The Newport Jazz Fest

Logo settled and should be out soon.

Huge response to our questions about what you want from a Festival. At least, I think that is the best way to describe a big fat zero…

At the risk of repeating myself, I will repeat myself…

What sort of a Jazz Festival would you like to see? Pick as many genres as you like, in order of preference, and email your list to melbournejazzjammers@gmail.com

clip_image001 Big Bands
clip_image001[1] Trad Bands
clip_image001[2] Swing
clip_image001[3] Bebop
clip_image001[4] Bossa
clip_image001[5] Modern
clip_image001[6] Blues
clip_image001[7] Vocals
clip_image001[8] Instrumentals
clip_image001[9] Workshops

Keywords: Be creative!

Reflecting what the Festival is about. No, Hortense, I do not have a clue either.

Suggested, but Incomplete list of keywords:

clip_image001[10] Jazz
clip_image001[11] Newport
clip_image001[12] Fest
clip_image001[13] Festival
clip_image001[14] Community
clip_image001[15] Musicians
clip_image001[16] Jam Session
clip_image001[17] Friendly (stole that one from Castlemaine, they probably don’t need it any more)
clip_image001[18] Debacle
clip_image001[19] Train wreck
clip_image001[20] Social lubricant opportunity

Send us your list of suggestions, email to melbournejazzjammers@gmail.com

– still haven’t found what I’m looking for

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.

The Jam Session: Up a Bit, Left a Bit

It has been a busy week…

Friday: publish the latest edition of the Jammer’s Email Newsletter. It gets 103 views on Friday, 290 for the week. Relies on avid readers having nothing better to do.

Saturday

For the sixth year in a row. The Box Hill Anglican Church Fete, starts around 10.15 with the often-played Variations on a Feedback. Settles down, Huich (violin) gets better and better, Steve Bray, the Captain and meself should know what we are doing, but do it anyway: Jess looks good, sings good, moves good and sets up a good rapport with the audience, which ranged from One Small Child (lost) and a dog, to an all classy bevy of sausage eaters, vicars, parishioners and the like, and a fan waving dance troupe in red. Topped it all off with a classy take on Peel Me A Grape

Sunday

Committee Meeting for the Newport Festival. Reports on Venues, Marketing, Finance – welcome back to Julian, the four month globetrotting absentee, just in time to start spending money. And lots of discussion on how to get the name of the Festival and website address we want

Ashley turns 60, invites some of the jammers, resulting Post Jam Session as classy as all get-out – coincidence surely, although we would like to see the ageing Ashley again some time.

Meanwhile, back at The Post, yet another change to the sound system, skilfully avoided by the Captain (at the Ash bash). Again, once it had settled down, this week’s layout worked half well, with a positively pleasing sound in the rear Courtyard. We started with everything but the singer too loud, turned everything down and were rewarded with the saxes (Alan and Laurie) playing beautifully, and at the right vol. Nice one!

Flamenco Dancers. Much to everyone’s surprise, only the one Flamenco dancer turned up (Natalie), turning a normal afternoon into an egregiously good one.

Singers: Jane, Carol, Yuko, Debster, Kevin, Chantelle, Silvana (walk in) Rachel Camarino and Nurul all sang. This is, apparently, what singers do.. If I had to pick one this week (I don’t) Carol gets stronger and stronger.

Drums: set up by Michael Findlay and Alan Richards, with a surprise visit from Sala (now from Castlemaine) and Chantelle finding out she doesn’t find latin rhythms that easy.

Bass: Ivan in absolutely top form, played all arvo. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou..

Guitar: Fermin comped and solo-ed all arvo. Filled the sound nicely.

Recorder: again, only one recorder player turned up – Marion the mention, as good as ever… and she is now on a promise to put a band up for the looming Festival.

Piano: The Debonair Curtis and meself took turns in tickling the ivories, at least, in John’s case, to great effect. Eventually the piano disgraced itself due to the bodged up stand failing, and we finished off on a table. We played an inordinate amount of latin because the Flamenco thing was such fun, but there was plenty of other stuff – Deb picked out a typical Deb-style obscure ballad, which turned out to be (a) different, and (b) fun to solo on.

