From the MSO

Hi there,

I hope you are well.  My name is Erica and I am getting touch on behalf of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as I thought you may be interested in the upcoming MSO Pops concert series, given there us a particular focus on Jazz this year.

On that note – the MSO Pops concert series has been reimagined for 2014 to bring it more in scope with a Broadway/Musical/Jazz theme paired with a  vintage glamour to appeal to a broad range of  Melburnians, from passionate  music lovers through to those who just love a good night out on the town.   In 2014, MSO Pops includes the very best of jazz trumpet with legendary James Morrison, unforgettable musical theatre tunes and all-American greatest hits with Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart.

There are three concerts in the MSO Pops series, which are held at Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall at 7pm on the Saturday, followed by a matinee session on the Sunday.  The first concert is A Journey Through Jazz: From Louis Armstrong to Herbie Hancock and will be held on Saturday 8th March  at 7pm, followed by a matinee on Sunday 9th March at 2pm

The following concerts are in June and then November, with the full program listed here:

I can absolutely provide images or interview as you wish, along with greater information about the series. I would be more than happy to look at arranging tickets, should you wish to attend the concerts.

We’re really keen to let people know that there is a subscription offer available, which reduces the cost of the series somewhat.  Obviously this is only relevant up until the first concert, so that people get the whole series.

I thought it might also be worth mentioning that we’re currently holding a competition in which everyone who buys a subscription or a ticket to the first concert gets the chance to win a trip toe ‘the home of jazz’, New Orleans… And who wouldn’t want to win that? (OK yes, I’m biased!)

I’d love the opportunity to chat this through with you further to gauge your  interest in supporting the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and even potentially chat through some ideas. A blog post in the lead up to the first concert would be ace, but we’d love any support you’re willing to give across your community to #MSOPops

Given the first concert is a less than a fortnight away, keen to move very quickly so by all means feel free to call me directly if you have questions or if there is someone else to whom I should direct my query.

Thanks so much for making it to the end of this email and I do hope we can work together to spread some MSO love to the peeps of Melbourne.



Sunday 18th August Leinster Arms 150th celebrations

Not the normal jam but heaps of fun. Attended by Jammers Andrew, John, Annie, Doug, Colin, Keith, Sebastian, Roger, Chelly, Ali, Trevor and Anton.
Around 300 people visited throughout the day.and enjoyed the sausage sizzle, wine tasting, cheese tasting, various genres of music, and the usual great Leinster Arms fare.

Jazz at the Leinster

From a very slow start on a “Ted free day” the Leinster Arms developed into a full on, very entertaining jam session.

The early regulars, John Curtis (keys), Bob Vinard (keys), Stan Van Hoof (bass), Julian Driscol (trumpet), Glen (drums) and yours truly (tenor)  were later joined by Tariq (guitar and bass), Ben (guitar) Peter (ex Tasmania ..drums) Simon (drums), Ray Hood (guitar), Tim (Tenor and Alto), Jasim (guitar), Trevor (harp), Yasims’s mate (very classy alto), Marion (recorder and keys), Keith (clarinet) and Izumi (alto). When we thought we were fully covered at 6.30 in walked Anthony Pell with his double bass. Vocals were beautifully executed by Tess (ex Sydney), Leisa and Debbie. Ray Hood chipped in with a  creditable vocal on Corcovado.

One notable train wreck (not a Leinster session if we don’t have at least one): the 3/4 Valse Hot by Sonny Rollins. Not called by the Captain this time but will be worked on to resurrect in the future. (be warned).

Not your normal correspondent.



Nope, there was no jam session last Sunday – or at least, if there was a jam session, a lot of us didn’t turn up. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that Hortense was there, doing a bit of background yearning; although if she was, I doubt you would have seen her. Miss H is properly inscrutable these days, even if rumour has it she was quite scrutable in her youth. Ask Rotten Ronnie Junior if you don’t believe me.

So… a Sunday Arvo of superlatives: no bum notes, the drums were never too loud, no-one dropped a bar, all of the Captain’s Fours went according to plan, the beer was free and everyone clapped every time a guitarist soloed. Really quite remarkable, so we won’t do that again.

