Sunday Jazz at The Junktion Hotel … expectations, and surprises

As cold as a witches tit at the Junk this past week – hardly expected anyone to turn up, but they did. Hardly expected any singers, but in the end, we got to five. Didn’t expect anyone from Ballarat, but Bobby Ballinger arrived with some promos on the Australian Jazz Convention and winter jazz series, sang for his supper too. Continue reading

Jazz at The Junktion Hotel . . .

. . .  every man and his dog rocked the Junktion this week. And what a session it turned out to be – 26 musos in attendance, and joining the regulars, were the likes of Sir Roger, Rick, bassist Andrew, Kay (piano and mellodica), John Hunter (blues harp), Malcolm (drums) and Margaret (violin). And Brigid Deneefe having a ball whilst Sir Roger blew out the windows to celebrate his award for attending Merimbula for 27 years.. An audience of over 50 enjoyed a variety of jazz styles. Continue reading


Captain “scoop” Chaos attended the fifth Jazz Festival – a prodigious effort as the last surviving Committee member since 2014.

The Festival has slowly developed, with an increasing number of innovations and changes. The summary from this year’s website:

For the first time, the festival will run (has run)…over FOUR days, instead of the usual three, allowing us to bring you more of the jazz you have come to know and love, as well as some new exciting elements to discover.

The 2018 annual Castlemaine Jazz Festival will take place right in the heart of Castlemaine at a number of separate (historic) venues, each within walking distance and all especially selected to create the ideal environment to enjoy the weekend of jazz.

There has been a wealth of comment both good and not so good from mainly Melbourne based Festival goers

The four days worked well. Monday went particularly well with good audience numbers at each of the venues.

The Nubya Garcia concert was packed. This international star and band delivered in spades. Several people commented that this was at the expense of audience for other bands in other festival venues. The Indonesian band from Ubud (Bali) received rave reviews. There were an increased number of highly professional Australian groups.

The Cumberland White Board sessions: great on Saturday, less popular on Sunday. This was intended to provide (free to the public) sessions for festival and other musicians. A work in progress. The festival late night jams peaked as usual on Saturday.

Reduced number of Venues. The scheduling worked well, and there was plenty of opportunity for festival goers to catch their preferred bands. Probably the pick of the venues was the Maurocco Bar, with the best sound at the Bridge .

Big Band Venues – one comment was that the Festival presented a good opportunity for big bands (seven listed). With the Old Castlemaine Gaol venues likely to be unavailable next year, this presents a future challenge for the 2019 Committee.

The Website: the layout was, eventually, much improved over previous years.

Marketing and Promotion: for various unforeseen issues this did not go as well as planned. Nevertheless, there was a good awareness of the Festival with Melbourne based Festival goers and ticket sales were probably up on previous years.

The Jammers who attended: Regular Jammers who took part were Michael Findlay, Jeff Harris, Fermin Navasques, John Calamatta, Malcolm Hornby, Annie Smith, John Curtis, Mike Hirsh, Bill Swannie, Ivan Sultanof, Lisette Payet and the Captain. Spotted amongst the patrons were Keith Hughes and Kevin Rolfs.

In summary, the Festival was a howling success, moving from an inclusive model towards a more exclusive approach with a higher standard of musicianship as the outcome.

The Next Session at the Junktion Hotel

We are doing it all again on Sunday 24th June, 4.00pm start.

The Junktion Hotel, 99 High Street, South Kew – the Hotel is on the corner of Kew Junction. Public parking is available behind the Mercedes dealer/behind the High Street Shops off Fenton Street from High St, Kew.

Meanwhile, The Junktion Hotel …

… survived the B team, although in truth, there were more people there than we expected, and Piers, Neil and I had a ball. Surprising number of newcomers turned up, and enjoyed lively sets, from Katerina and Carol, in particular, Brian pleading a sore throat; Shanelle (saxophone) possibly one of the youngest musos in a while, and doing okay once she found her feet; hope she comes again; regular Bruce propping up the bar, and one of two Kyoto students (jazz standards, good voice, hope they come again too) got up to sing. Piers indulged in a session at the drums, and sounded even better when I nipped up stairs and found the drum sticks. Continue reading

The Next Session at the Junktion Hotel

We are doing it all again on Sunday 17th June, 4.00pm start. Expect the return of the Castlemaine and maybe Merimbula jammers, most of whom will play better than before they went. Plus a couple of newcomers (Jess is nearing the record for most attendances without her saxophone)

The Junktion Hotel, 99 High Street, South Kew – the Hotel is on the corner of Kew Junction. Public parking is available behind the Mercedes dealer/behind the High Street Shops off Fenton Street from High St, Kew.


* Captain “scoop” Chaos has promised a glowing report on this year’s Castlemaine Jazz Festival. Once we have scanned it to make sure it doesn’t contain any glaring accuracies, and put in some photographs, we will publish this asap. From what I can gather…

* There were almost too many big bands, I love them so what’s not to like.

* The Navy Band were terrific and want to come again

* The headline acts were well received and sold out on occasion.

* It was cold as a witches t*t in the mornings but the rain held off and the weather was kind.