Alan, Fermin, Ivan, Rachel, Sala, TW    Photograph by Michael Findlay

The Next Jam

It will be at The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman, next Sunday October 13th. Last week’s comment about a 3.30 start to allow time for fiddling with the sound system proved satisfyingly accurate, but was only meant as a joke. Next week we will start at 4.00 on the dot, promise, or the Captain will stand everyone a beer.

Wanted: around 25 thimbles. Must be waterproof, and clean

See ya there?

The Newport Jazz Fest – up a bit, left a bit more,

We are still scouting venues – on a “the more the merrier” basis, and are starting to talk seriously to bands (seriously? another first!)

Volunteers: We have had several people rash enough to volunteer their services. Frankly, the number of volunteers needed to run this sort of event can be staggering – at a rough count we are looking at between 24 and 48 volunteers (24 only if they all agree to do a shift both days)

That said, we are tremendously encouraged by the offers we have had to date – we will just need more of them!

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.

Sunday in St. Kilda

It doesn’t seem so long ago that getting to The Post involved a mad dash through the rain, with a chill winter wind wrapped around yer ankles. Yesterday’s was a casual stroll in a warm afternoon breeze, to be greeted by the sight of Mike switching cables, plugging in doodads and hanging the speakers off the ceiling. We wisely stayed schtumm as the debacle unfolded…plenty of time to reflect on what else could be beneficially hung off the ceiling

And through it all, the sound system, once tweaked, twiddled and tuned, was the best FOH we have had so far.

So, once sorted, we launched into a bright and tight set from Jess, who grows increasingly confident as well as tuneful, and as a result will be singing almost every song in her current repertoire at next Saturday’s Box Hill Anglican Church bash – in the company of Piers (bass), The Captain (saxophone), Steve Bray (drums), Huich (violin) and meself on keys, all being well. The cacophony should be appalling.

The band (L to R) : Huich, Shota, Guy, Jane …and the Captain
smartphone photo by Michael Findlay

Then newcomer (but experienced) Kerry morphed from I might sing, to can I do some more?, and got better and better. Singing with the Jam Session Orchestra can be a daunting affair at first.

So, was it a good Jam Session? Actually, not as many people there as has been the case recently, perhaps due to daylight saving confusing everyone who wasn’t confused already. A quick tour of the joint to hand out promo cards revealed that almost every one not called Rod or Bette hailed from the local ‘burb or Arizona.

The best trio set that I can remember The lack of musicians led to a hot set from Gentleman John Curtis, Ivan on bass and Steve Bray on drums. The pub fell positively quiet as this august trio attempted what has rarely been tried before – playing real music; unencumbered by superfluous guitars and saxophones. Who will all get their turn next week.

Not to be outdone, Laurie then played some positively lush baritone – Moonlight in Vermont, if I remember rightly, followed later on Now and Forever, the Pat Metheny ballad.

And the afternoon was topped off by Jane – after an up tempo first set, she got up again, (and again I think), causing at least one seasoned jammer to comment that she seemed to know what she was doing. Never mind, she can always cock it up next time…

At which stage, I remarked to new barman Toby (ex Heavy Metal pub) that listening to jazz could rot your brain – you only had to look round the room to realise that. He gave me a blank look, right between the eyes.

Rare(ish) contributions from Agus (piano) Huich (violin), and later Guy (tpt) and a positively decadent take on Summertime from the aforementioned Jane, with Trevor Prasad on keys. Susie put in a late set – Black Coffee, All Blues and Comes Love. Sweet.

Great way to finish a classy afternoon – 22 musos, not a train wreck, no ‘effing up the form, mainly in tune even. Come on lads, you’ve got to do worse than that – we have a reputation to destroy..
TW

The Newport Jazz Fest – what next?

The Scout Hall is on board, Leroys we still don’t know. As things stand we have enough venues and playing hours for 38 bands.

Critical Path Programme: Done. This clearly demonstrates that we will be ready by May 2nd and May 3rd. Once updated, we expect it demonstrate that Critical Path Programmes can be Highly Misleading.

Financial Plan: Updated. As the preparations develop, we expect this to clearly demonstrate that we should have spent more time on the Critical Path Programme instead.

Other gigs: Bob gets better and busier

check out http://www.bobsedergreen.com/gigs.html

On Mon, 30 Sep 2019 at 16:03, Rae Sedergreen wrote:

· Hope to see you at a gig soon.

