Castlemaine Jazz Festival Annual General Meeting

Subscriptions: Existing members are required to pay a $5 membership fee in order to be able to vote at the meeting. This should have been done by 31st July. If you have a problem, contact the Secretary on 0418 155 466

Proxy Forms If you are unable to attend, and would like to vote in the new Committee, the Proxy form is below. Hand your form to Col Garrett at the jam session, or email completed forms to committee

Hello Castlemaine Jazz Festival Members

Last year the committee and members voted to establish an annual fee for membership of the Castlemaine Jazz Festival. The fee is not just a fundraising exercise. This will also help us stay up to date with members information and we would hope to encourage members to be more aware of what the committee is planning and doing.

The Fee has been set at $5

Please pay your fee via a funds transfer into the Castlemaine Jazz Festival Inc Account
Account Name – Castlemaine Jazz Festival Inc
BSB – 633 000
Account No – 150 734 457

Please use your full name in the payment details so we can identify who has paid.
To be eligible to vote in the AGM payment must be paid by 31st of July 2018.

2018 AGM will be held on
Saturday the 18th of August
in the Old Castlemaine Gaol Mess Hall

Get the forms from the link below.

HALLS GAP JAZZ & BLUES FESTIVAL 26, 27 & 28 October 2018

Hi all Musicians & Music Loving Followers & Newcomers:

You are invited to attend this year. After an amazing 33 successful years, the Jazz Festival continues in the lovely valley of Halls Gap, ‘Heart of The Grampians’. Weather at this new time of the year is beautiful & no other events clash with these dates.

The event has evolved towards a smaller scale but it is more intimate, enabling everyone to have easier social connections. Halls Gap, being a small village, exudes a unique festival vibe. Short but free performances in the Hub Courtyard give the town an exciting touch,showcasing the delights to be enjoyed throughout all venues. Walking up & down the main street is a glorious ‘meet & greet’ experience. You don’t get this in a larger multi-street town.

All genres of jazz music are on offer. Some to enjoy are: Trad, Big Band, Swing, Bebop, Mainstream, Modern, Fusion, Funk, Latin, Groove, Blues, etc. Musicians & followers love the atmosphere of the indoor venues with excellent sound rendition. At present, the performance venues are: Hall, Hub, Pinnacle, Mountain Grand (Halls Gap Tavern), Kookaburra Hotel, Spirit of Punjab, Anglican Church.

Go to our Facebook page (click here) to see comments, photos & videos of last October’s festival.

Please also check out our Website (click here) for all info. You can download registration forms from here.

Joining Instructions for October this year are attached with this letter. All information to do with pricing, payment methods, cut off dates, rules, clearly described on the Registration forms. Read very carefully & fill in all boxes. Non-compliance with instructions &/or blank boxes could deem a form invalid.

This year, payments may be made by Credit Card.

Anyone wishing to volunteer for the Task Management Team, please tick the box on the Registration Form.

Let’s have great fun again in October. Best wishes to all

Don Calvert, Convenor

Contact details are:

Halls Gap Jazz & Blues Festival
8 Jockey Drive Newstead 3462
Mob: 0428 227 261

Upcoming Festivals and contact details

Jammers, and others, are already talking about the next year’s Festivals, and we will try and keep this list updated. A considerable number of Jammers go to these, either as musicians to perform, as audience, or as volunteers.


Why go? Why not, all Festivals are a lot of fun, if a little expensive for musicians. All the Festivals provide opportunities for professional bands and enthusiastic amateurs to strut their stuff, network and listen to a ridiculously varied and occasionally talented range of bands.


Which one would suit? AJC is probably the most inclusive, Inverloch has of recent years been smaller and a lot of fun. The Grampians Jazz and Blues Festival (previously Halls Gap Festival) is now gradually expanding. I haven’t been to the new date (October, when there is an outside chance the place won’t succumb to bushfires) but a number of jammers have. Port Fairy is probably the fastest growing, and Castlemaine is the one started by the Melbourne Jazz Jammers… spoilt for choice really…


Halls Gap Jazz and Blues Festival 26, 27, 28th October 2018
Don Calvert: mob 0409 252 046

Halls Gap had a long running festival, before relocating to October each year. Smaller and more intimate than previous festivals, the Halls Gap Jazz Blues Festival brings together a range of jazz, blues, American songbook, swing, funk and classic tunes to stir your soul and get your feet tapping.


73rd Australian Jazz Convention, Ballarat, 26-31st December 2018
Mailing list:

Ballarat’s Lidiard Street positively hums over the Christmas/New Year’s break with a mix of trad, mainstream and more. This is a bigger Festival (convention) than most.

Port Fairy Jazz Festival February 8 – 10th 2019

This looks like becoming the biggest of the country festivals. It relocated from the Grampians a couple of years ago, and has been highly successful ever since.


Inverloch Jazz Festival, 8 -11th March 2019

This is a smaller Festival than in previous years – running on three venues. It tends to be popular and over subscribed .Bands are selected on merit. A favourite with aficionados!

Castlemaine Jazz Festival June 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th, 2019

This one was started by the Melbourne Jazz Jammers in 2014, and is now run mainly by Castlemaine locals, with a large number of Melbourne based bands (as well as interstate). The dates are yet to be confirmed, but put this in your diary for now. We will get to band registration closing dates, musician registration, marketing, and the 2018 Annual General Meeting and new Committee election in due course.

Merimbula Jazz Festival June 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th, 2019

This long running Festival is popular with Jammers, some of whom have been going for years. It is a long trip from Melbourne, but also draws an audience from Gippsland, and the Canberra region.


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.