Update: The Newport Jazz Festival 2 & 3rd May 2020

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Venues and Bands ; The Captain and I have spent the week trying to rustle up more venues – and the funds to pay for them. We now have more bands that have registered their interest than we currently have space for. Some of them are damn good, too. This week’s haul: a few trad bands on the old crusty wing, and avant garde Aurora Lumina at the other edge. Much talk of “spectrum” this week, as we are keen to offer a wide range of jazz styles.

The missing musician malarkey: We have a surprisingly large database of musicians – some of whom would be eagerly awaiting your call if you are one or two short.

The Committee: Met this week, cast a despairing eye over the bar chart (it is going vertical as we speak) and set about planning a media campaign.

Facebook/Whats App/Twitter: Facebook site up and running, thanks to the Bowls Club boys.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2493681420846205/

Susie has Instagram in hand

The Website We have put up details and photos on the first 40 or so bands, a few more still to come. Next task is to get some interior shost of the venues – they are surprisingly shmicko, with two big stages in the Bowls club and the RSL.

Check out the website here and like it on your Facebook page.

The Jammers Bit

Welcome Back week at the Post…

What an unexpected surprise! The theme this week was undoubtedly set by the number of jammers returning, in one case after at least three years (looking at you, Tony!)

Yuko Onishi, Singer

Geoff the piano made a welcome return, as did Ian – can’t remember when he last jammed but I do remember his guitar playing. Russell back on the sticks -haven’t seen him for a while – POCKOTL in attendance with Rod, Bette, and a moderately second hand looking Bec, who has been in the wars. Slawie, for the second week running aced the bass department, with Pete following up with a fine set. Drummers also included Michael Happysnaps Findlay, and Hirsh the Carpet (should have mentioned his band at PFJF, but it will only encourage him).

The regulars were there : Jeff on clarinet, Alan smooth on sax, Laurie even smoother, and red hat Cardinal Calamatta popped in for a whirl through a few standards.

The singers were out in force as ever – Kay, Carol, Jane, joined by Nurul shaking off the rust, and Kevin singing Take the A train in the wrong, albeit default, key. Susanna showed up later, and I missed her singing. Tye sang with heaps more confidence, and put in a neat set as a result, That’s Why the Lady is a Tramp the highlight. Getting better and better.

Pianists included Peter G and Gentleman John Curtis, a set from Richard, and Malcolm to follow. Newcomers included a nervous Barbara who played some neat drums and seemed to enjoy it. Hope she comes back. And of course, newcomer Ennes was the only Bosnian playing oboe. He made it sound simple.

Michael (sax) and his offsider, who remains a nameless guitarist/singer because I forgot to get his name, put up a rather lengthy set, not without its charms. The suspicion remains that these are carefully rehearsed and we will throw them at an impromptu line up next time. You know it makes sense.

Then Gilbert brought his own pianist, Sharon for a trot through some Festival material. Sounded good. Posh or what.

I understand that stumps were eventually drawn at around 8.30 and a fine if raucous time was had by the night watch. Definitely one of the better jams all round.

So… at 36 musos all up, this equalled the second busiest session ever, and props to the Captain who wielded his list skilfully and got everyone the spot they came for.

See ya this Sunday?
TW

Jam Session Number 6 of 2020

This week’s jam is on Sunday 23rd February from 4.00pm at the Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman, all over the Front Bar.

Mingus Week went off as expected last week – everyone completely ignored it, which is, let’s face it, in the finest traditions of the Jammers. So this coming week, we will be having Cock-Up Week, with prizes for the winners.

Everyone is expected to bring their own cock-up chart, but feel free to try them out in joint formation. Perfection, as ever, will be frowned upon. If you are too modest to bring your own chart to cock up, then by all means cock up someone else’s material. They won’t mind a bit, because they will be too busy looking to return the favour..

If we can get enough cockups occurring at the same session, we may even be able to declare it a debacle. And we all enjoy those, don’t we?.

See ya there..

Next Jam this Sunday 4.00pm at the Post Hotel

Next Jam is on Sunday at 3.30pm

The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman Street

You can park on St Kilda Road (Sunday, no restrictions). Public parking is available on Bath Street, just past the Hotel on Inkerman Street (same side as Post Hotel). Tram 3/3a or 67 down St Kilda Road from the City if they are running, or take a helicopter, land elsewhere and get an Uber. Or walk. Or take the bus, but fer gawdsake bring it back. Or come the next week instead. Bring the spouse, collect double points if it is someone else’s.

The Wednesday Night session: Yuko!