· Checkout Bob’s ‘Tribute to Jazz Pianists’. It’s always a great gig, especially the 6pm early show at The Paris Cat. So, if you know anyone who likes Jazz pianists or just want to find more out about Jazz then this is one not to miss.

· If you know anyone around Merimbula or Canberra let them know about the Ted Vining Trio gigs coming up there at the end of October!

· Or just check any on the gig guide out. There’s sure to be something you’ll love.

It’s getting rather busy…

…And we are rapidly approaching a point where we will run the risk of being over-subscribed. This last week, we had 4 pianists, 4 saxophonists, 6 drummers, 4 bass players, 2 guitarists, and 9 singers – a total of 29 musos for the Captain to fit in. We barely managed, so if you are one of the lucky ones who got to play more than three times, make sure that everyone else gets a go before you get up again.

Egregiously uncharacteristic appearances:

Trevor Prasad,(keyboard) for one. He contented himself with the thought that the piano was inaudible, but what we could hear of it was pretty much on the money.

Fermin: great solos again, otherwise contributed to the muddy sound with gusto.

Chantelle: newcomer, sang some standards, powerful voice and tuneful.

Bill Swannie: (drums) first time at the Post, Bill has played a number of gigs with Katerina in the past and remains as smooth as. And it is his Birthday.

John Perri: maintains he has barely touched the drums for months, but is a dream to play with. Possibly the only drummer to suggest 12/8 time and mean it.

Jane and Jeff

Jane: sang early: and entertained. Stayed late and should have sung again. Jeff Harris in the background.

Summary: The Captain resorted to putting up six or seven musos at a time as a means of getting everyone in. The Captain Chaos Knackeredom Index was up several points by the time we finished and packed up. This was a busy session, and ran well late. There was lots of good stuff going on. Word from the audience was generally highly complementary. Hortense and Madge from Altona were both speechless, but only because they were not there. Again!

See Ya Sunday?

Marketing 1.01

Did you notice the Sandwich Board outside, and the update on the Post Hotel website? Have you seen the ads on Melband? Have you given one of the MJJ cards to your best friend, vague acquaintance or complete bluddy stranger? Have you tried googling Melbourne+ Jazz+ Jam Session, and marvelled at how high up the first page we come?

The Next Jam

The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman, next Sunday 6th October, 4.00pm start. Should be fun – get there early and help move the PA around (again!); order something exotic off the menu, get your instrument out and start playing it loudly whilst we are doing a soundcheck – God, we love that!

 Jam Session at the Maurocco Bar, Castlemaine.

This Sunday 6th October, usual time, the Bar is right opposite the Railway Station. Vice versa is also true. John Hannah reports that Mauro has invested in a new sound system. Nick it and bring it back…

The Newport Jazz Fest: A Quick Survey

The Newport Jazz Fest – a quick survey for you to tell us:

What sort of a Jazz Festival would you like to see?

  • Big Bands

  • Trad Bands

  • Swing

  • Bebop

  • Bossa

  • Modern

  • Blues

  • Vocals

  • Instrumentals

  • Workshops

Answers on an email to newportjazzfestmelbourne@gmail.com give us your preferred top three, or if you are an overachiever, put them all in order of preference. Or if you are an over over achiever, come up with some different ideas.

Band Wrangler: Colin Garrett: We have left this up to Captain Chaos himself: he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of almost all the bands we are likely to sign up for the Festival. We are certainly talking to a couple of big bands, and want to get some trad on board (they bring the biggest number of supporters). Plus the usual suspects.

Marketing and Sponsorship: in the capable hands of Margaret Michael – the original POCKOTL If you think you know what POCKOTL stands for, send in an e-mail. There will be a prize for the most creative suggestion.

Committee Secretary: Debbie Woodroffe. Currently AWOL, possibly snowed under with documentation, possibly not..

Venues: The Scout Hall is definitely in, still talking to Leroys, but not the Junction Hotel.

The Date: Hold the Festival at Newport on May 2nd, May 3rd 2020: confirmed We haven’t changed this date for several weeks. Good grief!

The Bands: The Captain is talking – to the Navy Band amongst others.

The Web Site Key words: reflecting what the Festival is about. No, Hortense, I do not have a clue either. Incomplete list: Jazz, Newport, Fest, Festival, Community, Musicians, Jam Session, Friendly (stole that one from Castlemaine, they probably don’t need it any more)

Send us your preferred keywords:

Answers on an email to newportjazzfestmelbourne@gmail.com

For Heavens Sake!

