And what of Merimbula Jazz Festival?

“Too far away, tired old format, too much trad, same faces every year, getting smaller every year.”…that was Merimbula Jazz Festival in 2014. It must be said that one motive for starting the Castlemaine Jazz Festival was as an opportunity for musicians whose budget did not stretch to the 1,158km round trip. It is rather pleasing to get reports of how Merimbula has changed, and developed in new ways..All three respondents were, overall, positive. Read on.

Sir Roger de Coverley

Merimbula was a great festival again this year .Lots of fellowship , lots of muso’s but this year there was many more big bands than usual . Some of the big bands were very very good and some were community and school bands which lacked a little experience and polish.

There were the regulars i.e. Sarah Maclaine , Ron Anderson ,Alan Richards ,Blue Tango and more . I had a group with Gavin Franklin a Dr of music from James Morrison Jazz School in Mount Gambier, Larry Kean , Doug Kuhn and we were very pleased with the response of the crowd and our gigs were packed .Gavin is a great old friend of mine and I make special mention of him as he is a tremendous player and made such a special effort to get there.There were also some very high quality bands from Canberra which were a pleasure to hear .

My only other comment is that there were far less Trad bands this year .

Alan R the drummer.

Of course, not everything was perfect – the scheduling left some musicians with lesser venues and late night spots: quite probably because those were the musicians registered with multiple bands.

Dave the bass:

Glowing reports on the venues, and the sound equipment, and quality the music (Canberra musos?). Same gripe about scheduling. The crowds were up, the weather was good and the oysters tasty. What’s not to like?

In summary, the increasing numbers coming from Canberra, and the gradual increase in big bands to offset the decline in trad bands, and a focus on younger musicians promises well for the future.

Sweet Ade at Open Studio

For those who might have been intrigued by my recorder playing at the occasional jam, you might want to check out my band, Sweet Ade. We’ll be at Open Studio, 204 High St., Northcote on Sunday, June 23, from 12.30-2.30 pm. 

The venue has a bar and serves excellent pancakes.  Entry $8/10. 

For those of you who haven’t heard the band, it’s a refreshingly different, 6 piece multi-instrumental  jazz band, playing an entertaining, eclectic repertoire.  It features a unique line-up of recorders, saxophones, clarinet, piano, washboard, drums, sousaphone, ukuleles, harmonica and vocals.  The musicians will be: Marion Lustig (recorders), Janet Arndt (vocals), Peter Mason (reeds, ukelele, vocals, harmonica), Ken Cowan (special guest on piano), Joe Kenyon (sousaphone) and Richard Opat (washboard, drums).

It would be great to see some of you there!

Castlemaine Jazz Festival is coming up fast -7th – 10th June

https://www.castlemainejazzfestival.com.au/ for all the details. Five venues: McPhee Broadway, Theatre Royal, Run Rabbit Run and Maurocco Bar; with newcomer Castlemaine Senior Citizens Centre plus the Cumberland Hotel whiteboard/jam sessions.

If you are going, grab an early bird ticket before June 6th (on-line) or pay full price at the Box Office, which has moved to the Market Building this year.

Amongst the 49 bands listed, jammers past and present playing (and I am bound to miss a few) include

· Breakout, feat Captain Chaos, Sala Kord (drums)
· West Coast Little Big Band, Captain Chaos, Jeff Harris, Murray Rees (trumpet)
· The PR Project – Malcolm Hornby, Peter Ryan
· G and T Jazz – feat. Gill Sealby, Tiina Ayris and Gill (G and T geddit?)were regulars at The Leinster about 75 years ago
· ade ishs & eMotion Band: Ade Ish, Paul Bonnington on bass. Ade and Paul were occasional jammers at the Leinster.

Of the other bands, I know little, but would like to single out The Ben Charnley Trio – regulars with Nadira Farid at Paris Cat, a class act and well worth a listen.

