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Byron Shire
March 20, 2023

New Kat in town

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Tonight sees the opening of the Blue Kat at Byron’s Soho Lounge.

Curated by Amanda Bennett, aka Burlesque Queen and singer Belle Bennett, Amanda chatted with Seven about what to expect.

Tell me about your concept for the Blue Kat?

In 2007 I was lucky enough be part of the local jazz scene that was created by The Blue Birdy, which was a weekly club brought to us by singer Natalie Carey and the late (great and mega-talented) David Ades. Unfortunately the club stopped running a year or so later and we no longer had a venue where we could get together with like-minded lovers of jazz and appreciate the sophisticated style of this genre. I then asked David more than a year ago whether he would like to revive the club, and then, unfortunately, he was diagnosed with cancer so it was not meant to be. So, this year I decided, as a 41-year-old woman who rarely goes out in town, to bring back a weekly club where I would like to go and listen to jazz and blues music that I and so many others love and appreciate.

What kind of feel do you want the room to have?

Picture this: You walk into a room where the intimacy and cosiness allow you to truly be part of the show, the scene. You relax into the booth-style seating, order a wine, a cocktail a beer or some tapas and the atmosphere makes you feel truly at home. The music is inviting with its range, diversity, richness and beauty. You tap your feet, shake your head and feel the sound flow through you. You’re now part of The Blue Kat.

What is some of the exciting stuff that we have to look forward to?

Our opening night will feature our resident trio: Steve Russell on keys, Thierry Fossemalle on double bass and Dave Sanders on drums. The Blue Kat is extremely lucky to have these top jazz musicians. For our opening night and in the weeks to come we will have local jazz and blues vocalists to open the night with a few songs, followed by some kick-arse instrumentals by our trio and then some beautiful heartfelt melodies from our headline singer. February 26 will feature Leigh Carriage. The coming weeks will then see the likes of Sharny Russell, Dee Dee Lavell, and Mohini Cox grace the stage as our headline vocalists. In addition we will also have some exceptional guest musicians such as trombonists, saxophonists, guitarists and percussionists joining our trio and, to mix it up, on occasions we will have featured bands.

If you are interested in performing at The Blue Kat, contact Amanda at www.facebook.com/TheBlueKatByron.

The Blue Kat opens this Wednesday. Doors open at 7pm for $8 sunset cocktails; show runs from 8pm till 10.30pm. Entry fee: $12 on the door.


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