Meanwhile, in sleepy ole Castlemaine…

The eponymous Jazz Festival done and dusted for another year. The following report was received from a bleary-eyed Captain Chaos.

The Captain’s View

The 6th Castlemaine Jazz festival was held over the long weekend. 46 bands participated in 5 venues to mostly appreciative audiences.

Many regular, past and occasional Jammers were amongst the performers. Malcolm Hornby, Jeff Harris, Peter Ryan, Sala Kord, Gill Sealby, Mac Beshai. Anthony Pell, Sebastian Jago, Mike Hirsh and Ade Ishs. Spotted amongst the audiences were Annie Smith and Lisette Payet. Volunteering his services as a door manager was Bill Swannie. Captain Chaos played, but forgot to include himself in the list.

The event ran smoothly but, with less than half the musicians in town compared to previous years, the festival overall lacked the dynamic atmosphere experienced in the past.

The Inside Goss.

The Captain’s view was one with which, in general, our local snout would concur. Highlights of the Festival included Maggie Jackson, remarkably, packing out the Maurocco Bar – standing room only by all accounts; and Meg Corson fronting the Goldfields Jazz Orchestra to a packed house at the Theatre Royal: both local performers doing well.

The Festival lacked that special “buzz” around the streets, by comparison with previous years. The feature band The Seven Ups could not possibly live up to the hype and didn’t, but showed a lot of energy, which would have pleased the younger crowd, had they turned up in droves. They didn’t. The whiteboard and jam sessions at the Cumberland finished early, with fewer musos. Remarkably, and depending on who tells you, the ticket sales were well up on previous years.

Ah well… a good turn out of Jammers from Melbourne. Well done all round.

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.

Late Breaking News…. Oh Bugger!

The Junk is no more. We were advised yesterday that the Junktion Hotel had closed its doors, ceased trading, gone belly up, run out of beer, goodwill and enthusiasm, and is about as sanguine and sentient as a Norwegian Parrot on bypass. Meaning there wil be no jam session this Sunday 24th March

Will we try and find another venue? Yes, hopefully soon

Will we persist with Kew as a venue for a November Festival? Maybe – there are a couple of contacts with (very preliminary) interest.

Do you want to get involved? If you know of a suitable venue for a Jam session, either as a one -off stop gap measure or as a permanent venue, call

Ted 0431 968982

Col 0422568537

And following is the newsletter wot we wrote before the above…

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)

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.

73rd Australian Jazz Convention: the last Hurrah

This is Australia’s longest running Jazz Festival, and comprises musicians and audience of equal enthusiasm, with a strong emphasis on Trad jazz, and a leavening of more contemporary bands. From 26th – 31st of December, there were a pleasing number of familiar faces from the Melbourne Jazz Jammers – Col, Steve Bray, Annie, Ponytail Pete, John Calamatta, Ashley Thompson, Brian Paulusz and Keith Hughes amongst them, and some alarmingly older musos, who all seemed to have fun.

Quite a few of the 241 listed musicians played in up to ten bands. Quite what this does to the standard of music is open to question, but the backbone of the Convention is musicians getting together, learning from each other, swapping yarns, and staying fit by running from one venue to another.

We managed to see Annie in action with Tim Nelson – Annie and the Latin Lovers. Intriguing selection of jazz standards, and middle European folk songs – in the cavernous George hotel back room – Annie with energy to burn, and an entertaining set. Marek Podstawek a standout .

Then back to see Barry Law pilot Indigo Jazz Band through a sweet set of standards, before the Katerina Myskova Quartet stepped up, but with singer Michelle Gigliotti as a replacement for La Myskova who had called in sick. Michelle hadn’t sung a full set for 22 years, neither Pete (bass) nor Bill (drums) had sighted any of her charts before we started, and both rose to the occasion, with Pete absolutely nailing Michelle’s selection of bluesy standards. Seemed to go down well.

Friday: back in Melbourne, in disgrace as we missed both of Col’s sets with Jaz Stutely in Cheap Frills. Saturday, another 5.30am start and printed/wrote out another ten charts for the lads. After catching a sweet set of standards from JAQ Plus, Janet Arndt singer, and Keith Hughes and Brian Paulusz amongst them, we played a second session (Michelle again). Cooler day, warmer audience, went well. Then listened to Shades of Blue – another fine set on the balcony, with Steve Bray on drums.

Next Year’s AJC.

This was the last hurrah for the (exhausted) committee. The Ballarat Jazz Club probably has the friendliest volunteers of any Festival, ably wrangled by Bobby Ballinger and others, – I caught up with the Ballinger lugging a step ladder around, which is the typical lot of any Committee member!

The AJC is , as I am advised, holding the next Convention in Albury,

All in all, a splendid Convention. Well done Ballarat!

https://www.2018jazzconvention.org.au/

Ballarat Jazz Club

What’s Afoot

Funny shaped bit on the end of your leg.. Otherwise, we are planning a meeting before the Jam Session to discuss plans for a future “mini-Festival” The early proposal is to use the Junk as a venue for 27 bands over a Saturday and Sunday. If you would be interested in volunteering or assisting, let the Captain know. More details to follow?

Wangaratta Jazz

Early reports indicate that the Wangaratta shenanigans went well, with performances at the Bulls Head featuring the sprightly Miss Smiff. As in previous years, the Sunday market was the peak event for the band of jammers who went up. This Sunday morning event should be a sideshow, but has always attracted a goodly crowd who are appreciative of the music.

Props to Huich (violin) at her first Wang bash – she impressed, as did another first timer, Andre, who dropped in for a fine stint on the drums.

Toodlepip!

TW