The Boite’s new series, Song Appetit, puts a spin on the classic ‘dinner and show’ format

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The Boite’s new series, Song Appetit, puts a spin on the classic ‘dinner and show’ format

Photo by Peter Lamont
Photo by Michelle Dunn
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Words by Tom Parker & Anna Rose

Just like the ones The Boite has been hosting for years, the brand new acoustic event Song Appetit invites you to enjoy every detail and nuance of fine musicians, only this time, there’s a twist.

The musicians will join you for dinner! Part artist talk, part recital, these shows offer audiences unique insight into the musicians’ journey, their humanity, and their talent. Plus, to crown it all, food will be served during the evening, setting the scene for a relaxed conversation with the artists.

The Song Appetit concert series will take place across three monthly events in October, November and December – a format partly attributable to the incredibly full roster of shows happening at The Boite.

Up first is jazz musician Adam Simmons, a performer who The Boite’s Director of Creative Development, Eyal Chipkiewicz, says is one of the most truly collaborative and adventurous musicians he has worked with.

“He has no fear of stepping out of his comfort zone, if he even has one,” he says, “And will light up at the possibility of trying something new.

“We are very lucky that the timing was right for Alessandra Garosi, a most interesting Italian pianist that shares Adam’s barrier blasting attitude, to be here and share the night with him.”

Performing at the second Song Appetit event are South African artists Fem and Zvi Belling, two performers Chipkiewicz describes as powerhouses.

“Fem sings jazz in a way that you seldom have a chance to hear: exquisite and cultured. She melts you from the ears in. Zvi is just superhuman. He started, directs and plays bass for the Public Opinion Afro Orchestra, [and] composes and arranges for The Royal Swazi Spa. He also built and runs Rolling Stock Recording Studios, and he’s a practicing architect!

“They grew up in Apartheid South Africa and hail from a South African musical dynasty. For their Song Appetit, they want to highlight how making music as a family has been, for them, as important as sitting down to a meal with one.”

The third and final (in this run, anyway) event of Song Appetit comes from a man who needs no introduction – Richard Tedesco. The story of the Flamenco guitarist mirrors a timeline similar to that of The Boite’s. His performance, Chipkiewicz says, is not to be missed, closing the series with a very loud statement of evolution and identity.

“[Tedesco] has spent a lifetime learning, exploring and recreating a style of music that is, in a way, very geographically localised in the Iberian Peninsula,” says Chipkiewicz, “But he grew up in Melbourne and was no less fascinated or committed to pursuing Flamenco excellence than if he had been born in Seville.

“He is a blaring reminder that Australian music, today’s Australian music, is made up of a huge mix of ingredients and although it may sound like something you’d pinpoint elsewhere in the world, it is made here in Australia and it is Australian music.

“In Song Appetit, food will complement music in a very natural way: keeping people there, around the table, sharing the buzz and the energy, seeking to appease the curiosity that the stories heard in the first half piqued in everyone.

“The whole thing is quite informal, but having dinner together wants to make it even more relaxed, more of an opportunity to learn a bit more about the musicians. And with these musicians in the room, who knows, more music might erupt at any time.”

With an incredible reputation for putting on intimate concerts in small and homely venues. Chipkiewicz agrees that the authenticity of the raw performances given by The Boite should be presented in a stripped back and honest manner.

“The Boite is all about the power of music to bring people together, to turn the unfamiliar into something we can be comfortable with, to make strangers feel welcome and at home.

“And for this power to function, we don’t need the blaring speakers or dark hideaways of the nightclub. We just dim the lights a little bit and sit quietly to let the music transport us – and there is no better way to let music do its magic.”

Song Appetit comes to The Boite on Wednesdays October 30, November 20 and December 4. For tickets and more information, head to