arturo Sandoval. In 2017, He was a finalist in the Montreux jazz guitar competition, returning in 2018 to perform with the Montreux Academy along side the other finalists and supporting Chick Corea’s acoustic trio. Some recent original music releases include: Freyja Garbett’s “Maya” (Nov 19’) and Avgenicos Brothers “Treading Water” (Sept 20’).
Elsen Price is a Sydney based double bassist and as a composer has won awards for movie scoring and has various works published. He has an extensive list of collaborators and work, highlights including: featured artist performances at Extended Play Festival, Vivid Festival, Sydney Festival, MONA, Audio Foundation (NZ), 810 Outfit Café (JPN), HAMU (CZRPBLC), Wells Cathedral (ENG), Stewart Melville College (SCTLND). Elsen is a strong advocate for Australian Music with 6 years as a volunteer presenter of ‘New Australia’ on Eastside FM plus is a committee member of the Australian Arts Party.
Dine and Discover tickets accepted for this show at Avalon.
Saturday, 17th July 2PM-4.30PM
DOWNSTAIRS Avalon, 18 Katoomba St,
1st set starts 2.30pm sharp
Tickets $40-Intimate venue- 35 seats only
DINE AND DISCOVER VOUCHERS ACCEPTED if received before June 30.
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.
Daryl has played at many of the great Australian jazz and blues festivals over the years.
After something of a creative hiatus dude to his’ last decade being spent predominantly as a tertiary educator at the University of Newcastle tutoring in voice, piano and songwriting, 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. In addition to being a highly in-demand musician and educator, Carl is also involved in many of his own performing and creative projects as both an instrumentalist/composer and a singer/songwriter.
You can expect to hear not only the entire new album Shake These Blues Away played cover to cover, but also some of Daryl’s favourite grooving tunes from his’ John Scofield with vocals project The Cat Within (2007).
You will also be hearing the first ever performance of some of the brand new tunes Daz is currently writing for his next blues album (working title In It For The Long Haul).
Au Revoir Hands plus Night Diver at
Afternoon Delights Concert Series
Saturday, 30th October 2PM-4.30PM
DOWNSTAIRS Avalon, 18 Katoomb St,
1st set starts 2.30pm sharp
Intimate venue- 30 seats
Craft beers, local wines
plus sweet & savoury dishes
1st Set- Night Diver is the solo music project of Cellist Emily Williams.
The music is immersive, melodic, soundscapes and meditative drones with her main instrument at the centre, augmented by sampled sounds of percussive glass, steel and kinetic toys. The multiple layers of cello and shimmering electronics are slowly interwoven evoking anticipation, longing & stillness.
The music is emotionally charged with revolving arpeggios which drift around a motif of atmospheric with low end drone-like ambience, disquieting moody melodies & airy experimental minimalism. Check out a youtube clip of Night Diver at Masson cavern.
2nd Set -Au Revoir Hands are:
Anthony Lyons and Emily Williams.
(see featured video)
Incorporating cello, buchla music easel synth, beats and samples they explore the worlds of experimental ambient pop and post-minimal electronics. Their music is richly textured and sonically unique with fragments, clicks and cuts sitting alongside effected cello and analog synth lines. They bring a raw expressiveness and live energy to their sound as they move between electronic atmospheres to driving rhythms made of loops, samples & glitched-out drum machines.
Neo-classical electronic music meets avant-pop.
Anthony and Emily have been collaborating together for most of their professional careers, having met in Melbourne and played together extensively on a number of recording and performance projects including the Electrundra AudioVisual Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival, the National Gallery of Victoria, and more recently at Islington Mill Manchester for IMPATv.
Au Revoir Hands formed from their dedicated pursuit to capture the magic they feel happens when they make music together! Although living in Melbourne and London for much of the past 10 years, they have continued to meet, record, develop and refine their sound world. Now, they are thrilled to release their debut album ‘Hemispheres’.
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.
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.
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 Gearin & Scenic 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.
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;
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.