Changes afoot at The Rosstown

rosstown1SOME changes have been mooted for some time at that good old jazz pub The Rosstown in Carnegie. Well now they are definitely afoot, or should we say “aloft”, because Sunday afternoon jazz sessions will, from the beginning of August, move upstairs to the Function Room. One advantage will be the lack of pillars in this space – always a challenge to get a good view of the band in the Bistro!

Bookings will still be essential, but there will be no allocated seats The music will run from 2.00pm to 5.00pm – doors open at 1.30pm. Bookings 9571 1033

Entry for the jazz will be $15 per head, or $10 if you have had a meal in the downstairs bistro. Tea, coffee and other drinks may be ordered at the bar upstairs.

The bands for August will be:
3 August: to be advised
10 August: Moonee Valley Hot 5
17 August: The Syncopators
24 August: The Wombat Jazz Band
31 August: Shirazz

Another Doyen from the other side of the globe: John Defferary

Lew Green

Lew Green

YESTERDAY’S post inspired Lew Green of The Original Salty Dogs to nominate his own doyen of jazz: clarinetist John Defferary.

(Local jazz fans had the pleasure of meeting Lew and Mary Green during their whirlwind visit to Melbourne in 2011.)

To illustrate his point, Lew drew attention to the following film clip on YouTube which shows John playing with the Trans Atlantic Trio somewhere in Germany.

The Trio is made up of Jeff Green on soprano and bass saxophones (and yes, that’s Lew’s boy), John Defferary on clarinet, and Eric Webster on banjo.

John Defferary was born in London in 1941 where his father ran a pub. Defferary Sr. encouraged musicians to play there, so John was brought up with music all around. By the age of 16 he had started playing along (on the clarinet) to musicians like Fats Waller, Albert Nichols, and Kid Ory.

Barry Martyn (band leader and drummer) asked John to play clarinet in his band, as his reed man had left, and by the time he was 20. John was touring the United States. He spent a month in New Orleans and became influenced by what he heard there, playing with many well-known musicians. In Europe he became a protégé of Albert Nicholas, and they recorded an album together. Later he also took lessons from Barney Bigard whilst in the States in the 1970s.

Before joining Keith Smith’s Climax Jazz Band in 1962, (where he stayed for three years), John had played in the New Teao Brass Band and “Uncle” John Renshaw’s Band. He led his own Creole Jazz Band (1966-1967) and played in John Keen’s New Orleans Band (1968). By now John had also taken up the tenor sax, and often played with Mike Casimir’s Paragon Brass Band in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During the early 1970s he played with Barry Martyn, Pat Hawes, John Chilton, and others. He also depped with Ken Colyer.

In March 1973 he joined drummer Trevor Richards’s New Orleans Trio (the pianist was Bob Barton). The group toured internationally, and played for long periods in the United States. In January 1977 the three members were involved in a car crash while touring Poland, but were able to recommence touring a year later, and carried on for a further four years. From 1981 to 1984, Bob Barton and John co-led “Super Jazz”. They did various tours with American musicians, including Louis Nelson, Alton Purnell, and Freddy Kohlman.

In the mid-1980s John was asked to join Danish trombonist Papa Bue’s Viking Jazz Band. He learned to speak Danish, and stayed for some twelve years until replacing Ian Wheeler in the Chris Barber Band in 1998. In addition to his solo and ensemble work with the Big Chris Barber Band, John was also the featured clarinettist in the re-creation of the original six-piece Chris Barber’s Jazz Band, being heard to advantage in the Monty Sunshine role on such numbers as “Precious Lord” and “Wild Cat Blues”.

John Defferary

John Defferary

Doyens of Australian jazz: the VJC honours elders of the tribe

Victorian Jazz Club LogoTHE Victorian Jazz Club will hold its inaugural “Tribute to the Doyens of Jazz” starting at 2pm on Sunday 27 July 2014 at the Clayton RSL, 163 Carinish Road, Clayton when the Club pays tribute to six venerable stars of the local jazz scene. Invitations were sent out to about 100 family and friends of the “doyens”. Now the VJC Committee is opening up the invitation to any VJC members who may wish to attend.