Merimbula Jazz Festival 7th -10th June

Get all the details at their website: merimbulajazz.org.au/

The standout on this one is that there will be “750 musicians” going, according to the talented but disreputable Roger Clark. – which if only remotely true would make this a helluva festival.

Apart from the usual suspects – Roger’s hottest band featuring David Franklin on piano, Larry Kees and one time jammer Doug Kuhn, there will be Festival regulars Sarah Maclaine, and the Ron Anderson Trio. Also, a complete weekend’s worth of big bands, with the Navy Band to top it off; and a full house of Trad Revival bands. Dave Taylor, who is a regular jammer, will be playing bass in, oh, about 23 bands. Always good…

It is a long way to Merimbula, and just as far back, but give this one a go if you are so inclined.

GIG ALERT: ANNIE’S GOT GIGS!!

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Hi everyone. Hope all’s well with you.

2019 is well underway with some great festival gigs under the belt!

  2 gigs coming up next week.

Jasper’s Jazz Club

14 Goldie Place Melbourne

8:30 – 11:00pm  Thursday March 21st.

Two Way Traffic with Annie Smith

$10 entry

https://jaspersclub.com.au/

Two Way Traffic includes a bunch of very talented musos

David Lole (piano), Ron Anderson (many things but this time reeds),

Hermann Schwaiger (double bass), Allan Smith (drums)

International Women’s Day

On March 8th 2019 to celebrate International Women’s Day, there will be a concert of female Australian performers performing the works of Australian females – From Her We Hear.

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The group includes five musicians and a visual artist who will bring the little cinema at the back of Long Play to life. All trained classically these performers have extensive experience with orchestras and ensembles in Australia and abroad and are equally comfortable with genre bending music. Pieces range from improvisation explorations and music that illustrates the meditative qualities of sound, to more traditional songs with voice and piano. 

We will explore and present the often forgotten music of women composers from Australia past and present. Come join us for an intimate night of sound, light, and celebration. Spaces limited bookings essential www.trybooking.com/BATTT

Long Play is at

318 St George’s Road , North Fitzroy, Victoria 3168

Friday 8th March

Two shows, 6:30 & 8pm. Seating limited, bookings essential.

Tickets $25/20.

From Her We Hear

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Kay Cai – Piano
Playing a piano solo piece by Melbourne composer Nat Bartsch
https://natbartsch.com/

Teresa Duddy – Soprano
Singing songs by Peggy Glanville Hicks and Margaret Sutherland.

Brigid Burke – Clarinet
Performing a piece for clarinet and electronics by Melbourne performer and composer Nat Grant
http://www.natgrantmusic.com/composition.html

Isabel Hede – Violin
Performing her own composition, a piece for violin and electronics

Gemma Horbury – Visuals
Tying it all together with visual mastery on the big screen.

Alexandra Mathew – Mezzo Soprano, singing songs by Margaret Sutherland.

Sweet Ade,Saturday, Mar 16, 9pm

Marion Lustig’s band Sweet Ade will be playing on Saturday, March 16, 9-11 pm, at The Moldy Fig bar and restaurant in East Brunswick.

The band is a lively, upbeat 6 person jazz band featuring recorders, clarinet, saxophones, piano, sousaphone,  washboard, drums, ukuleles, piano accordion and vocals.  We play an entertaining, interesting and eclectic repertoire with creative arrangements of music ranging from the late 1800’s to the present day. We like to balance well-known tunes with little heard gems including early Australian jazz. 

The musicians are Marion Lustig (recorders),Janet Arndt (vocals), Peter Mason (reeds, ukelele, vocals, harmonica), Lisette Payet (piano, ukelele, accordion, vocals and left hand substituting on this occasion for the sousa!),  Richard Opat (washboard, drums).

The Moldy Fig is a restaurant and bar serving authentic New Orleans food and featuring live music. 120-122 Lygon St., East BrunswickThe kitchen is open from 5-11 pm. Bookings 90427613. Free entry.