Nothing got broken, nobody died… read on
Done and dusted, the Second Castlemaine Jazz Festival, a whole lot bigger than the first, went off without a hitch. Despite the weather being colder than a mother-in-law’s kiss, it stayed dry. Amazing how many people came up to say they were having a lot of fun. That was the idea, actually.
Standout bands, for mine anyway, were Glass Moon, Blow Out Big Band, John Macgill’s Undectet and anything with Ade Ish, Chelsea Allen or preferably both in it. And the incomparable Nicole Thorne
The Venues: Castlemaine Old Gaol was a sensational venue. The New Northern went all out and nearly ran out of food (I saw the manager running to the corner store on the Sunday…), Five Flags manager Mick had a grin a mile wide, Run Rabbit Run sold out and stayed shut on Monday they were so knackered, The Bridge Hotel ran out of beer, the Food Garden surprised by having the best acoustics of any venue, and Mark Anstey;’s ludicorusly eccentric Lot 19 saw some great performances – Ruby Rogers with Avi Ganesan playing out of his skin, BLT’s providing a great wrap up session on the Sunday.
The Jam Sessions: Roscoe and the Queensland boys kept Helen at the Cumberland busy every night, çause that’s what they do best. All three Jam Sessions (at the Cumberland) ran to 12.30 every night. I counted 90 people in there on Friday, and the other two nights were even busier.
The Jazz Train was a huge hit with the audiences, but the muso’s found it difficult to play when the train swayed from side to side. Not drinking enough, probably.
Bob Sedergreen’s Masterclasses were probably the highlight of the Festival – both sessions well attended – and his exploration of the different jazz styles was nothing short of brilliant.
The Volunteers were fantastic, the Box Office ran like clockwork (props to OberGruppenFeuhrer Mary Dunne for that one): and Doug Kuhn and the Captain worked long and hard to wrangle equipment, musicians and still find time to play some great sets.
And will we do it again next year?