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New digital project puts St Kilda's jazz heritage on the map

25 Aug 2017

New digital project puts St Kilda's jazz heritage on the map

The St Kilda Jazz Heritage Tour is a digital project conceived and created by writer and filmmaker Kaye Blum. It documents St Kilda's significant jazz history through its venues from the 1920s to today with an interactive map pinpointing key locations. Users can self-navigate a walking tour with a mobile device or explore the website from a desktop. A click on each of the map’s 37 pins leads to details of St Kilda’s key jazz places and people.


The project introduces three core eras of jazz in St Kilda: the dance halls and ballrooms of the 1920s-1950s, coffee lounges and clubs of the 1930s-1960s, and pubs and bars from the 1970s to today.

It includes 23 video clips of musicians and others with insights to St Kilda’s jazz history, including legendary music producer Bill Armstrong who started recording jazz in the 40s. She has also spoken to Horst Liepolt, Ted Vining, Nick Polites and others involved in important jazz incubators like Jazz Centre 44. Three videos pay tribute to important St Kilda jazz personalities no longer with us: Denis Farrington, Ruby Carter and Gil Askey and there is a strong representation of women from the big band and coffee lounge eras who had storied careers.

The project was funded through the Victorian Government’s Rockin’ the Laneways program which supports initiatives that celebrate and promote Victoria’s rich music history. It is also supported by Auspicious Arts Projects.

Take a tour of St Kilda's Jazz history:


Image: Grace Funston Orchestra, c.1940s, courtesy of the Australian Jazz Museum



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