This week’s gambol in the park looks at the upcoming Festivals – fully aware that anyone who says he can see more than ten minutes into the future these days is either a rabid optimist, an habitual liar or quite possibly a politician.
Or, as it turns out, a Jazz festival organiser…Every event organiser we contacted said they were going ahead – subject to any Government imposed restrictions.
Festivals provide opportunities for a wide range of musicians to perform, to network, and to experience different genres of jazz. For musicians at the start of their musical adventure, this is a great way of getting experience and developing your chops.
Marysville Music Weekend: 16th -18th October 2020
Take note of the name – this has evolved from Jazz and Blues into a more diverse event: Jazz, Blues, Country, Folk – so whatever your musical tastes there is bound to be something you like.. or dislike. First cab off the rank (a month earlier than the next Festival), there has to be some doubt as to whether it will run, but that is true of all the Festivals at this stage.
Applications are open for bands wishing to play.
Wangaratta Jazz and Blues
The 2020 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz will begin on Friday, 30 October and ends on Sunday, 1 November 2020
Wangaratta cancelled in 2019 and needs to dodge Covid19 restrictions this year. The Festival seeks to showcase the best talent, and has had overseas musicians headlining year after year. This is an expensive exercise in hiring bands, and tickets ain’t cheap, but you will get a wide range of musical genres showcased.
First up, Captain Chaos is planning the annual Jammers foray up the Hume for The Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues. The cancellation last year was due to a lack of funds or committee members or something – but the word is that the Festival will happen this year. It has been the Captain’s habit in years gone by to so outrageously exaggerate the delights of Wang that a number of jammers have pedalled up the Hume to join him for a jam session. We have played a number of “off Broadway” sessions at the Bulls Head, (and they have grown more popular each year) and at the craft market which itself has grown over the years.
The Australian Jazz Convention, Albury December 26 – December 31st 2020 (yes I know it is last year’s logo…)
The daddy of them all, and now the longest running Jazz Festival just about anywhere. Last year was a blast (jammers in attendance included Annie Smith, Yuko Onishi, Mike Hirsh, Dave Taylor, meself, Steve Bray and the Captain, Marion Lustig, Jeff Harris and gawd knows who else, but)
This one has musos from all over and a definite bias towards the Trad Revivalists (the young punks and revolutionaries of their day, but that was in 1946). You probably won’t hear too much cutting edge moderne, but great entertainment.
The Port Fairy Jazz Festival:
12th – 14th February 2021 is given as the start date.
This link covers reviews, photos and videos of the 2020 Festival. Word is , the Festival Committee will make a final decision in October 2020– but are planning for the Festival to go ahead at this stage.
The Captain, meself, Mac Beshai and Peter Micevski accompanied Jess Dams at this Festival in February 2020 . We also got to hear some familiar and not so familiar bands. An enthusiastic crowd, mainly of older, wealthier types who come from all over. Port Fairy has an abundance of venues, a huge number of bands playing and “something for everyone”.
Now one of the biggest Festivals in Victoria in a very pretty location.
Newport Jazz Festival, Australia 1st/2nd May 2021
The new kid on the block and the only one in town. This is the Melbourne Jazz Jammers latest effort, deferred from May 2020. Wqe already have 60 bands registered and, thanks to the Covid19 inspired deferral, now have room for up to 72 bands.
Registrations are (technically) open right now, so if you are dead keen, put in an application. Otherwise, the Committee will be reconvening in December 2020, and looking for volunteers for all the various tasks that have to be done to make a Festival work.
Merimbula Jazz Festival
Queens Birthday weekend in 2021 (June 11th – 14th)
They have not yet announced a band list for the 2021 Festival, although it is likely to include all the bands that registered for the 2020 event which was cancelled: a pity because we got some very good reports on the 2019 Festival – seems like Merimbula is getting back to its best.
The Festival draws big bands and school bands from Canberra, has the $1,500 Jazz Quest for younger musicians ; and has a loyal base of trad bands as well as more modern jazz – that’s the sort where you might say “Is it still jazz?” but will like it heaps anyway. Six Venues altogether, so if there is a limit on crowd numbers, the Festival may still go ahead, but on a reduced basis.
Castlemaine Jazz Festival: date to be announced
All the information on this one appears to relate to the (2020) cancelled festival. Despite most residents of Castlemaine now claiming to be personally responsible for setting it up, this was the Festival originally set up by the Melbourne Jazz Jammers, mainly to prevent Captain Chaos from getting bored… – it worked… John Hannah and Ken Turnbull were the first locals off the mark.
We would expect the dates to be June 11th – 14th
June 2021 (Queens Birthday Weekend). Castlemaine has increasingly had a focus on younger musicians.
Inverloch Jazz Festival Friday 5th March 2021 – Monday 8th March 2021
Inverloch got lucky – they just squeezed in a Festival before the lockdown. They have run three venues for the last few years, and seem to be expanding again – which is good because this gives more opportunity for upcoming bands to get a spot.
Expect plenty of trad, some good more contemporary bands and lots happening in the street.
Go to a Festival… Get up and boogie!
So there you have it – as things stand at the moment. If you would like to play at a Festival, and are looking for a band, start by contacting Captain Chaos, and we will hopefully find you a spot. We will publish updates on all the Festivals as news comes to hand.
Stay tuned, stay healthy, stay 1.5m apart, unless you are American, in which case make it 6 foot. Good luck with that.
Next Newsletter will be the Featured Jammers edition – hopefully the true history of some of the regular jammers.
Cream in our coffee? Cucumber sandwiches on the lawn? No more tea for me, Mama, I’m going to fly my aeroplane…