The title of “doyen” as defined by Websters Dictionary:

(doyen: the senior member of a body or group; a person considered to be knowledgeable or uniquely skilled as a result of long experience in some field of endeavor.)

certainly fits comfortably with this half dozen musicians who were beginning their musical careers around the time of Melbourne’s traditional jazz revival of the 1940s and 1950s – and some are still making music.

The group, which is expected to be only the first of many to be recognised in this way, comprises Wes Brown (drums); Tony Newstead (trumpet); Alf Hurst (trombone); Harry Price (trombone); Kenn Jones (reeds); and Fred Stephenson (string bass).

Wes Brown at the Maple Leaf Reunion, 2010

Wes Brown at the Maple Leaf Reunion, 2010 (photo: Ron Jobe)

Harry Price at te Maple Leaf Reunion 2010

Harry Price at the Maple Leaf Reunion 2010 (photo: Ron Jobe)

Tony Newstead and Fred Parkes, 1962

Tony Newstead and Fred Parkes, 1962. (from Norm Linehan’s Australian Jazz Picture Book)

Alf Hurst with John Murray and John Withers.  (Ron Jobe photo)

Alf Hurst with John Murray and John Withers. (photo: Ron Jobe))

Fred Stephenson with the Merry Men (photo9: Ron Jobe)

Fred Stephenson with the Merry Men (photo: Ron Jobe)

Kenn Jones with Gavin Gow 1963. (from Norm Linehan’s Picture Book of Australian Jazz)

This is a completely FREE DAY provided by the VJC. The festivities will begin at 2.00pm with a “core band” put together by Ian Smith (trumpet) with Graeme Pender (clarinet), Bruce Kemp (trombone), John Cox (banjo), Allan Stott (tuba) and Ben Rushworth on drums, with “the doyens” sitting in.

No bookings are necessary, but my guess is that there will be a mighty crowd of musician colleagues, fans, family and friends so you might want to arrive early.

This is a marvellous opportunity to show these great musicians how much we have enjoyed their jazz over the years, and to remininisce about the wild and woolly days when there was jazz in every pub! Congratulations to the Victorian Jazz Club for this initiative.

At the other end of the age and experience scale, the VJC is subsidising the Under 25 Jazz Workshop Band to attend the Australian Jazz Convention in Swan Hill in December this year.

Victorian Jazz Workshop members with Brian Abrhams, drums tutor

2012 Victorian Jazz Workshop members with Brian Abrahams, drums tutor

Ultrafox second CD : Le Bruit des Cabarets (The Noise of Bars)

ultrafxHAVING enjoyed enormously Ultrafox’s debut album (Chasing Shadows), I looked forward with great anticipation to hearing their second CD,Le Bruit des Cabarets. And I haven’t been disappointed!

On this recording the core members of this gypsy style jazz band – one of Melbourne’s busiest and most widely appreciated groups – again demonstrate the level of musicianship that comes from countless hours of playing, and of playing together.

Peter Baylor and Jon Delaney are superb on guitar, sharing the rhythm and solo roles, with Kain Borlase augmenting and driving the rhythm on string bass. They are joined by the amazing Michael McQuaid on tenor saxophone and clarinet, and the ever-eloquent Julie O’Hara on vocals. And as an added bonus, visiting French violinist, Gerard Vandenbroucque brings his elegant and joyous playing to the ensemble. Vandenbroucque is based in Nantes where he leads a quartet, Bleu West.

Gerard Vandenbroucque

Gerard Vandenbroucque

Le Bruit des Cabarets features 16 tracks which range over the many different flavours of the “Hot Club du France” sound. Eight tracks are original compositions by Peter Baylor or John Delaney: the rest are a variety of popular swing tunes by composers ranging from Saranne Ferret to George Gershwin. The original compositions fit very comfortably into the whole, contributing significantly to the overall “mood” of the album. I particularly liked “Pickpocket” and “Brunton
Avenue” by Baylor, and “Sad Song” by Delaney.