At the Post Hotel, Wednesday 26th February, 6-8pm

Next week sees the third jammers’ gig, with singer Yuko heading up a quartet comprising Dave Taylor on Bass, Alan Richards on drums, meself on keys and quite possibly Alan West on saxophone. This spiffingly under – rehearsed quartet (at least we can count) will be running through the Onishi play book in front of an adoring crowd of about, well, I am not sure how many…

But we would like to see you there – light supper and a bevvy of some sort would be a midweek treat n’est ce pas? And Yuko at her best is rather entertaining. Starts at 6.00pm, goes to 8.00pm

The Jammers Bit

Meanwhile, back at the Post…

Well, a few of us shot through to Port Fairy (see below) leaving the nearly famous B team to disport themselves as they wished at the famed landmark and watering hole, also known as the Post.

Rashly, or perhaps not, we left Miss Kay to wield the organisational rattan cane as required, aided and abetted by the Debster. The girls had a pretty good time of it, what with a few of the regulars holding it up, and a few newbies adding a touch of class. Discipline was excellent, I am told.

Precocious youth, John Bell and The Debster

So… props to Peter G and the Curtis on keys, Richard Gale who struggled with Yuko‘s choice of ‘orrible key for A train, and ‘orrible chart for Round Midnight. Slawie dropped by, first time in a while, Shahar and Jonathan, fresh from busking at South Melbourne market, joined in to show us all how it should be done, and John Perri put up a longish session on drums. With regulars Anton (bass) Okto (guitar), John Bell (trumpet), plus all the names I didn’t recognise, a pretty good line up.

All told, seventeen musicians darkened the door, threw hats metaphorically in the ring, and had a good time anyway. Maybe more next week?

Upcoming opportunities for a gig

Mike at the Post has offered us three Wednesday night spots at the post – 26th Feb, 25th March and 25th April, each to be a two hour slot for a quartet (piano, bass, drums and soloist) and singer. This has come about following the two sessions we did with Katerina Myskova and Jess Dams.

If you would like to get involved, let us know at the jam session.

The Next Jam Session

Jam Session Number 5 of 2020: Mingus Week

… will be this Sunday, 16th February at 4.00pm. At The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman Street. And all those who went to Port Fairy last week will have to stand in a queue at the back until you are forgiven. The (slightly famous) B Team will have bragging rights for one week. Actually they will probably get them again when Inverloch is on.(6th -9th March)

New Jammers venue: The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman Street

Despite St Kilda being locked shut for the Festival last week, I am reliably informed that the traffic and parking situation will be back to normal. (i.e. moderately awful, like every else ) Get a tram, bicycle, charabanc, maybe steal an electric bicycle from one of those ghastly food deliverers, strap on the roller skates, or just walk to the Post.

Mingus Week: Bass players wearing a goatee beard, dark glasses and clutching a Lester Young style busted porkpie hat will be admitted free. Everyone else will be admitted free too.

Port Fairy Jazz Festival

And what of the Port Fairy Jazz Festival weekend?

A good time had by all. Quite a few regular and occasional jammers were seen wandering the streets of a windy but sunny Port Fairy. Only their fourth Festival and this is well established on the annual roster – probably the biggest Festival in country Victoria already.

Annie Smith, sporting three broken legs, a suntan, and a cheerful attitude was there. So was the Jess Dams Quartet, Breakout, and surprise hit of the Festival, Jack Morris’ Port Phillip Showband who put up a cracker of a set – acceptance for the Newport Jazz Festival confirmed. Festival regulars such as Ron Anderson, Roger Clarke and Sarah Maclaine all shone. Of course there was some rubbish as well, but we weren’t responsible for all of it…

Jess, Mac, Peter and meself put in a fund raiser at Narrowong on the Friday night – they budgeted on selling 30 tickets and ended up selling 70 – Jess had a great night and they have asked us back.

Jess Dams – fund raising in Narrowong before the Festival

The Jammers Bit

The Castlemaine Jam Session:

A quick sortie up the Calder got me to t the Maurocco Bar last Sunday. Gwynn at the door, John Hannah doing the technical thing, Ken Turnbull the opening numbah, whilst Crafty old Mauro is making a motza out of this – it is the busiest day of the week for the Maurocco Bar. A lively afternoon, from Jaz Stutely and her band, through to Norm Gray and a few hot players at the other end, with Don from Halls Gap in between, all held together by Maggie Jackson and one of the rare occasions when the C Jam has out numbered the P Jam. Probably because neither meself, nor the Hirsh nor Alan Richards nor Brian made it to the Post.

Highlights of the day included a tuba, washboard and banjo, Norm’s trumpet playing and a lady (Cathy?) playing violin and singing rather well. The Hirsh played a slightly confused solo on drums (it wasn’t him doing the confusing), Brian thinks he can get away with the same Everyday I have the Blues, but he can’t because the St Kilda Post mafiosi were there., and Alan was, well, just Alan because that is what he is good at.

The Maurocco remains a great venue, and the crowd in attendance are a cruisy lot.

