Wangaratta cancelled for 2019

The 2019 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues has been cancelled. This follows the resignation of co-artistic director Adam Simmons and before that the departure of long term festival managers, Nolan Media. Doubtless the $100,000 bail out of last year’s festival by the local council, though not disclosed at the time, was an indication of what was to come.

read more here . . .

IN RECESS: The Wangaratta Jazz Festival won't be held in 2019 after a ratepayer contribution of $100,000 saved the event last year.

The Laika Bar:

And… Risa now holds the record for most dosh – they must have been drinking expensive cocktails last week…great set.

This week, the Sevil Sabah Quartet, and quite possibly, special guest Al Herman (trombone) from the US of A. Not sure how he will fit on the podium, but I make it a rule never to argue with a man holding 8’6″ of brass tubing, and anyone who has played with both Bill Clinton and Dave Grusin is in need of a change.

We will commence making fools of ourselves at 8.00pm, descend into vaudevillean light farce at 8.07, go hard early and then hang on.

Summer. Jazz. Cocktails. What’s not to like?.

Sevil Sabah, Doug Kuhn, Chelsea Allen, Ben the Banker and meself, from 8.00pm Friday 6th November at The Laika Bar, 9 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda,


Sevil Sabah at Wangaratta

The Wangaratta Wash Out

By Saturday Lunchtime, the last of the Jammers had assembled en masse, full ready for a weekend of ballad mangling. Friday night at the Bulls Head had been a quietish affair, but after Sevil had pranced across the Faithfull Street Stage, we all fired up at the pub for a great night in front of a full house. Even POCKOTL was there.

And then backed up for a 9.00am start at the Craft Market, Doug and meself sitting in with Ash’s band, before another sparkling little set by Sevil in front of a large crowd – the Doublier managing to play drums and shoot a major IPhone movie at the same time, Keef and the Captain on massed saxaphones.

We knocked off at noon, well knackered, and repaired to the Faithfull Street stage for some light refreshments.

And then it all went tits up and pear shaped – with thunderstorms rolling in just before the Ish Allen Project were due to perform. Heaviest rain I have ever seen. Rescued some bedraggled and rueful musos, dragged them back to the Bull and spent the next hour and a half listening to a great impromptu performance in front of another full house.


Followed by another Captain Chaos led session which ended with Sevil and EeShan Pang (trumpet) on an elegantly restrained version of Billy Preston’s You are so Beautiful

A great weekend – thanks to the Captain, the Doug, Keef, Ben the Banker, Chelsea, Ade, Paul Bonnington, Jon McGill, EeShan, Sevil, the Doublier, Kev, Mark at the B’s H who let us get away with it, and particularly Ash, who could give CC a fair run in the Chaos department any day.

Wangaratta Jazz Festival: this weekend

The Jammers will be playing at:

· The Bull’s Head: Friday, Saturday and Sunday

· The Market, possibly, Sunday morning

Seems like we have a few starters – the Sevil Sabah Quartet will play a set at the Bull’s Head, always assuming we can stagger from the Faithfull Street stage in time on Saturday, Chelsea Allen will slap the skins , and the sublime Ade Ish is rumoured to be dropping by – as well as the regulars, all marshalled by the inimitable Captain Chaos (70 and a bit) himself.

Quite what the Bulls Head cognoscenti will make of this remains to be seen, but a coupla good nights in prospect. The Market was a blast last year. Drop by and have a dip…

Or buy a ticket and hear some real music….

What Where When Why Wang

Apparently there was a Jazz Festival in Wang, in amongst the crowds of people milling about Reid Street enjoying the deep fried food on offer to wash down the occasional social lubricant. Saturday started wet, then blew hard, and Sunday started cold then turned delightful. I am referring of course to the peripatetic Jammers, who played in the street (dancing),  played at the Bulls Head (full) the Festival Market (9.00am start, a good crowd and good grief!) and ended up enjoying fine sets on the free stage from Agus Batara, Standing Tall and the blindingly good Ish Allen Project, before putting up a Sunday evening set at the Bull once more.

Props to the tireless Divine Miss Smith, Doug on bass and Chris LeBon, all in top form. And to The Captain and Ashley for organising the whole weekend.

Are ya coming next Year?

Wangaratta Jazz Festival

A bunch of jammers have been finagled, coerced, induced or suitably bribed to head up to Wangaratta for the Jazz Festival Weekend. The Captain will be heading up a motley crew, playing at the Bulls Head on Saturday and Sunday nights, possibly at the Market on Saturday,. otherwise skulking around the Reid Street soundstages listening to some fine jazz for free. Stan Van Hooft’s Standing Tall will be playing. Exaggerated reports of the shenanigans are promised for next week’s Newsletter. The Divine Miss Smith will probably misbehave. She normally does, and we certaily look forward to that.