The title track refers to a poem by the nineteenth century French poet, Paul Verlaine. On the CD the poem is read, in French, by Christophe Genoux with background music and accompanying “bar ambience”. One English translation of the poem (below) has a Melbourne-in-winter feel about it I think!!

noise of bars

Ultrafox will be launching this new album over the next few months in Melbourne before setting out on a regional Arts Victoria funded tour in August 2014.

To purchase the CD or download, visit the Ultrafox website (I know that downloading is quick and easy, but the physical CD is a thing of beauty in itself, with cover art by Peter Baylor. Who could resist it!)

Before setting off on tour, the band will be playing at the Ballarat Jazz Club, the Paris Cat, Bennett’s Lane and the Spotted Mallard in Brunswick where I am sure the CD will be available. Peter Baylor can be contacted on 0430 484 373 or Email: for further information.

Finally, as a taste of the whole, here is the first track from the album “Pickpocket” composed by Peter Baylor. Click on the playlist below to enjoy it.


Juliarna Clark at Dizzy’s on Friday 20 June

Juliarna and James Clark

Juliarna and James Clark

Juliarna Cleal & the Heartjazz Statesmen are taking their musical wares to the Dizzy’s Jazz Club (381 Burnley St, Richmond, ) this Friday, 20 June 2014. They invite you to come and join them for some swinging tunes.

Music starts at 9.00pm, but the venue is open for drinks and tasty meals from 5:30pm. Phone 9428 1233 for reservations or enquiries.


Musicians are

Stephen Grant (cornet),
Doug DeVries (guitar),
Rory Clarke (piano),
James Clark (double bass) and
Rod Gilbert (drums). What a smoking lineup. Juliarna is one happy singer!

Follow Juliarna on her website:

ps- James, Michael Harding and Juliarna have a residency singing great jazz on Fridays from 12-2pm at Seasons Bar and Deli in the main street in Riddells Creek. Please feel welcome to come on any Friday and enjoy the music, or indeed request some of your favourite tunes.
4 Station Street Riddells Creek. Phone: 5428 7501

Marilyn Keller returns to Australia

Keller, Marilyn 1
MARILYN KELLER, magnificent jazz, blues and gospel singer from Portland, Oregon returns to Australia this July following her highly successful tour last year.

Diana Allen of Jazz Australia will present Marilyn in two concerts – the first at the Uniting Church, Queenscliff on Friday 4 July at 5.00pm, and the second  at St Andrews Church, Brighton, corner of Church and New Streets, on Sunday 6 July,  1.30pm for 2.00pm.

When she performs in the beautiful St. Andrew’s Church, Brighton Marilyn will be accompanied by a stellar quintet of Australia’s leading jazz musicians. The group will be led by the great jazz pianist Stephen Grant, with Jonathan Hunt, clarinet, (from Adelaide and now Melbourne); Matt Jodrell, trumpet, (from Perth and now New York); Michelle Scully (previously performing under her maiden name of Whelan) on bass; and Ian Smith on drums.

Diana writes

: This time the venue which I have chosen for her will further enhance Marilyn’s amazing attributes to even greater effect and I consider that all those present will share an experience on July 6th that they will never forget. This is something we in Australia seldom have the chance to hear live and it will be a very special experience for all concerned. The musicians accompanying her are all unique in their own right and this collaboration with Marilyn will be something very special and not to be missed

Here Marilyn sings “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” in the magnificent eighteenth century Christian’s Church, Copenhagen in 2012

Marilyn, a majestic and beautiful woman with an extraordinary voice and riveting stage presence, has a spell-binding effect on audiences. Brought up in the Baptist Church where her father was an ordained minister, she was always a member of the choir. For the past 23 years and when she is not touring, she has been music coordinator for the ‘Augustana’ Lutheran Church in Portland, Oregon, that regularly attracts congregations of 700 plus!