Pip Avent, Tuba and his trad band at Castlemaine

Meanwhile, back at the Post…

I am indebted to the local snout, aka Chaos, for his pithy comments on the jam session – a quieter one than usual, but some good stuff coming from it – he picked out the John Bell/Jeff Harris Philharmonic Orchestra for being particularly articulate, Roger Clark and the Debster for entertaining, and a newcomer (Marganita, but I am sure I have got that wrong) who sang rather well, and whom he hopes will come again. And a dancer (Natalie?) who, well, danced. No, can’t read my notes, who danced well.

The Debster – all frocked up

Michael on guitar was too loud, his off sider Michael on sax really good. Turn up the sax, turn down the axe and come again!

Tye copped the dodgy microphone, or dodgy microphone lead. Sorry, will try and find a solution next week.

So… nobody died, nothing got broken, and a good time was hopefully had by all, although you all left before the free beer ran out, pub burnt down, the Fire Brigade arrived in fancy dress, the PA system worked properly, the tigers were let loose and the drugs wore off. None of which may not have happened. I wouldn’t know, I wasn’t there.

25 musos all up, and a splendid afternoon’s entertainment.

Next week: We might suggest you stick to the black notes, they are cheaper. We might not.

The Fourth Jam Session of 2020

Will be this Sunday, 9nd February at 4.00pm. At The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman Street. And it promises to be an unmitigated disaster as all the muso regulars with an unnecessarily high opinion of themselves will be at Port Fairy, leaving everyone else to dive in and misbehave in their absence. Otherwise known as the (slightly famous) B Team.

Plenty of parking around the Hotel possibly due to the fact that no-one has taken over the area for coal mining, gas fracking or pop tunes done badly. Wide open spaces really, just the spot for your ageing Rover 90 Series 1, Datson 180Y with no seat covers, or similar… and then in to the warm but familiar confines of the Post, for a soothing ale or three.

The Newport Jazz Festival – this week’s updoot

Stop messing about, we are up to pussy’s bow with bands. Going to see the Hobson’s Bay City Council wallahs for an update and see if they have got any spare venues. The Captain over achieving again. Why are we not surprised.

The Website

Subtle addition of Newport Jazz Festival.com.au as a reserve website. Should automatically bounce through to melbornejazzjammers.com.au which is the actual website. Jess has been working on the band updates, but they have come in so fast we can barely keep up.

Festival badges:

The proofs are in

Posters:

Susie V and the Debster are getting quotes for graphic design. Woo Hoo!

Check it all out at

melbournejazzjammers.com.au

The Jammers Bit

31 seems to be the new normal

Not that we would ever accuse anyone at a Jam Session of being normal, but for the second week in a row, there were 31 musicians at the Caelidh, all keen for a bit of a fling, and, by the end of the evening, all had been, hopefully, been accommodated. Well done Captain Chaos, although it was a close run thing… 12 singers was the feature of the arvo. Each sang three songs, suitably elongated to accommodate various soloists.

John Bell and Rose

Pick of the singers this week was a fine set from Jane, from Yuko, Kerry and Aimee, sweet afters from Rose, welcome back, patience from Kay, with the cheese and biscuits course supplied by Gilbert, and Susanna who you may remember from Leinster Arms days – or not as the case may be. Carol put up a confident set, and Tye surprised some of us (mainly me) by putting in a fine version of My Way. More to come from the lad…

Of the soloists, Alan, Jeff and Laurie saxed things up, and John Bell continues to glow brighter on trumpet by the week.

Laurie looking worried, Ivan and Malcolm

I am sure I have forgotten to mention somebody other than the drummers, and bass players, all of whom I have managed to ignore entirely because you can from time to time. Oh alright, here’s a pic of Chantelle with Pete on Bass, Malcolm on keys.

Chantelle on drums – welcome back!

We finished rather late due to having to fit in over 30 musicians – again. Pizza on the way home. It really is the new normal.

The Third Jam Session of 2020

Will be this Sunday, 2nd February at 4.00pm. At The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman Street. Lots to look forward to – John Curtis will be on keyboards starting shortly after breakfast and finishing in the middle of the night. I have been invited to the Castlemaine Jam, forward to which I am rather looking.

Plenty of parking around the Hotel (Bath Street is the go – it is off Inkerman behind the Post). Come to think of it, everything is off Inkerman, other than Inkerman itself. Or just waddle in with ya weapon of choice, get yer name on the list and whoops you’re in..

Enthusiasm essential, charts a bonus, performance anxiety optional, and competence to be well concealed as a kindness to others…

Update: The Newport Jazz Festival May 2nd and May 3rd, 2020

The Captain keeps posting more bands to the website wranglers – and we are now full of big bands which is a great headache to have.