If you are in Wang, drop in and say G’day. If you have a tonsil or a musical implement feel free to join in.

Da Festivals is Coming!

Wangaratta Jazz Festival

Avid readers of this august journal will know that, for the last two years, Captain Chaos has organised a “fringe” event at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival (October 31st to November 3rd)- an opportunity for anyone to get up and boogie in a couple of different venues. The Captain, who, sensibly, refuses to learn from past experience, is doing it again. We already have a rhythm section organised and if any jammers (soloist, singers, drummers, whatever) feel like throwing their hat in the ring, send us an e-mail (

The other Festival we should mention is the Castlemaine Jazz Festival, sponsored by the Melbourne Jazz Jammers, with meself and the Captain currently responsible for 50% of the cockups, but in a good way… Queen’s Birthday Weekend June 6th – June 7th 2015. Of which, more anon.

Wangaratta – save $100

Hey there guys thanks for the entertaining updates. Especially Ted for his constructive criticism LOL.
I was hoping that maybe you could post this on your next update for me 🙂

Listen I have purchased a GOLD pass to this years wang fest and cant go cause I have a gig! was wondering if you might know anybody who is interested in going. I am happy to sell it for $250, that’s $100 cheaper than it costs to buy on line. details of Gold pass below.

Gold Pass

Serious jazz and blues lovers will love our Gold Pass! Jump the queue and enjoy VIP seating at every WPAC concert, plus entry to the Festival Launch Cocktail Party, Next Gen Showcase Concert, Cup Eve Concert and National Jazz Award Finals. Please note that Gold Pass holders need to arrive 15 minutes prior to each performance at WPAC and queue in the VIP area.

Lotsa love David Ruiz (the not so good trumpeter)

Wangaratta Jazz Festival

Expressions of Interest for Wangaratta Jazz Festival

Last year 15 jammers performed at various venues on the fringes of the festival. We had a great time and also managed to get to a few of the international acts. Please e-mail me on if you wish to be involved this year and indicate if you are willing to share accommodation.


Wangaratta Jazz Festival: Lowering the tone..

Jammers et al Wangaratta 2012

Guided by the Captain’s detailed instructions, we circled the town seven times before finding the rented accommodation… 8 sessions over three days ensued, leaving us all exhausted. Photographs? You should be so lucky… I managed to delete them all in a senior moment (can’t remember the last time I had one of those…), probably much to the relief of the guilty. I am in receipt of the Headmaster’s end of year report, however, which reads as follows;

Captain Chaos (saxaphone) Head Prefect. Maintained some sort of order, apparently has limited understanding of the words “sleep”, “tired”,  and “can we have a break”

La Smiff (class trouble maker) Clearly has a lot of growing up to do. Majored in Needlework, kept us all in stitches. Entertaining.

Young Kay: worked hard, but will undoubtedly come to a bad end. Eventually.

Ben (guitar) And roadie, seeing as he set up the PA eight times. Big improver, impeccable attendance record: we even told him to turn his guitar up

Keef (saxaphone) Brought plentiful charts, of which we played precisely … err… none. Keef had a fine term studying classics, and shows a firm grasp of the Homeric Saga: more the length than the form…

Marion (recorders): Requires an excessive amount of equipment to blow through a wooden pipe. Bie Mir Bist Du Schon was fun, but…

Amy (eyelashes). Sang rather well, in fine “form” . Which she spells  fmro or fffr or mfor, depending on which words she can remember at the time…

Ruby Rogers (party Animal) Rumoured to have ended up at the Golf Club not the Jazz Club. Fine singing when conscious.

Avi :  Played twice as many notes in half the sessions, mainly due to trying to keep up with Miss Rogers.

Stan (bass): The Professor started rather stolidly but ended by swing the tits of most everything.

Ann Hayres: vocals: after some quality singing, her rendition of C’Est Si Bon was in the finest traditions of the jammers. Tended to be absent due to a predilection for listening to music.

Buddy (smooth vocals and PA) His fine and detailed adjustment of the foldback controls left Buddy satisfied with the sound system. The foldback controls were not connected. Could sing through a bucket and still sound good: might suggest that to him..

Jack The Lad: When not playing some fine trombonic solos, amused himself by telling the pianist to just play all the black notes. Helpful..

Toni: (drums) Carried them ain and out of every venue, assisted by Simon who helpfully tested them every time the  kit was assembled.

Ashley: duettist and drummer. Favoured treatment due to close local association with the landlord. Needs another session at the Grand to recover…

Ted (piano)  Brilliant all weekend, then stopped dreaming and woke up..