Monthly Archives: April 2012

International Jazz Day: April 30th

HAVE you heard that UNESCO has declared Monday 30 April International Jazz Day? Inspired by, or led by American jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, the day has a lot of high minded objectives (check their website) and many fabulous events are planned around the world, including a dawn concert in Congo Square, New Orleans which is to be streamed, one in New York at the UN, and one in Paris.

For some happenings in Australia you could check out the ABC’s link:

Of course it would be great to hear some live jazz on Monday, but if you can’t manage that here are five things you could do to mark the day. I’m sure you can think of others:

1. Put your favourite CDs on the stereo, open the window and give the neighbourhood a treat.
2. Head for your local supermarket and let your radio rip on a jazz station.
3. Change your mobile ringtone to something that swings. (I’ve got “Burgundy Street Blues” on mine; Graeme has “Won’t you come home Bill Bailey”)
4. Send a donation to the Victorian Jazz Archive (or the Archive in your state or territory). Money is good, but why not also send that bit of jazz ephemera that you’ve been hoarding, and which your kids will throw out the first chance they get.
5. Telephone or text a musician and tell them how much you love their work, and how much their music has meant to your enjoyment of life.


Jazz Cruise of the Mediterranean with Mark Elton, Nina Ferro et al

Mark Elton

Mark Elton

JUST as I was shaking the mothhballs off the winter woollies in preparation for the icy blasts of Melbourne in the depths, this lovely email came from Mark Elton. What could be more divine than a couple of weeks cruising the Mediterranean in luxury, surrounded by world class jazz. And as an added thrill for Australian fans of Nina Ferro (of whom there are many who remember her back in the old days at the Fountain Inn and elsewhere when she was still Noreen), Nina will be singing along with Mark and the Peter Meijers Quartet.

Hi Jane
You leapt to mind just now & I wanted to let you know about a fantastic overseas cruise that I have coming up with a trad band, featuring Nina Ferro. I thought that it may be of interest to some of the people on your mailing list, particularly the Nina Ferro fans!

Nina & I will be performing on a Holland America ‘jazz’ cruise later this year. Departing from Barcelona on 29th August, we’ll be cruising around the Mediterranean, playing 2 sets per night for 11 nights, with stopovers in Sicily, Greece, Montenegro and Croatia (to name a few) & docking back in Barcelona on 9 September. We already have a small Aussie contingent (including my parents & Kristilee’s parents) which is why I thought that it may appeal to some other local jazz lovers.

If you know of anyone that may be interested in coming along, Kristilee & I have all the details, so feel free to pass our email addresses to them. Kristilee may be a bit easier to catch on the phone than I am, her number is 0417 103 080 if anyone wants to call or email


Mark x

Here’s the ship – MS Ryndam …..

and the route:


From the wonders of Spain, Italy, Greece, Croatia and Montenegro, this itinerary with its out of the way ports is one of the most interesting trips you can take. In addition you will be able to listen to three of the hottest bands on the jazz scene today.

The Bands:
CORNET CHOP SUEY:  This band has a unique sound with co-leaders Brian Casserly and Tom Tucker on trumpet. The band is known for its variety of styles and they will switch from traditional jazz to swing, blues and big production numbers. Their high energy performances are always memorable for their audience.
TOM RIGNEY and FLAMBEAU:  Tom Rigney leads a band that generates enough heat and energy to ignite a dance floor. The band’s charismatic stage presence and wonderful repertoire, from Cajun, Zydeco to Boogie Woogie by Caroline Dahl and lovely ballads by Tom, usually leads to standing room only.
PIETER MEIJERS QUARTET: Pieter Meijers on clarinet, soprano and tenor saxophones, with Randy Morris, piano; Dick Maley, drums; Mark Elton on bass, and featuring Ms Nina Ferro

Since relocating to the UK in 2005 Nina is fast establishing her mark as one of the hottest young Soul-Jazz vocalists on the UK scene. She is a multi award-winning vocalist, songwriter, session and recording artist whose powerful yet sensuous voice and stunning vocal range have done much to establish her enviable international reputation. Here Nina sings with Irish singer/songwriter Niamh McNally at London Pizza Express’s The Pheasantry on 7th Oct 2011.

Mark Elton

In addition to Mark’s prolific jazz career, he has worked alongside actor Max Gillies as a part of the Melbourne Theatre Company’s 2009 production of The Man from Mukinupin. Mark has performed live, on radio & television and recorded with artists as diverse as C.W. Stoneking, Joe Camilleri, John Butler Trio, The Red Eyes, Nina Ferro, Julie O’Hara, Bob Barnard, James Morrison, Tom Baker, Dan Barrett, Rebecca Kilgore, Eddie Erickson, Randy Reinhardt, Scott Robinson, Abe Most, Leroy Jones, Jon Erik Kelso, The Blue Grassy Knoll, and The Syncopators.

