At The Bar with Cabaret Singer Jono Francisco

Melbourne cabaret and jazz singer Jono Francisco hits the stage at The Kelvin Club next month, bringing a repertoire of jazz standards and jazzed-up pop songs for a special dinner and show on 5th April – and joined by John McAll on concert grand piano duties.

Francisco, who also works as an event producer and stylist and ran his own cabaret venue Jono’s Piano Bar in Prahran until last year, is a much-loved Melbourne personality and man about town. He talks to The Write Drop for our At The Bar series.


Melbourne – I love living here for the culture, the concerts, food, the late-night clubs and bars as well as events from the small to the major. There is so much going on!


I went to the closing night of Pearl – Geoff Lindsay’s restaurant. The Pearl Meat dish, the Vietnamese Chicken coleslaw and the Duck Curry are dishes I will never forget.


Dry Martini with lemon twist. Dry, like my humour, classic like the jazz standards that I sing and it is a staple drink of the Rat Pack, who are an inspiration for my show. A twist added like the poptastic songs I add to my repertoire which are a surprising zing to the classic cocktail of jazz.


Hair of the dog or junk food or both.


The Beresford Hotel. An institution in Sydney, particularly the Sunday afternoon where I drink vodka soda and fresh lime. “Skinny bitches” as they are known- consumed to keep me trim for the fit party set of Sydney.


Giaconda Chardonnay my friend Shiva Singam and I found at the Spread Eagle Hotel in Richmond for half the price of most other bars and restaurants. We emptied their cellar going every week, convinced we were basically making money on drinking it – as is was so reasonably priced.


Point Leo Estate. The sculpture garden is amazing and the food and wine is just as good.


I’m heading to the new cocktail bar/nightclub Voltaire at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas to see one of Kylie Minogue’s last Vegas residency shows. Mark Burnett of Princess Highway fame, who dressed Kylie back in 1999 for the ‘Intimate and Live’ tour, is flying in from New York to join me. Fingers crossed we get to meet her backstage after the show.

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