ON Wednesday 14 October 2015 the Shire of Nillumbik will stage a very special tribute to a pair of Australia’s iconic jazz musicians – Graeme and Roger Bell. This will take the form of a Tea Dance to be held at 3.00pm in the Eltham Community and Reception Centre, 801 Main Street, Eltham.
THE TRIBUTE BAND will be made up of musicians who are pretty much jazz icons themselves! Get a look at the list:
Ian Smith ( trumpet and leader) Dave Hetherington (clarinet)
Chris Ludowyk (trombone) Stephen Grant (piano)
Mark Elton (bass) John Cox (banjo)
and Wes Brown (drums)
Also featured will be some of the newer generation of jazz musicians in The Eltham High School Jazz Band.
Eltham (now part of Nillumbik Shire) had particular significance in the early days of Graeme and Roger. In 1938, together with friend Peter Glass, they bought 6 acres of land in Eltham. Inspired by Justus Jorgenson of Montsalvat they decided on mudbrick houses and spent many congenial weekends with friends making bricks and carousing. Some weekends carousing outstripped brick making! Further details of this period can be found in Alistair Knox: We Are What We Stand On: a personal history of the Eltham community
Below is a photo from Graeme’s autobiography (Graeme Bell: Australian Jazzman) of a visit to the site with Rex Stewart in 1949.
The Bell house is still standing at 71 John Street. The house Peter Glass built is at 75 John Street.
So put this date in your diaries to join in celebrating the music of the late Graeme and Roger Bell, and in commemorating the contribution these former Eltham residents made with their music in both Australia and overseas. And if you’re old enough, relive those wonderful times spent listening and/or dancing to the Bell bands.
Date: Wednesday 14 October
Time: 2:30pm (doors open) for 3pm start
Where: Eltham Community and Reception Centre
801 Main Road, Eltham
Cost: $15 book tickets through www.trybooking.com.au/145611
before Tuesday 6 October
For further information or bookings after 6 October contact 9433 3157 or firstname.lastname@example.org/
Refreshments will be supplied by St Margaret’s Anglican Auxiliary.
Amongst the many Bell recordings, the following 2 CD set produced by the Australian Jazz Museum stands out as a great collection of early tracks. The Museum shop can be contacted online at http://www.ajm.org.au
Nillumbik Shire Council is supporting this event in conjunction with Nillumbik U3A, the Australian Jazz Museum and Eltham High School to present an afternoon of wonderful Jazz music.
(John Crichton and Mal Harrop run a jazz appreciation course for Nillumbik U3A on Monday afternoons at 4.00pm at the Eltham Living & Learning Centre, 739 Main Road, Eltham)