The Two bands per musician malarkey: As a small Festival, we decided at the outset that we would limit all musicians to a maximum of two bands. This has a significant benefit for the playing programme as there are a lot less “clashes” to avoid. If you are still looking for a band to play with, why not give Col a call – the number is on the Contact tab of the website.

The Committee: Met this week, we now over 40 bands registered – and the Committee has been discussing ways of shooting the laggards should we be over subscribed.

Facebook/Whats App/Twitter: someone tell me how we do this. Please. Still waiting

Promo Cards: seemed like a few of you liked the idea of double sided cards. Going fast.We will get some more soon.

The Website Jess has given a much needed spruce up to the website with updated information and photos of at least some of the bands. We have also sorted out the Paypal situation though the handy expedient of disabling the option. Some payments have gone through on Paypal, and some will have been refunded.

Check out the website (updated) , like it on your Facebook page

https://www.melbournejazzjammers.com.au/

The Jammers Bit

Here we go again!

This week’s Jam marked the beginning of the Year for most of us, the beginning of a hectic week for many of us, and a great way to avoid the weather for all of us.

Long story short, there were 31 musos in attendance, POCKOTL back where she belongs, Bette in yellow, and the rest of us in clover. Seems like everyone came back from a break full of renewed vigour and there was a happy vibe about the place.

Started with a Committee meeting which was a riot in itself, Susie came to see what we were on about, left none the wiser, but will take up the role of Media/Marketing/Sponsorship/Promotion. Haven’t got a clue what she will do next meeting… but great to see her on board.

So… Mme Kay back, a bit to my surprise as I thought she was in Darwin, but a bright start to the year, Jeff H on soprano sax. He started brilliantly which left him far too much downside later on, but does anyone appreciate how difficult it is to get a soprano to sound like something other than a strangled cat? Alan West as benign a ever, John on trumpet patient then pretty good – no, bugger it, probably as good as we have heard him. Terry on guitar rather smooth, the usual contingent of drummers (Steve Bray, Michael Happy Snaps Findlay, Mac,) with Mr “Carpet” Hirsh himself the pick of them with a fine late solo on Sunny.

Trevor Prasad put in a brief piano stint, pretty sweet, but only after Peter Garam had (a) started the session, and (b) continued to play pretty well – back next week ?

John, with Steve Bray and Peter Garam backing him

A bunch of new faces whose names I probably haven’t got, Yuko and Aimee both sang solo then duo later on, Deborah waltzed in with a confident set, maybe the pick of the singers this week. Ashley de Wang rounded out the arvo with a suite of Sinatra songs and way too many saxophone players, then Gilbert maintained his reputation as Mr Smooth – look out for his band Gilbert and Swing the Boogie at the Festival – should be a shoo in for best new band name. And that brought us to a late conclusion. Nice work Lads!

Aimee and Yuko, with a (very small) Hirsh in the background

In the middle of which, the jammers raised $176.20c for the bushfire appeal. (receipt attached!)

Nice One!

The Second Jam Session of 2020

Will be this Sunday, 26th January at 4.00pm. At The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman Street. If you missed last week’s sesh, all the more reason to dip your toe in the pool this week. Plenty of parking around the Hotel (Bath Street is the go – its off Inkerman behind the Post). Just waddle in with ya weapon of choice, get yer name on the list and whoops you’re in..

Hope to see you there.

Another fine crowd
all photos by Michael Findlay

No advice for the desperates this week – you will just have to wing it.

Update: The Newport Jazz Festival May 2nd and May 3rd, 2020

The Captain has developed a taste for the beer and now needs to liaise with the Newport Bowls boys on a regular basis. Wrangling the bands a treat!

The Navy Band has confirmed, and that is a very big deal. Whoo Hoo!

The Committee: Met this week, we now have 40 bands registered – and the Committee has been discussing ways of shooting the laggards should we be over subscribed.

Facebook/Whats App/Twitter: someone tell me how we do this. Please.

Promo Cards: seemed like a few of you liked the idea of double sided cards. Going fast.

The Website Jess de Webmeister is back from the land of the long white Pom, and will hopefully start polishing the Festival website as soon as she reads this.

Check out the website (updated this week) , like it on your Facebook page

https://www.melbournejazzjammers.com.au/

Next Jam this Sunday 4pm at the Post Hotel

Next Jam is on Sunday at 4pm

The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman Street

You can park on St Kilda Road (Sunday, no restrictions). Public parking is available on Bath Street, just past the Hotel on Inkerman Street (same side as Post Hotel). Tram 3/3a or 67 down St Kilda Road from the City if they are running, or take a helicopter, land elsewhere and get an Uber. Or walk. Or take the bus, but fer gawdsake bring it back. Or come the next week instead. Bring the spouse, collect double points if it is someone else’s.