Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hometown Hunt: The Jazz Cellar

As much as I love to travel, and daydream about ticking off all those many countries on my 'to visit list', I also love my city. I live in Perth, Western Australia. Compared to other states such as New South Wales and Victoria, Western Australia isn't as 'well known'; especially once you consider that Perth is one of the most isolated cities in the world. Over the years, Perth had a bit of a stigma for being 'boring', especially among the youth. I have always maintained the belief that Perth is interesting, you just have to know where to look, and once you're in the know, you'll be amazed by what is waiting to be discovered. This is now even more the case, as Perth is really coming into its own with so many cool restaurants, bars and arts projects popping up. When I talk to my parents about Perth back in the day, they are amazed by how much it has changed. There really is so much to do and so much to discover. I find myself falling more and more in love with my city each day.

I was recently made aware of a project by Eventbrite, an online platform that helps people discover events taking place in their city and also allows people to manage their own events through the website and sell tickets. The project in question is called the Hometown Hunt Campaign in which bloggers share their favourite places in their respective cities. I was eager to take part, so set out to discover a place that is indicative of Perth's colourful and exciting lifestyle and arts scene.

The Jazz Cellar
The Jazz Cellar has to be one of Perth's best kept secrets, and is possibly one of Perth's most exciting live music venues, open Friday nights only. A small underground venue that hosts up to 100 people, the Jazz Cellar was created by Corner House Jazz Band, a group that has been playing jazz for over 19 years. While it is not a licensed food or drinks venue, you're free to bring your own. My companion and I decided to order pizzas from a local joint (which also delivers to the cellar), but I also found myself eyeing off a few of the platters some people had brought along; I'll be sure to bring my own picnic next time! 

A big part of The Jazz Cellar's allure and mystique is the fact that it doesn't advertise itself a great deal and relies primarily on word of mouth. In addition to minimal signage, The Jazz Cellar is a little hard to find as it's located in an alley behind a Salvos and, get this, the entrance is via an old phone booth. I'm a sucker for novelties like this, so to me, it promised a night of thrills. We got there a little early (6pm), and the performance didn't start until 7:30pm. However, The Jazz Cellar is a lovely intimate place ideal for socializing with friends and mingling with strangers. 

Of course, the music was the highlight of the night. Throughout the evening, the band played a repertoire of traditional live vintage jazz that was upbeat and fun, making it almost impossible not to want to dance or to tap one's foot along. Even if you don't feel like dancing, it's just as fun to sit back and enjoy the music and watch the players have a ball of a time; they have such character! I also really enjoyed watching resident dancer Robin dance with different partners throughout the night. He was certainly a hit with the ladies.

All in all, I had one of the most enjoyable evenings ever at The Jazz Cellar. You're assured all kinds of entertainment in the friendly and jovial joint. I was a little sad to climb back up the stairs, exit the phone booth and leave behind a world reminiscent of 1920s New Orleans at the end of the night, but this just means that I am determined to re-visit this hidden gem again.

The Jazz Cellar:
Scarborough Beach Rd & Buxton Street, 
Mount Hawthorn WA 6016

*Tickets can be ordered online or at the door for $25. Visit The Jazz Cellar Website for more information here
*This post was in collaboration with Eventbrite for their Hometown Hunt project.

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