Fringe World: Crazy Hat Day

Ellington Jazz Club

5 stars

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We’ve been waiting for Crazy Hat Day for awhile. My children have a high rotation of classical music so it was great to head into Northbridge as a family, eat Korean chicken for dinner and go to the Ellington for a jazz gig with Libby Hammer.

I was struck afresh by how chilled the jazz world is. Not that Libby Hammer isn’t professional – she’s a superstar – but my kids were so engaged and uninhibited. Maybe it was because we were all wearing silly hats! Or because Libby was just like a big kid herself?

Libby’s original songs were perfectly pitched for 3-8 year olds – obviously written by a mother! They were immediately accessible, educational and fun. Children were dancing, clapping, singing and queuing up to answer questions into Libby’s microphone. There was the Opposites Song, The Culinary Groove complete with a rap section, the hilarious Showertown or Bathberg, the heartwarming Music is Sound and the parent favourite the 123 Lullaby Waltz when all the children snuggled in for a cuddle. Libby worked her junior audience chatting, moonwalking and wearing a colander on her head for the Crazy Hat Song!

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Libby Hammer with Matthew, Tahlia and the colander

Libby was supported by an attentive three piece comprising Ben Matthews on piano, Alistair Peel on double bass and Michael Perkins on drums who grooved through funk, pop, blues and jazz by the end of the show.

It may also be worth mentioning that The Ellington is a licensed venue so you can get popcorn for the kids and a drink for yourself while you settle back listening to that iconic silky smooth voice that is Libby Hammer.

Now to get onto releasing that album of kids songs Libby, I could use Showertown at around 5:30pm tonight…

Crazy Hat Day continues on 24, 25 February.