Melbourne Recital Centre settles in for a big year with a huge February lineup

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Melbourne Recital Centre settles in for a big year with a huge February lineup

melbourne recital centre

If live music, culture, and new experiences were on your 2024 resolution list, you’ll tick it all off at Melbourne Recital Centre.

Last year, Melbourne Recital Centre provided an expansive list of live experiences that brought talent from every corner of the globe, as well as a host of local stand-outs. It really was the place to keep your finger on the pulse for experimentation in technology and art. 

This year, it seems that we can expect this to continue, as the MRC starts 2024 with a solid list of events that are well worth your time to celebrate their 15th birthday.

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

YoCiTY – Jarabi Band


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  • When: February 1
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

If you’ve been relaxing and keeping it low-key in January, the best way to get into the year is by hitting the Jarabi Band show at the very beginning of February.

You’ll hear their fresh Guinean fusion of killer vocals, lively beats and grandiloquent melodies. It’s a night full of energy and a feel-good trip from the ancient Manding Empire in West Africa to the modern sounds that Mohamed Camara, who hails from Guinea but now calls Melbourne home, creates.

Jarabi crafts a colourful mix of strong vocals, upbeat rhythms, and fancy tunes on the kora, guitar, saxophone, and balafon. They’re rolling out their latest release, Duniama, a Susu word that translates to ‘in this world.’

Spreading Guinea’s music and culture worldwide, the album is described as a ‘personal journey of life, loss, and love.’ You’ll hear heartfelt storytelling in Guinean Susu and Malinke, with music that hits you right in the feels. This is the best way to really get your year going.

Courtney Barnett


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  • When: February 2
  • Where: Elisabeth Murdoch Hall
  • Tickets here

Hometown hero Courtney Barnett rolls out her laid-back and contemplative album End Of The Day, along with some classics with two distinct sets this February.

Exploring a new chapter in her musical journey, End of the Day is Barnett’s instrumental album made up of improvisations written for the Anonymous Club doco.

The first set of the evening will be all about taking it slow, letting it burn, and embracing the beauty of Barnett wandering out of her comfort zone. Expect atmospheric, tonal, and textured instrumentals with help from Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint.

The second set gets back to the golden oldies of Barnett’s back catalogue, performed solo. This gig also marks the final album released under Barnett’s iconic label, Milk! Records, which she co-founded with Jen Cloher back in 2012. Don’t let this one slip through the cracks.

Divisi Chamber Singers – a love is a love is a love

  • When: February 3
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

Divisi is the youth-led non-profit crew backing up budding creative artists and shaking up the classical music scene with innovative works and projects.

Their debut album, Spectrum, is the first-ever classical record in Aussie history solely dedicated to LGBTQIA+ composers. As part of Midsumma Festival 2024, Divisi is showcasing a program featuring works from acclaimed Australian queer composers like Meta Cohen, Sally Whitwell, and Connor D’Netto.

Cohen, bagging the 2021 ABC Composer Commissioning Award, drops ‘a love is a love is a love,’ a moving cycle of queer love songs inspired by the poetry of Aussie queer writers.

Whitwell’s Spectrum is a masterpiece with multiple movements, capturing the different shades of the queer experience. And in a world premiere, Connor d’Netto’s latest piece takes cues from Bastian Fox Phelan’s touching narrative in Stove Photography, featured in the award-winning podcast Queerstories by Maeve Marsden.

Calexico – Feast of Wire 20th Anniversary Tour


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  • When: February 14 & 15
  • Where: Elisabeth Murdoch Hall
  • Tickets here

The musical wilds of the American Southwest come to Melbourne with Calexico, who, back in 2003, dropped their game-changing masterpiece, Feast of Wire.

It was the album that put them on the map, and over 20 years later, Joey Burns and John Convertino return to Australia to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The band is dropping a deluxe edition with remastered tracks and hitting the road for an international tour, playing the entire iconic album and beloved tunes from their extensive back catalogue.

With special guest Grace Cummings in tow, Calexico have added a second show to the MRC program due to popular demand. If you missed out on the first one, don’t miss the second!

Lonnie Holley + Moor Mother + Irreversible Entanglements

  • When: February 28
  • Where: Elisabeth Murdoch Hall
  • Tickets here

End the month on some Afrofuturist jazz with poet, musician, and activist Moor Mother, visual artist and musician Lonnie Holly and the jazz collective Irreversible Entanglements.

Moor Mother’s poetic lyrics and experimental electronica perfectly blend with Lonnie Holley’s powerful compositions, all while being complemented by some next-level free jazz.

These artists have an eclectic show for you, sometimes jamming together, sometimes doing their own thing, with certain drops from Moor Mother’s Jazz Codes, Lonnie Holly’s new album, Oh Me Oh My, which received the Pitchfork nod as one of the best albums of 2023, and Irreversible Entanglements’ latest release, Protect Your Light.

The mash of cosmic jazz, Afrofuturist poetry, folk, blues, and any other magic that springs up will be well worth the price of admission.

Melbourne Recital Centre’s February program runs from February 1 to 28. For the full program, head here.