Marilyn, a veteran of music and stage performance, has a career that regularly takes her around the world as a featured artist for concerts, festivals and recording work. She has also performed the role of the legendary Ma Rainey and sung for a ‘truth and reconciliation tribute’ to Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

BOOKINGS for the Brighton concert can be made as follows:
By cheque to Jazz Australia, 25 Peterho Bvd, Point Lonsdale 3225 with a stamped self-addressed envelope for your tickets to be posted to you.
OR by credit card with Try Booking on line at Your tickets will be supplied on line.
Tickets: Adult/Concession. $45. Children free. GENERAL ADMISSION. Refreshments will be served at interval and a bar service will be available.

BOOKINGS for the Queenscliff concert can be made by cheque to Jazz Australia, 25 Peterho Bvd, Point Lonsdale 3225 with a stamped self-addressed envelope for your tickets to be posted to you, or by telephone to Jazz Australia, 5258 3936.
Tickets $50 includes hors doeuvres pre-concert & at interval.


To close, here Marilyn performs with Brett Iggulden’s group at John Buchanan’s Classic Jazz and Ragtime Festival at Mittagong in 2013

“Jazz on a Saturday” Favourites: Radio 3CR’s Annual Radiothon

FOUR of Victoria’s best known and best informed jazz aficionados – (from left to right) John Smyth, Roger Beilby, John Trudinger and Geoff Tobin – present the Victorian Jazz Club’s long-running weekly program, JAZZ ON A SATURDAY, on Community Radio 3CR 855AM every Saturday afternoon from 4.00pm – 5.30pm.

On Saturday June 14 the program will take part in 3CR’s annual fundraising radiothon which plays a crucial role in keeping the station on air and operating. This year is an especially critical one for all community radio stations, given current indications in the Federal Budget, so your support for “Jazz on a Saturday” and for 3CR as an alternative radio voice is far more important.

To make donating even more satisfying, the team has selected some of their favourite tracks played during the year, and produced a CD which will be sent free to supporters who give $30 or more to the cause. “Jazz on a Saturday Favourites 2014″ will be the tenth in the series, and will not be available from any other source.

Last year’s gift CD had 21 tracks, including one of my favourite songs -”Breeze” by The Harlem Hot Shots with Wingy Manone (1935 – a good year!). Charlie Powell used to sing it in his unique style with the Louisiana Shakers. Click on the CD cover to hear the Manone version.

jazz sat fav 2013

So listen in on your wireless (855 AM), computer or other device ( on Saturday 14 June from 4.00pm-5.30pm and pledge your donation by phone (9419 8377).

“Jazz on a Saturday” first went to air just 3 months after the launch of 3CR in July 1976 with Roger Beilby at the microphone and John Smyth at the controls, and has continued for the next 37 years, same time, same sponsor (the VJC), and the same presenters, with the addition along the way of John Trudinger and Geoff Tobin. Each member of the team brings his own perspective on jazz, providing great diversity and depth to the weekly program.

The Syncopators at Stonnington: 30 year celebration

FROM 15- 25 May 2014 STONNINGTON JAZZ will be in its 7th, 8th or 9th year of presenting 100% Australian jazz (depending on which publicity you read). But whatever the time frame Stonnington Jazz has become a firmly established event on the jazz calendar with its broad program ranging from established to just starting out Australian jazz performers in all varieties of the genre, and in 8 different venues in the Malvern, Prahran, South Yarra areas.

The Syncopators

The Syncopators

Amongst many headliner events this year will be an absolute ripper: The Syncopators 30th year anniversary concert on Saturday 24 May at 8.00pm at the Malvern Town Hall, 1251 High Street, Malvern, with very special guests – the great Bob Barnard on trumpet and vocalist/violinist, Fem Belling.

barnard belling

One of Australia’s best, and best-loved traditional jazz bands, The Syncopators, will present this concert exclusively for Stonnington Jazz. Original frontline players Peter Gaudion (trumpet, vocals), Richard Miller (clarinet, saxophone, vocals) and Chris Ludowyk (trombone, vocals) will be joined for this milestone celebration by Steve Grant (piano), Peter Baylor (guitar, banjo), James Clark (bass, tuba) and Rod Gilbert (drums, vocals).

The setup will be cabaret format with tables of 10, unallocated seating. Bookings can be made singly or in groups but first in – best dressed for the choicest tables. Nibbles will be provided and there is a bar facility.