Bob Whetstone @ Caulfield RSL on Anzac Day

Bob Whetstone

BETTER known leading The Maple Leaf Jazz Band in a rollicking rort, here is Big Bob Whetstone in a more sober mood: playing “The Last Post” at the Caulfield RSL’s Dawn Service on Anzac Day 2012. A very wet day!

Murray Bridge Jazz Festival Update

FURTHER info on our newest jazz festival – the Murray Bridge Festival on 25 August.

Ron Flack from Adelaide reports:

Hi Jane, Lenny Eames asked me to pass some information on after we decided on bands for Murray Bridge.

They will be
1. Daily Jazz led by John van der Koogh
2. The New Climax Band led by Gordon Coulson
3. The Dukes of Jazz led by Don Brow
4.The Jazz Ramblers led by Dave Sutton and
5. Mr Jazz led by myself.

These bands contain the leading Traditional Jazz Musicians on the Adelaide scene. On the Paddle boat will be a band led by Mel Hopgood with Gordon Coulson, Don Brow and Bill Polain.(Captain Proud’s Pirates)

Accommodation in Murray Bridge will be fully checked out next week, however there are 2 Motels plus B and B’s etc.; further advice on this will be conveyed to you after our next visit to Murray Bridge.

Ron Flack

Michael McQuaid’s “Hop Off” is back at a new venue

Hop Off PosterMICHAEL McQuaid’s Red Hot Ryhthmakers are back, live and better than ever at a new Brunswick venue – The Victoria Hotel at 380 Victoria Street. It’s a late night of swing dancing, good food and drink, fantastic fun and of course – RED HOT JAZZ!

The first Hop Off  returns event kicks off on Saturday 5th May from 8:30pm – 1am.

Tickets are $10 online or $15 on the door.

Their first night back is going to be a beauty and we’d encourage you to get in early as discounted tickets will be limited to the first 50 people who buy online.

Victoria Hotel, 320 Victoria Street, Brunswick

The Victoria Hotel, Brunswick

We understand that the Victoria Hotel has awesome food, a great selection of drinks and a perfect front room for dancing the night away to one of the best 10 piece jazz bands in the country.

Hop Off dancers to Michael McQuaid's Red Hot Rhythmakers

Future Hop Off dates (Mark your diaries now):
– Sat June 9th
– Sat July 21st
– Sat Aug 11th
– Sat Sep 8th

Jazz Movies : “Paris Blues” and “Midnight in Paris”

WE lunched last Sunday at the Rosstown Hotel with our next door neighbours, Ilanna and Philip. (The band for the day was Des Camm’s Jazz Band which was in very fine fettle by the way).

Our neighbours happened to mention that they had watched a jazz movie Paris Blues the night before, which prompted us to get the DVD out of the cupboard and take another look.

This confirmed our view that Paris Blues is not the greatest jazz film ever made, with its paper-thin plot about two American jazz musicians in Paris who have to decide whether to struggle on with a life in music, or leave the game and settle down to married domesticity (as if these were the only two options).

With Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier playing the two musicians, Joanne Woodward and Diahann Carroll as the love interests, and Louis Armstrong playing a cameo role, this should have been a great film… unfortunately it wasn’t.

However there were some big pluses: a wonderful score by Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong’s amazing rendition of “Battle Royal”, a very laid back version of “Mood Indigo”, and Christian Matras‘s luminous black and white cinematography. And of course Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier light up any script no matter how pedestrian.

We wondered who played the trombone and saxophone for the two stars, and after some fancy Google-work, here’s the answer:
The Canadian born trombonist Murray McEachern dubbed Paul Newman and the Boston born sax player Paul Gonsalves dubbed Sidney Poitier.

AS a contrast, another jazz movie set in Paris is Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen’s latest delightful piece of whimsy which has as its opening theme “Si Tu Vois Ma Mere” composed and played by Sidney Bechet. We found it a joy from opening titles to closing credits.

And finally as a total non-sequiter, here are Des Camm’s boys at the Rosstown on Sunday doing a lively New Orleans job on Bourbon Street Parade. This clearly shows how lots of other jazz tunes, (such as “Over the Waves”, “Washington and Lee Swing”, “Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey”, “My Little Girl”, “I Wonder Why”, and the final themes of “Tiger Rag” and “The Beer Barrel Polka”!), use the same chord sequence of “Bourbon Street’s” chorus.
The band is Pat Miller, sax; Des Camm, trumpet; Barry Wratten, clarinet; John Cox, banjo; Dave Myers, bass and Richard Opat, drums.

Happy Birthday Lionel Hampton: 20 April

GREAT vibraphonist/drummer, Lionel Hampton, was born on 20 April 1908 and died on 31 August 2002, so today is the 104th anniversary of his birth.

