Queering The Pitch Goes Beyond The Binaries In Melbourne: Open Letter From Curator Mama Alto

Leaps And Bounds Music Festival nurtures the musically talented community of Melbourne.

Curated by gender transcendent cabaret performer and jazz singer Mama Alto, the programme includes an event called 'Queering The Pitch: The Second Outing'. 'Queering The Pitch' showcases the power of music when it comes to going beyond the binary.

With a clear vision on what to expect at the festival's event, Mama pens an open letter reflecting on last year's and looking forward to this year's.

“'Queering The Pitch' is a chance to show audiences the incredible talent of local queer musicians live, up close and in the intimate splendour of an incredible venue. The iconic Hares & Hyenas has been a hub for community and the arts for many decades.

More than a bookshop, this is a cafe, a bar, a performance stage, a gathering place, a meeting space, a gallery, and a place for the queer, rainbow, LGBTQ+ communities – and anyone, and everyone, really – to connect, to create, and flourish. It is a beloved second home to many, and has a special place in our hearts as performers. So when the City of Yarra’s arts and culture team first approached Hares & Hyenas' Crusader (Hillis) and Rowland (Thomson) to be part of the annual Leaps & Bounds music festival, and Crusader asked me to be a part of curating a queer music programme, all the pieces made sense and fit together.

Last year, our contribution to the festival – 'Queering The Pitch: Music Beyond The Binary' – was a phenomenal success, far greater than even we had anticipated. Bringing together Indigenous hip hop, avant-garde instrumentalists, experimental improvisers, jazz divas, comedy singer-songwriters and more, we infused the show with the richness and beauty that queer spaces hold, showcase and nurture.

This year, we are back again with 'Queering The Pitch: The Second Outing', and I am thrilled to be showcasing a mixture of both well-known local treasures such as William Elm and Dealing With Dinosaurs, emerging talents such as Mx Munro, niche geniuses like Lore Burns, and icons showing us a different side of themselves. Lou, best known as one half of Pink Flappy Bits, will be singing solo; Trio Of Dips will be serving mischievous and fruity cabaret; and I myself will be exploring the new works inspired by the relationship of jazz and the moon. And that’s just a couple of the astounding talents we have lined up for you!

'Queering The Pitch' is two nights of fabulous music, and also of glorious diversity – at its essence, showing the rich and vibrant complexities of humanity and bringing us all together for a wonderful time.”

'Queering The Pitch' plays Hares & Hyenas on 5-6 July, as part of Leaps And Bounds Music Festival.


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