For Heaven’s sake

Yet another PA setup to contend with – and this time not in a good way. Of the 25 or so people who commented on it, not one person liked it. The likely cause was a desire to see the Inkerman Room used a bit more -possibly because the Post Hotel is getting increasingly crowded on a Sunday afternoon. Sadly, this didn’t work, and in the meantime there was nowhere for anyone to sit other than propped at the bar.

The Inkerman Room at 5.30

All of which should have led to an appalling jam session. It didn’t…. in fact we listed 28 musos and singers as getting up and boogeying in spite of it all. And the bar stayed crowded all afternoon. Soundwise, this set up wasn’t great, but Col, Laurie and Jeff on saxophones rose above it, ably led by Mr Clark, who only got lost once and the rest of the time was great.

Ian Nicholson (guitar) played with Breakout. (Col, Malcolm, Stan and Steve) playing a Peter Ryan number in his honour.

Fermin (guitar) aced a solo or two, Vlad ditto,

Newcomers Liam and Chantelle took over drums from the aforementioned Steve Bray and Michael “snapper” Findlay. Alex towards the end. Liam struggled until he got the sound levels right, then fitted right in, Chantelle was impressive from the get-go.

Bass players were a fine lot – Dave for starters, Piers and Ivan (loved the Classical music gig all black outfit) in the middle, and Stan Van Hooft later on – Stan playing more fluently than he used to.

The band in this week’s layout: Adrian, Kay, Roger, Jeff, Dave No Nickname and Peter Garam out of view

Singers started well and got rowdier as the evening wore on – Yuko for starters had every body toe tapping to Beyond The Sea, Kay to follow, then Aimee, Kevin and Susie (“Black Coffee”) culminating in Gilbert (“My Way”) . And then they all got up for Route 66 – an inspired if slightly traditional choice by Kay. Guy (tpt) soloed, and we forgot to mention Marion. Oh, alright, nice recorder solos on a coupla toons. 

John (Alex’s dad) played us out with some nice half stride, and we all went home well sated. Except for the basket of chips. They were salted

My picks for the week: this ended up a very satisfying session – made all the better by the improvers – Dave (obviously), Kay who sang at her best for weeks, and Marion.

And Captain Chaos reckons Aimee sang the best she ever has. I would agree…

The Next Jam

The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman, next Sunday 29th September 4.00pm start. Should be fun – get there early and help move the PA around; order extra chips and we’ll help you eat them. Complain bitterly at the bar if the Budvar hasn’t been restocked.

The Newport Jazz Fest – incremental progress or bratwurst. You decide.

I recently looked up the reports on the early stages of the Castlemaine Jazz Festival. The first effort mentioned that we were going to shoot for 30 bands. Woohoo! A month later this had blown out to 40 bands. Rash promises. The festival opened with 58 bands.

With that in mind, our opening salvo of 40 bands seemed pretty reasonable, n’est ce pas?

Venues: We met with the Junction Hotel – big space (big enough for a big band and then some) and the beer garden at the back. Waiting to hear back from the lovely Fleur.

Then a coffee at Leroy’s Cafe – best location of the lot, should be great for a four piece, a coffee and a light lunch. Again, waiting for confirmation

Still waiting for confirmation on the Scout Hall – their motto? Be prepared. Except wen it comes to answering the phone.

The Date: Hold the Festival at Newport on May 2nd, May 3rd 2020: confirmed We haven’t changed this date for several weeks. Good grief!

The Bands: Book 40 – 50 bands who are prepared to volunteer their services in return for an equal share of any surplus made. Cynics may feel that making a loss would cut out a lot of paperwork, but we wouldn’t think like that, would we?

The Web Site Jess has just a few t’s to cross, then we will launch.

Jess: website guru by day, singer by inclination

The Logo: still not designed, for heaven’s sake. Should be here soon.

The Esteemed Editor: is back from swanning around Europe, Breakfast in Hamburg, if it is Thursday this must be Berlin and bratwurst , you get the drift.. Jetlagged, he is now swanning around in Point Lonsdale or something. We should have him back in the stocks any day now, and there is no point in apologising about all the e-mail addresses that haven’t been added to the list, because this is an arcane and editorial process to which the Extra 3B Copyboy is not privy.

