Melbourne International Jazz Festival: Late night parties at The Cave with Si Jay Gould

THE Cave is a highlight of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. Home to a cornucopia of interweaving images and sounds, Victoria Brown listens in as underground orchestras play tribute to the roots and new budding leaves of jazz, led by Si Jay Gould. 

Si Jay Gould. Credit: Black Note Photography

Si describes the The Cave as a world where you don’t know when things are going to come at you, and this of course is part of it’s appeal.

Fourteen piece orchestras, afro-futuristic producers, break-dancers, rappers, Ethopian jazz pianists, and DJs will play to the late hours on three nights during the  Melbourne’s International Jazz Festival.

And the party will be held at the unique Kelvin Club venue, giving performers, and attendees the chance to enter a 130-year-old secret members only gentleman’s club.

“It’s very rare to have events that are open to the public, let alone ones that is as incredible as this and free as well,” Si says.

To further add to the atmosphere, Si will be working with Jean Pool (the design guru behind Gotye’s VJ stage show) to create a stunning visual installation with modular design units and digital mapping technology to respond to the theme of Jazz: Past/Present/Future.

“We’re also twisting the idea of what jazz is and what people perceive it to be, and following the spirit of jazz and how it’s come from swing then through to more forms of urban music and production and really letting our imaginations run free,” he says.

Besides The Cave, Si has also programmed several other events including The Bohemian Masquerade BallMelbourne Emerging Writers FestivalThe Gathering Festival and the Island Vibes Festival, but he also organizes and hosts Jazz Party, which is a pop up event that happens on Mondays on a month-on, month-off routine.

Jazz Party. Credit: Black Note Photography

“We run it at a different venue every time, we try and find unorthodox venues which don’t usually play loud music, let alone jazz, and we try to rip away the idea of what jazz is as well. It’s a Monday night party, it’s really raw, there’s no stage, there’s as little amplification as possible,” Si says.

“We move pianos into tailors and barber stores and we slowly build a residency, we first begin with small number and by the end, we end up with large ones. So it’s a very word-of-mouth type of party that happens underground.”

The Jazz Party is a pop up event that happens on Mondays on a month-on, month-off routine.

Si says the Jazz Party has attracted people who normally wouldn’t listen to the type of music they play.

“It has just become a little popular event, a little hot cesspool of talent,” he says.

He believes the key is to keep the Jazz Party free and to keep it in different environments.

“As soon as everyone gets into it, we take it away and come back somewhere else,” he says.

On a different note, Si also co-manages a contemporary future-soul band called Hiatus Kaiyote who has been receiving world-wide radio play (KCRW – LA, Gilles Peterson – London, NOVA –  Paris, Lefto – Brussels) and attention for their recent debut release and will tour Europe and USA in September and October.

Hiatus Kaiyote

He tells us more about the band in the video below.


Certainly Si Jay Gould is a big player in the Melbourne Jazz scene and as self-taught  promoter and producer it’s no wonder he is hosting, organising, and creating, all over Melbourne. He has come to be known as a young taste-maker for festivals, radio and magazines with his work stretching across the arts, music and film industries.

The Melbourne International Jazz Festival is on now till June 10. The Cave will be running on June 8 and June 9, from 10pm to 3am, and entry is free. You can register for the event on Melbourne International Jazz Festival’s website. If you want to catch Hiatus Kaiyote live, they will be playing at The Cave on June 9

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