The Captain Does a Runner

Well, not really, but he and Malcolm spent the afternoon in a tin shearing shed up the bush, listening to the rain. For reasons which escape me. The barest rump of a Jam Session in their absence: an afternoon with only one saxophonist, no drumsticks and, for a while, no drummer, (see the big secret below.) other than the estimable John Curtis who sat in and made do before a goodly session on keys.  – and yet, the afternoon had much to commend it.

Bass for starters: Dave NN repeated his stint as a more than competent bass player, this time driving the rhythm section nicely, followed by Piers who did much the same. And followed by Anton who we all know is good.

Saxophones: Laurie fronted with his Baritone, and played out of his skin all afternoon -one of the best sax sessions we have had at the Post.

Guitar: Just as well we were all on our best behaviour, because next up was Ray “lounge” Hood, who has embarked on another of his world tours (the Lounge Lizard and Annique at La Niche). Usual ridiculously good standard of music, although in the interests of accuracy (hah! Who would be interested in that?) we should mention that Annique had a first class go at blowing up the PA . Props to Dan for fixing it. Fermin, (Dindi) for the first time in a while, got up to take over the guitar department. Quite like old times at the Junk..

Recorder. Marion, but by that time we had settled to a groove and couldn’t be arsed to play some obscure bebop number, obliging her to play All of Me, and a bunch of other toons… con gusto….

Rose, Marion on recorder

Drums: Great to see John and Alex, not sighted since the Laika Bar days. Alex played drums, properly, for the first time all arvo..(See below for the big secret…). Later on Mack and then Andre took turns on the drums. (see also below for the Big Secret)

Singers? What Singers?. I haven’t mentioned the singers – they are all too shy and modest to be mentioned anyway, other than Kay, Aimee, Rose, Deb, Yuko, Jane, and Annique. Despite our best efforts, they dominated the afternoon, and mighty fine they were too.

Debs on the turps, a happy bar

The Big Secret Curiously, people kept commenting all afternoon on how good the three drummers were, (Mack, Alex and Andre) and how they weren’t making too much noise. It wasn’t until we were packing up that we realised there had been no cymbals, no snare, one ride – we will never get away with that again, but they were good…

Finally, props to Kay who wrangled the musos nicely – might get her to do that again. . We called stumps due to fading light somewhat after 7.30, at which point we all went home older, but none the wiser.

It had been a good afternoon – see you next week?

The Next Jam

The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman, next Sunday 8th September 4.00pm start. This is going to be a special session as we will be announcing details of the Jazz Festival to be….possibly.

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.

Castlemaine Jazz Festival 2017 News Update

June 9th – June 12th 2017

Venues: Run Rabbit Run is definitely in – one of the original venues and right in the middle of town.

Musicians: Musician Registration must be completed and registration fees ($20) paid by 24th April 2017… The fees are needed for Festival cashflow, but provided income is available, these will be reimbursed (and hopefully more) afterwards. No registration, no reimbursement.

Volunteers: for any Jammers not registered to play at the Festival, the opportunity exists to be a volunteer Door Manager. Apart from getting to hear some great bands, you will also get a free Festival pass. Anyone interested should contact Colin Garrett initially, on 0422 568 537

click for site & info

Port Fairy Jazz Festival

February 10th – 12th

This is coming up very soon – and promises to be a huge event. Amongst the regular jammers who can’t get a proper gig that weekend, will be…

The Ade Ish Trio/IshAllen Project

Anne Craig Duo

Anne Hayres with John Curtis

Annie Smith and the Bossa Boys

Breakout (Col not in a suit)

Christine Manetta with Black Pearl

David Ruiz Prado trio

G and T Jazz

Port Phillip Showband (Col in a suit..)

And Doug Kuhn in almost everything …Annie & the Bossa Boys, G&T Jazz, Not Quite Right

All the rest (around a hundred bands) are absolute rubbish, or not as the case may be. Should be a fantastic weekend.

The Castlemaine Jazz Festival: June 10th – 12th 2016


Another Planning meeting for the Committee this week, and a busy agenda to be covered. This year we are aiming for semi-controlled chaos, an ambitious target but what the heck…

The closing date for band registrations, 4th March, is getting nearer, best get ya skates on…and after that, best make sure you have registered and paid as a musician – we need to get your name in soon so we can order the Neon Lights…

Bands to have signed up already include the fabulous Ade Ish, John McGill’s Undectet, the LowDown Big band, and the legendary Adam Rudegair. Who ran the jam sessions for three years, and is about the most entertaining keyboard player around.

Click here for website

Marysville Jazz and Blues Festival 16 – 18 October 2015


This is the inaugural Festival, run by local identity, raconteur and all round good guy Peter Guest. If you are at a loose end and fancy giving the newly invigorated Marysville the once or twice over, this would be a good time to do it. There will be a range of music presentations by some pretty good bands, and a number of free-to-the public events, buskers and heaven knows what else.

Marysville is only 20 minutes from town if you are Bronwyn Bishop, and about an hour and half for the rest of us. You have to go past about 43 wineries in the Yarra Valley to get there, so you had better leave by about Thursday.

The line-up includes Wilbur Wilde, Tottie and the Wanderers, Joe Talia, Nick Charles, and my personal favourite, one time jammer Mama Alto. Tickets are selling fast – get yours now by logging onto

And when you are done, you have to drive past 43 wineries on the way back.


The Castlemaine Jazz Festival

A report on the AGM: everything on track for the 2016 Festival


Congratulations to Doug Kuhn, newly elected President of the Castlemaine Jazz Festival Committee. The other Committee members are Brett Willis, Vice President, Col Garrett, John Hannah, meself, Kirsten Boerema, Fran Sylvester, and Linda Carpenter: so a better representation from Castlemaine at last. Particular props to John Hannah for holding the home town fort for a third year, and to Gentleman John Curtis, who cunningly declines to be on the Committee, but contributes as much, if not more, than any other volunteer.

This year’s Festival was 40% bigger than the first year, and returned $60 plus registration fee to each of the 280 or so musicians who played.

The Third Castlemaine Jazz Festival: June 10 – June 12, 2016

The Castlemaine Jazz Festival: Volunteers Review meeting

Doug, Brett, meself and the Captain arrived on time…

A lively round table discussion with the Castlemaine based volunteers and some good suggestions for next year. Apart from the Committee, there were 55 volunteers who were indispensable to the running of the Festival – including a large number of regular Jammers, to whom the rest of us are extremely grateful.

The Festival was seed funded by the Melbourne Jazz Jammers, and quite a few regulars got to play – and entertain a series of packed houses.

We will do it again, June 3rd to June 5th 2016. You have been warned.