The Newport Jazz Festival May 2nd and May3rd, 2020

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Website: It is lurching down the slipway as we speak. There will be ongoing edits of this as the information is updated.

https://www.melbournejazzjammers.com.au/

Band Bookings: Col has resumed sending out info to selected bands. Bands are starting to get interested, and we have even received several (uninvited) submissions, so word must be getting around.

Venues: We are booking two rooms at the Library/Newport Community Hub, two rooms at the Bowls Club, the Scout Hall next to the Bowls Club, and the RSL next to that (all on Market Street, Newport, and a drop punt from two big carparks.

Bands: We now have capacity for up to 53 bands – more than we originally envisaged.

Seems Like…Groundhog Day

– and are we doomed to repeat the same old shenanigans? Natch!. As if the sound set-up wasn’t complicated enough, it was totally and comprehensively cocked upwards by the time we started last Sunday. Simplicity compromised by the careful/careless removal of one cable. The power cable. Not that it mattered – no one quite knew which lead went where and what to do with it went it got there.

Which it didn’t, (get there, I mean – pay attention at the back.) For a while, we had no proper foldback, no sound to the courtyard or to the other side of the bar. Strangely, the occasional trio set up worked rather well…

By the end of a lively session, the Captain de Chaos opined that it had been a busy one all round. Even though we only had 24 musos get up on the day. It felt like more – possibly because by 5.00pm, the bar was the fullest we have ever seen it. Whoo Hoo!

So… we kicked off, carefree, or careless, whichever floats your boat, with a trio of songs from Yuko, and some instrumentals from Alan, Jeff and the Captain, including Alan’s original Josephine. Just a spiffin’ warm up, really.

Then the rhythm section (Steve B, Stan the Man and meself) settled to its task, and lifted its game with Ben Hooper on keys, and the long time no see Mihoko (saxophone). Carol and Jane threw in some (possibly Diana Krall influenced) ballads, the saxes continued to jump in, then the Debster sang the best set she has in ages. By which time, Ashley (60 and a bit) had crooned and departed. Then Darlene (D’Adelaide) wandered in on a whim, and scorched through a set, Devon d’Bar sang for the first time (Spooky, not bad at all) and Deborah discovered that not all songs are created equal. Vladimiro (it’s Italian for Vladimir) played harp. And I discovered that playing the melody for the singer on Desafinado, in a key other than the default Bb is, err…, theoretically straightforward. Or to put it another way, almost impossible.

Ah well, onward and upward, as the actress said to the… but I digress. Nelson took over bass duties, Agus sat in on keys and then a great duet between the Debster and Darlene – Autumn Leaves as it often does. Chantelle got up and sang – a bit wayward at first, but then good, followed by a gratifyingly neat session on drums. And Moondance for an all-in finale, with 10 musos getting up and creating a racket which could be variously described as appalling, miraculous,or just good. Just…

Props to first time tonsil artistes, Devon, Deborah and Darlene. Welcome back to Agus, Ben and Mihoko. I haven’t mentioned Mr Hirsh, esq, – or his recording studio.

We pulled stumps at near on 8.00pm. A good afternoon’s entertainment, but never mind, we can always cock it up next time.
TW

The Newport Jazz Festival 2nd & 3rd May 2020

Logo settled and should be on the letterhead soon.

Band Bookings: the first confirmations are coming in. We are inviting selected bands to register their interest first, then οἱ πολλοί (that includes me, and you, probably)

As a result of our recent straw poll. The bands you preferred were:

· Modal contemporary
· 14th Century plain song
· Everything in between
· Anything in a tent

And the keywords so far are:

· What?
· What, what, what?? (from a drummer) (in 3/4)
· Your Gas Bill has $742.23c owing (actually, we need to check the other side of that envelope)

Yet Another thrillingly brief description of yesterday’s Jam Session, not including the state of chips, Idaho’s loss, and the meaning of noise in music…

Well, you have to start somewhere, do you not. I have been reading about the slithy toves this week, and do not intend to pursue the matter further, there being a rather good jam session on which to report.

Where did we go wrong? Not sure, but a surprisingly good cross section of Jammers turned up, late as usual. We kicked the pill round the paddock , before embarking on a session that got better by the minute.

Sir Roger De Coverley’s dubious descendant ripped out his black sax and entertained us for a while. Quite what has come over him is still uncertain, but he seemed to do all sorts of weird stuff, like leaving space for Les Autres (see footnote) to get aboard, playing succinctly composed solos, and generally raising the tone. About time.

Of course having Ade Ish on keys helped considerably, and when we realised that (a) young Stan on bass was having a red hot go, and (b) Monsieur Bray was as good as ever on drums, a half decent jam session emerged.

Ade Ish, pianist

Jess put up a passably smooth set of jazz swing, then Peel Me A Grape. Jeff soloed a treat on that one. Not to be outdone, we had a mass saxophone section (Laurie, Jeff, Alan, Keef – kicked off by the Captain, and Jaime (de Spain) on his 3 month old saxophone with a handy take on Footprints, which besides being a Wayne Shorter toon, is easy on the ear, and quite possibly piano, although you wouldn’t think it at the time.

The afternoon passed at a dizzying pace, and the pub filled satisfyingly full – maybe a little cold weather was driving the punters in? Song of the Day (do we have one of those?) went to My Old Flame, (Ade, Alan West, Stan and Steve on drums)

Huich turned in a typically unobtrusive violin solo; and Julian, back from what he described as a four month hiatus, played some pretty sweet floot.

Hirsh arrived to take over from Steve on drums, Nelson relieved a determined not to be knackered Stan, Yuko (My Baby Just Cares For Me), Jane (East of the Sun), Carol (Minnie the Moocher) Annie (You turned the tables on Me) all pumped new life into songs we forgot to bury years ago. And then Mr Hirsh dragged him self off the carpet for a rousing take on Sunny Side of The Street. You cant keep a good man down. God knows, we’ve tried….

So … only 24 musos turned out for this one, no excuses, but it was definitely up a grade or two, music-wise. We indulged the instrumentalists manly because they were, for the first time in a long time, the stars of the show.

Next one please, can’t wait!

Footnote: Very little is known about Les Autres, and none of it is true. Les could have been a late 19th Century toothbrush salesman, but his dad wouldn’t let him. He often hangs about the back entrance to one of the many licensed premises that the Melbourne Jazz Jammers have closed down over the years, waiting for the next debacle.

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

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