Click here to buy tickets or call 03 8290 7000. $30/$22 concession.

The Syncopators have played all the major jazz festivals around Australia, made numerous tours of Europe, released over 20 albums (including a Bell Award winner) and won countless fans with their entertaining combination of traditional jazz classics, swing staples, early R&B and some in-the-idiom originals.

See a preview of The Syncopators in performance playing here in Dortmund, Germany in 2010

The rest of the two weeks Stonnington Jazz program includes many other treats which may catch your fancy. Click here for the complete program.

Juliarna Clark and the Heartjazz Statesmen

Harmony row A4 for computer
JULIARNA CLARK and friends (and what friends – see below!) have a lovely gig coming up at “Harmony Row” vineyard, 362 Pipers Creek-Pastoria Road, Pastoria East near Kyneton, on Saturday 24 May 2014.

The afternoon includes a superb lunch at 12.30pm, followed by a performance of tunes from Juliarna’s latest CD (Sugar Blues) plus a selection of other jazz gems. The band features some of Melbourne’s finest Jazz Muso’s, most of whom played on the recording itself.

Stephen Grant, trumpet
Richard Miller, clarinet
Joe Ruberto, piano
Peter Hooper, banjo
James Clark, double bass
Hugh Harvey, drums

Tickets are $55 which includes a delicious two course meal, tea/coffee.
For bookings: (03) 5423 5286 Facsimile: (03) 5423 5280 or 0400 804 855

More info & samples of the CD are available on Juliarna’s website:


Andy Baylor Reeling!!!!

baylor reel
AUSTRALIA’S original roots music maestro, Andy Baylor, is celebrating his 11th independent CD release – REEL OF JOY – at Melbourne’s well-loved Lomond Hotel, corner of Nicholson Street and Blyth Street, Brunswick East on Sunday May 11th from 5.00pm – 8.00pm

Well known for his ability to move between musical styles, Andy Baylor mixes sounds as a painter blends colours. He transforms old songs into new with the kind of feeling and authority that comes from 35 years of Australian music- making and seamlessly interweaves his own new material.

REEL OF JOY is a testament to his love of music. It is a new collection of heartfelt songs and tunes drawn from the deep well of tradition.

A joyous Cajun fiddle reel rolls easily into a classic New Orleans jukebox hit, and on further into one of Andy’s own back-roads country songs. A bittersweet soul ballad is re-cast as a fiddle-driven Cajun waltz. A Spanish love song from days gone by magically re-emerges as a Jamaican dancehall skank. Ballads, blues and country ska grooves move together in time with moody midnight waltzes. A Hank Williams hurtin’ classic sits next to an irresistible dance tune from the Kingdom of Zydeco as if there are no boundaries to musical expression…. And thus the journey continues, like life itself – the reel of joy echoes through the bar-rooms of Melbourne, Sydney and the back-of-beyond. The rhythms resound in the hills and valleys of the Australian landscape and all places in between.

For a taste, here Andy performs the title track from the CD at Tamworth earlier this year. With him are Garry Steel, Warren Earl, Michael Vidale and Ron Mahony.

For the album Andy put together a talented group of Melbourne musicians: Sam Lemann on guitars, Denis Close on percussion, Andy “hillbilly” Scott on bass, Sharkey Ramos on drums, Steve Teakle on accordion, Andy Ogburn on piano and Dale Lindrea on bass.

The music was recorded deep in the heart of Brunswick, Melbourne by Steve Fraser in a disused lingerie factory and captures a warm, live, no frills approach to playing.

Entry to Sunday’s launch is free, food is available, kids welcome.
Musical guests include Denis Close on percussion; Sharkey Ramos on drums; Andrew Scott on bass; Sam Lemann on guitars; Ed Bates on pedal steel.

For more info you can contact Andy on, Mobile: 0407 839144 or

As Andy says:

REEL OF JOY is: heartfelt music picked yesterday, direct from grower, organic, fiercely independent, free of harmful additives, not tested on animals, fair trade, has the heart foundation tick of approval, gluten and dairy free and is available only from Andy Baylor himself .
Support Australian musicians and artists.