Hitting all the right notes at Studio 188

To say Brittney Kahl is passionate about nurturing Ipswich’s music and arts scene feels like somewhat of an understatement.

It does not quite do justice to the enthusiasm that immediately radiates as she begins talking about Studio 188, Ipswich’s most intimate performing arts and live music venue.

Her excitement is high because the wraps are about to come off a re-energised lineup of events, beginning with the first instalment of Groove & Grape for 2019 this Friday.

It is all part of a plan to develop a thriving live entertainment and creative arts hub at Studio 188, which is on Brisbane Street in the Top of Town precinct in a building that was once a Baptist church.

“Studio 188 is a really unique and important community venue with a lot of potential, and the upcoming 2019 performance program is a great way to support Ipswich talent,” Brittney, who oversees performance bookings at the venue, said.

Brittney speaks from a place of understanding when she discusses nurturing the Ipswich arts scene, having been a part of it most of her life.

“When I was five years old, I was very fortunate to be selected by (the late) Mrs Isabel Larcombe to attend private singing lessons,” Brittney said.

“Since then, singing and working in the arts and entertainment industry is all I’ve ever wanted to do.

“I’m a born and bred Ipswich girl from Blackstone and I don’t have any plans to leave anytime soon, I love Ipswich.

“The Ipswich City Council has embraced that Ipswich has a very vibrant arts and culture scene, and is committed to providing opportunities to local musicians and artists through professional development, performance and networking events.

“I believe if we can continue to support the Ipswich arts scene, particularly by providing a platform for artists to showcase their talents locally, then the future looks bright for our growing community.”

Four regular offerings are at the core of Studio 188’s program in 2019. They are Groove & Grape; Live! At the Baptist; Ipswich Unearthed in conjunction with council’s Protege Master Classes; and Saturday Sessions.

“Groove & Grape is an evening of live jazz featuring up and coming performers from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music,” Brittney said.

“Come and wind down on a Friday evening and enjoy a relaxing night of jazz music with friends without having to head into Brisbane.

“This year we’ve made some tweaks to the events lineup at Studio 188 to provide a wider range of genres to better accommodate our audience’s varied musical tastes.

“We’re really focused on creating a quality experience for our patrons at Studio 188 and one of the changes people will notice at Groove & Grape evenings is the recent addition of cheese platters, which can be pre-purchased at the time of buying tickets.”

Join Jessica Spina, a second year student at the Queensland Conservatorium and known for her relaxed and genuine performance style, at 8pm on Friday, 1 February as she kicks off the 2019 Groove & Grape series.

As well as regular programmed events, Studio 188 has a diverse mix of community and touring shows booked for the months ahead.

Know more about Studio 188’s lineup

Groove & Grape: An intimate showcase of talented jazz musicians from the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University. Held on the first Friday of each month. More info here.

Live! at the Baptist: Rock out with the latest and greatest indie artists from across South East Queensland, including up and coming touring and local songwriters and bands. More info here.

Ipswich Unearthed: Join this musical journey of discovery as Australia’s next sizzling pop sensation, country rock legend or singer-songwriter is uncovered. This series is part of Ipswich City Council’s Protege Masterclasses program. More info here.

Saturday Sessions: From the soaring mountains of Ireland to the lively rhythms of the streets of Brazil, you never know where Saturday Sessions will take you at Studio 188, in this dynamic and culturally diverse music experience. More info here.

Find out more about Studio 188, including venue hire information, here.


Jessica Spina Quartet

When: February 1

From a young age, Jess Spina developed a passion for jazz and sharing music with others. She’s had the privilege of learning from renowned musicians such as Ingrid James, Kristin Berardi, Dave Spicer and Dr Irene Bartlett. Now in her second year at the Queensland Conservatorium, she’s been involved in many projects ranging from Big bands to Brazilian ensembles, soul/RnB groups to standard Jazz settings. Her relaxed and genuine performance style draws audiences in and invites them to connect with the music and everyone on stage.

Book here.

Small Step

When: March 8

Small Step is a jazz trio formed in Brisbane, consisting of Dom Kingsford on bass guitar, David Watts on drums, and Kailan O’Dell on the piano. Each member not only brings their unique skills and playing styles to the group, but also a range of influences, resulting in a fresh and varied take on the electro-acoustic piano trio format. With a library of tunes that includes original compositions and arrangements of works from a catalogue of artists stretching from Pat Metheny to Pat Benatar, Small Step embraces the traditional piano-trio instrumentation with a contemporary perspective.

Book here.

Spencer Wilson Trio

When: May 3

The Spencer Wilson Trio featuring Spencer Wilson (guitar), Bede Prince (bass), and Dom Machen (drums) formed at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, where all three artists are studying. They seek to entertain by presenting a dynamic and communicative performance of Jazz based music, including material of well known Jazz standards alongside more modern tunes written by the Jazz giants of today. They love to explore original compositional work also.

Book here.

Studio 188 is Ipswich’s most intimate performing arts and live music venue.

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