No more tea for me, Mama – I’m going to fly my aeroplane.”

Vale

Peter Ryan, Guitarist with Breakout

Peter first started coming to the Jam Sessions way back when, at the Royal Standard and the Leinster Arms. He was an occasional visitor rather than a regular. I did not know him outside the sphere of his musical activities. We recorded in 2011 with Julie Stewart and Brae Grimes at the ABC Studios, and we saw him play with Breakout in 2016 at the Castlemaine Jazz Festival. As ever, Peter put on a bit of a show.

He had a strut and a swagger when playing, which he would then ruin by grinning impishly to show he didn’t take himself too seriously – indeed, he had a dry and cynical sense of humour. The last time he played at a jam session it was obvious his time with Breakout, or his retirement from teaching, or both, had enabled him to develop his guitar playing to a considerable degree.

After a short illness, Peter died last Wednesday, with his family at his bedside. He will be missed by the Jammers. We rather liked him. I think most people did.

Madge and Hortense, the Festival, and then…

Madge and Hortense: Another Load of Codswallop

I was talking to Madge from Altona the other day. Well, not so much talking as communing with nature whilst Madge eyeballed the seagulls. They tend to drop in on Refinery Terrace en route from the municipal tip to the fish and chip shop, perpetually hungry and squawking a lot.

Speaking of Hortense, she has taken to wearing a spectacular Philipino straw boater and a stupefied grin.. Quite where she got them remains a mystery, but the words startled, matelot and fishin’ spring to mind. Cods have been walloped all over Altona West ever since. So… neither Madge nor Hortense were at the Jam Session last week. Seems St Kilda is a bit too posh these days, and anyway, Hortense is no longer in the business…

Which left a desultory collection at The Post of four musos at 4.00pm sharp, By recently established tradition , this was a good 15 minutes before we started. Would anyone turn up? Seems they would and by evening we had 25 musos up and jumping. Rather satisfying, as almost all of them were more than passably tuneful.

Highlights of the day included a welcome return by pianist Adrian, no less than seven saxophonists, but they mostly kept themselves nice. Alan West’s Josephine is becoming a bit of a favourite, and nobody knows why. The two bassists, Dave and Ivan both played rather well. Dave grows more irascibly eccentric as his bass lines develop, and Ivan is back to his jazz best, after a spell under the weather.

Tonsil artistes included Kay, Jane, Yuko, Brian, the Debster and Carol, with Gilbert to finish. Jane, ever the Krall aficionado, essayed I Love Being Here with You to good effect, followed by Yuko’s take on My Funny Valentine, with Guy on tpt. The evening concluded with a rousing version of Mustang Sally, led by Gilbert, with Yuko on bv’s and a fullish complement of Saxophoneurs, still keeping them selves nice. The Captain spun it out to 8.05

Spiffin’.sesh after all.

The Next Jam

The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman, next Sunday 22nd September 4.00pm start. Should be funthere will be prizes!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it The Newport Jazz Fest?

The latter, quite possibly. Another busy week cruising the western burbs looking for more venues, and angst among the committee on a name that cannot be confused with the Rhode Island Newport Jazz Festival.

The Date: Hold the Festival at Newport on May 2nd, May 3rd 2020: confirmed

The Venues Use 5, maybe 6 venues including the Newport Library/.Community Centre, The Newport Bowls Club, the Newport RSL, confirmed, the Scout Hall (still a maybe) Now looking at the Hotel and Leroy’s coffee shop.

The Bands: Book 40 – 50 bands who are prepared to volunteer their services in return for an equal share of any surplus made. Cynics may feel that making a loss would cut out a lot of paperwork, but we wouldn’t think like that, would we?

The Web Site Jess (the singer ) is preparing a red hot web site. We are proposing to transfer the Newsletter and such recipients as are interested to the website.

The Facebook page: this is the Melbourne Jazz Jammers Facebook page, which is so old it almost predates Mark Zuckerberg (I wish somebody would). It has undergone a major spring clean and will soon feature more dodgy videos of the Jam Sessions, starring err… you?

Check it out on https://www.facebook.com/groups/83551088146/

The Committee remains keen, the venues are keen, the Council is keen. What could possibly go wrong?

Stay tuned to find out!