This coming Sunday (7th April) should see the Gold Street Gossip Shop almost deserted, as it is traditional for no one to turn up the week after we have had a break. If you do turn up, feel free to sit in for as many songs as you like, or three choruses of Footprints, which would probably seem like it lasted longer anyway.


Well, not really an update – we are hoping to meet with some Castlemaine venue operators in the next couple of weeks, courtesy of some fine legwork by Gwyn and John Hanna: with a view to seeing if we can form a fest around one particular venue in Castlemaine. Seasoned jammers may remember we went up there a couple of years ago, and rocked the tits off a white piano equipped bar for Gwyn’s birthday. Turns out she has one of these every year (who’d have thought?), so we might even do it again. Different venue.


Friday 5th April sees a double bill at the Grand – Kay “Crocodile Hunter” Young, back from the NT, and the equally ridiculously talented but slightly more Japanese Risa Khodani. For extra laughs, we have thrown Stuart Prentice in for Double Bass playing duties, but neglected to tell him about Risa’s penchant for singing obscure Japanese nursery rhymes at breakneck speed. The rest of us will be peaking on a variety of stimulant narcotics by that stage (or not as the case may be) in an attempt to keep up. Ben Stewart on guitar, the Captain taking over when it all gets out of hand.

Should be a good night.

It was a dark and stormy night. Meanwhile, somewhere in Kansas… this week’s Noos

The Grand Hotel

Mighty fine set by the absolutely fabulous Miss Smiff (well, I for one quite like her singing, and the shtick that goes with it) accompanied by Dean on drums, young Curtis on pianoforte, and Avi on bass. Turned out to be rather a good line – up, and even though the GH is clearly winding down for Easter, a reasonable audience. Their collective but inaudible gasp at the surprise appearance of Captain Chaos was a sight to behold. As was CC himself, having a good time as usual.

Next week, you are all going to attend Compline or something on Good Friday so you will miss absolutely nothing at the Grand, because we are having a week off. No Hortense, that is not a Scottish chest complaint…

The Leinster Arms, Watering hole to the gentry, indigent, indolent, insolent, and various other folk who took the music challenge and failed..

I had better make this quick, as I notice Hortense popped up in the preceding paragraph, which means Madge from Altona will not be far behind. And those who have seen Madge’s behind generally prefer it to be as far as possible…Now, where was I? Oh yes, The Gold Street Gossip Shop, home to some of the worst music this side of the equator. Or not as the case may be.

Sunday Arvo started a bit thin, no bass player, so at least half an hour of very bad bass lines on the piano by meself. Once a few more desperates had shambled through the door, it all got a bit brighter, and by bedtime, the standard of the music, children, was perilously close to quite good . Newcomers included Tess (singer) and some dude on sax who blew hot and sideways for a while. His name may have been Phineas P Lightdrizzle, but as I neglected to check, I can’t be sure. Tess was pretty damn good. Chelly sang, Bettina sang, Ben twanged the geetar and worried that his kids would misbehave (they didn’t) Julian tooted. and the usual range of suspects got up and boogied.

Then followed a fine set by the piss elegant (can I say that whilst the Editor is away?) Lisette, first time I have heard her sing, and I hope it is not the last. All class. And by the time I left, Richard had taken over, which is never a bad thing.

Again: NO JAM SESSION THIS SUNDAY – you are all going to be spending the day rifling the vegie patch for Easter eggs or something. Abnormal service will be resumed the following Sunday.

And stick to the black notes – they’re cheaper.

What’s On at The Grand

Friday 15th March, Grand Hotel, corner of Spenser and Flinders, from 5.30pm
Chelly Parisi is on, that’s what – with newcomer Jimmy on Bass, Andrew Putnam on drums, meself on piano, and Captain Chaos back in the saddle. Unless you are booked to drive in the Grand Prix the next day, please feel free to drop in and hear a few great new toons from Miss ‘Chell