Here’s a wonderful clip of Hampton playing Flying Home on the American TV program, The Big Record compered by Patti Page, on 23 October 1957.

A New Jazz Festival at Murray Bridge, SA: a chance to be a festival founder!

THESE days we are more likely to hear of jazz festivals closing down, so it’s a thrill to be able to announce one starting up!

Lenny Eames announces that the inaugural Murray Bridge Jazz Festival will be held on Saturday 25 August 2012 with the hope that it will be the first of many future festivals in the fourth largest city in South Australia.

Not quite sure where Murray Bridge is? Well it’s about 80 km east of Adelaide on the Murray River. Visit the tourist website at to learn more about the area, accommodation options and other local attractions.

This year’s program is fairly modest to test the water, but it is hoped that the festival will grow bigger and better as the years go by.

The Captain Proud

THE festivities will kick off with a jazz cruise aboard the paddle steamer “The Captain Proud”. Music from 1pm – 3pm.
Then in the afternoon/evening (from 3.30pm to 8.15pm) a cabaret in the Town Hall with 5 bands playing for dancing and listening pleasure. Food platters on the tables will be included in the price. Drinks at bar prices.

Tickets: Cruise only $30
Cabaret only $25
Cruise and Cabaret $45.

For further information/ bookings contact Lenny Eames 0408 858 217 or Gordon (08) 8337 3982, by email

A Couple of “Don’t Miss” gigs coming up in April

The Syncopators

THE SURREY Music Cafe at the Box Hill Community Arts Centre at 470 Station Street Box Hill presents regular musical evenings which sometimes involve jazz.
On Friday 27 April our well loved Syncopators will be the featured group. I’m not sure whether Jeff Arthur, James Clark or Stephen Grant will be in the lineup (last heard they were overseas), but there’s no doubt that whoever is on stage will be outstanding musicians and that this will be a special night. It’s concert style seating and no talking so you’ll really be able to listen to the music!
Bookings are absolutely essential because the Cafe (which is not really a cafe, but an auditorium in a larger centre which includes an art gallery and a refreshment lounge outside the hall) has a large and faithful group of regulars who seem to attend every program. Doors open 7.30. Music starts at 8pm. Entry $18. Bookings: 0438 288 821 or email Coffee, wine and nibbles available before the show and at half time.

Forthcoming programs at the Surrey Music Cafe include:
25 May: Hetty Kate and the Irwell Street String Band
29 June: Leigh Barker Quartet featuring Hetty Stewart and Tom Vincent

Janet Seidel

AND ON Sunday 29 April Diana Allen’s Jazz Australia will present a very, very special concert. Janet Seidel, who is described by the Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD as “Australia’s first lady of jazz song”, will perform with her trio at the Uniting Church, Hesse and Stokes Streets, Queenscliff. The show begins at 6pm sharp and finishes at 8.30pm.

Janet and her accompanists – David Seidel on bass and Chuck Morgan on guitar – will have just returned from an extensive tour of the UK and Europe where they have enjoyed full houses wherever they have performed.

A consummate performer, Janet is internationally regarded for her interpretation of the songs from the Great American Songbook, the music of Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, Doris Day, Blossom Dearie…and many others.

Here is an example of her singing Sentimental Journey

And for the good old times: here Janet sings with Tom Baker in 1994 launching their CD “Doodlin'” on TV Channel 7. In the interview with John Mangos which follows the song, Tom claims this is his first serious attempt at singing!

Contact Diana Allen on 5258 3936 or by email for bookings for a lovely concert in a lovely and unusual venue. Tickets are $50. Finger food will be served throughout the performance and drinks are at bar prices.

PS. For your diaries, Diana is bringing great jazz singer Carol Ralph from Sydney on Sunday 12 August for her next Jazz Australia event at Queenscliff.

New Gig for New Melbourne

Ross Anderson

MESSAGE from my good friend, Ross Anderson, bassman and leader of the ever new New Melbourne Jazz Band:

Next Sunday arvo, [22 April 2012], 1pm till 4pm we will be at the Dingley International Hotel, 334-348 Boundary Road, Dingley, Jazz in Amy’s Bistro ( a brand new Gig). Great food and lots of Fun Jazz. To book a table please phone: 9551 8344.

This looks as though it will be a regular gig on the fourth Sunday of the month, at least up until the end of June, so go along and support another live jazz venue.

Here’s a clip of the New Melbourne raising the roof at the Clayton RSL for the Victorian Jazz Club on Saturday 16 July 2011. The usual lineup of Ron Trigg, clarinet; Chris “Charlie” Farley, banjo; Dean Cooper, drums; Peter Uppman, trumpet/vocals and Ross Anderson, leader on bass.

To keep up to date on what the New Melbourne is doing, take a look at their website: