Jazz and Jaffles: The Toff’s new residency combines childhood snacks with live tunes

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Jazz and Jaffles: The Toff’s new residency combines childhood snacks with live tunes

jazz and jaffles
Photo: Melissa Butters
Photo: Melissa Butters
Photo: Chelsea Picken
Photo: Chelsea Picken
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words by staff writer

There's a new Thursday night party in town and we guarantee it's unlike anything else out there. 

Every week, Moor Music’s Jazz and Jaffles takes over the Toff, offering a blast from the past in the best way. Bringing together a rotating cast of local musicians and a nostalgia-tinged menu, the event makes for the ultimate date night or get-together with friends.

We love a high/low mix, and there’s something about the intricate art of jazz paired with the simplicity of a childhood snack that just works.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here.

Jazz and Jaffles is a feast for the senses: toasty bread and melty cheese wafting out from the kitchen, sweet grooves echoing from the stage, the warm and inviting atmosphere in the Toff’s cozy lounge… chef’s kiss.

To make it even better, entry is free, although RSVPing is strongly recommended – it’s been known to get pretty busy.

To find out more, we caught up with musician and events producer Josh Olave of Moor Music, the father of the exciting new series.

Jazz and Jaffles – the name is definitely catchy, but how did you come up with the idea of bringing these two unlikely friends together? 

SPC jaffles and a side of about 10 scoops of Milo in a glass of milk have been my favourite treat since I can remember. This was my go-to after-school snack in the early days. 

Growing up in a poor house, we didn’t have too many food options in the cupboard other than canned goods and frozen bread. So we had to get creative and sometimes that meant stealing my father’s cheese from the fridge to make extra cheesy jaffles  (it was worth the wooden spoon, every time).

I’d come home from school every day and spend hours and hours playing Zelda, 007 Goldeneye, Pokémon and the like while enjoying these sweet afternoon treats. To this day it’s still one of my go-to comfort foods.

To get back to the original question, Jazz and Jaffles are an obvious amalgamation of two worlds for me. Before I started Moor Music I was seriously considering starting a jaffle food truck that would hop around the inner north, serving the exact same jaffles that are now on the menu on The Toff. 

The idea was to play local jazz records outside the truck while serving up some hot and steamy goodness to the punters. I wanted to lean into 90s and early 2000s nostalgia. Jaffles and Milo to draw people in, and then we could introduce them to some incredible local Jazz that they may not have otherwise found. I was also planning on taking the jaffle food truck to festivals around Australia. 

Since then, the concept has evolved and come indoors. 


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Tell us a bit more about this menu. I heard something about Milo cocktails?

The menu was a collaboration between myself and The Toff and truly a labour of love. We currently have three jaffles on offer: SPC Classic, Ham and Cheese and the delectable Banana and Nutella. 

Regarding the Milo cocktails, I’m stoked to say that you heard correctly! We have what I think may be the only Milo Espresso Martini on offer in the world, which is pretty wild, as well as a frothy, boozy Milo Shake with a cherry on top – both of which slap hard. 

Together, we’ve designed the menu experience to summon feelings of warmth and nostalgia while you kick back to a flood of live jazz in The Toff’s dimly lit, red-curtained ballroom; regardless of if you’re having a sip or a bite.

Jazz  and Jaffles has already been running for a few weeks now – what has the atmosphere been like so far?

To be honest it still feels like a fever dream and, I guess, to keep it simple, it’s just a really wholesome, sexy time filled with legends, good vibes, and some of the wildest jazz and soul I’ve seen to date. My friend described it like walking into the Mad Hatter’s tea party recently, which I loved and is holistically what we’re going for here. 

To paint the canvas a little further, I actively brief the musicians each week and remind them that this is not a background jazz gig. I encourage them to have fun and lean into the dark arts of jazz and soul. So far, they’ve done just that. Shout out THE CB3! You cats are loose. I won’t forget that set in a hurry. 

With the luxury of this new weekly residency, we are so excited to try all kinds of new things. Each week’s vibe is gonna be similar in atmosphere but also completely different and subject to the artists performing and the punters in the room at any given time. We are here to showcase our local talent and that means keeping things interesting. 

The demand for this experience has seen The Toff filled to the brim each night with so many interesting and beautiful people clunking Milo shakes, slamming down jaffles and completely losing themselves in the music and vibes. 

 Regardless of its title, these events have been created to heal your inner child in a new and playful way, using carefully curated food and cocktails as the time machine. 

For those who are new to jazz, what do you think makes it so exciting to see live?

Come see for yourself. There are a few things in this world that cannot be explained; live jazz and soul simply need to be experienced. 

You’ve got events running every Thursday, with rotating artists each week. Who are you most excited to host on the Toff stage? 

To be real, this is an impossible question for me to answer. Jazz and Jaffles and the artists we present each week are all so amazing in their own unique ways, and yeah, that’s that.

At this stage, it’s more about what the punter prefers. I love all of it. I orchestrate each month’s lineup for the people I know who are going to come every week. Every time it scratches a different itch, presenting new artists and a new experience. 

To check out everything on at the Toff, head here.