Category Archives: Venues

Moama Jazz Weekend

THE Echuca Moama Jazz Club folded its wings in February 2013 due to lack of local support and membership. But obviously there is still a jazz heart beating in the region.

moama rsk

The Moama RSL in Merool Lane, Moama is holding a jazz weekend on Saturday and Sunday, 29 and 30 November with three very well credentialed bands playing – Maryborough Traditional Jazz Ensemble, Loose Goose, and the Peter Hooper Quartet.

Registration fee is a measly $25 for both days with sessions running from 12 noon to 11.00pm on Saturday and 11.00am to 2.00pm on Sunday. The venue is the very comfortable Moama RSL building with two separate locations operating.

The organisers are keeping things small in this first year, but if it is successful, plans are for a much more ambitious festival in coming years. This is a chance to support a new jazz venture, and have yourself “a good weekend” into the bargain. Contact the RSL for bookings and further details on 5482 6677.

Located on the banks of the Murray River, the twin towns of Echuca Moama are the closest point of the Murray to Melbourne – just a 2.5 – 3 hour drive. A very popular tourist magnet particularly famous for its iconic paddle steamers and other links to the historic past of the Riverina, there is plenty to entertain when not enjoying the jazz.


Wombats again!!

wombat funWHOOPEE!! After trying to retire at the end of their Elsternwick Hotel residency, the Wombat Jazz Band was inveigled into a final fling at the Rosstown Hotel some weeks ago.

This venture was so successful with an almost full house of 90 fans, that the Rosstown has managed to lure the Wombats out of their burrow for another daytime appearance.

So on this coming Sunday, 19 October, you have another chance to hear this legendary band playing their own special brand of mainly Australian jazz music.

The lineup on this occasion will be the usuals – Bill Kerr, Judy Taylor, Ken Collins, Jacqui O’Neill and Tony Orr – except that Simon VanCam who played with the band for years will be on bass instead of Smithy who is otherwise engaged on Sundays.

Music starts at 2pm and runs until 5pm. The door charge is $10 unless you choose, as many do, to lunch downstairs in the Bistro, in which case the discounted cover charge is $5 on presentation of your lunch receipt.

Bookings are essential on 9571 1033. The Rosstown Hotel is on the corner of Dandenong and Koornang Roads, Carnegie, just a stone’s throw from the Carnegie Station.


The Maple Leaf forever: legendary favourites together again at Williamstown

Bob Whetstone

Bob Whetstone

LOOKING ahead to October, here’s a date to put on your calendar!

On Sunday 26 October the Williamstown Jazz Club will present a rare return to the platform of the Maple Leaf Jazz Band.

Kim Rushworth, the sole surviving member of the original 1974 band, and Bob Whetstone, a very early Maple Leaf luminary(1981) will be joined by some more recent additions to present that special brand of musical delight and mayhem which earned this band the adoration of the hundreds of fans who, during the ’70s and 80s, regularly crammed into pubs like the Canada Hotel,  the Stockade in Nicholson Street Carlton, the Spreadeagle, the Anchor and Hope, the Victoria (Pink Vic) and the Portsea Hotel to see and hear them.

Kim Rushworth

Kim Rushworth

Not only does the Maple Leaf play great jazz, they also entertain, with Bob and Kim doing a highly professional two-man act, leading each other on to taller and taller, and gutsier and gutsier tales.

The line-up on this occasion will be Bob Whetstone, trumpet/vocals; Kim Rushworth, reeds/vocals; Les Fithall, trombone/vocals; John Cox, banjo/guitar; Dan Gordon, bass/ possibly tuba; and Ben Rushworth, drums.

John Cox and Les Fithall

John Cox and Les Fithall

The Williamstown Jazz Club’s venue is the Williamstown RSL, 128 Ferguson St, Williamstown. The band will play from 4pm to 7pm.

Book early so as not to miss out on this special event. Bookings 9397 1885.    $15 entry.

Ben Rushworth

Ben Rushworth

Big Bob and Dan Gordon

“Big Bob” and Dan Gordon

The Wombats re-unite at the Rosstown

The Wombats' final night at the Elsternwick Hotel on 16 December 2013 Bill Kerr, Tony Orr, Ken Collins, Judy Taylor, Ian Smith (obscured), Simon Stribling, Jacqui O'Neill

The Wombats’ final night at the Elsternwick Hotel on 16 December 2013
Bill Kerr, Tony Orr, Ken Collins, Judy Taylor, Ian Smith (obscured), Simon Stribling, Jacqui O’Neill

THERE was much sorrow in the ranks when the beloved Wombats Jazz Band played their final gig at the Elsternwick Hotel at the end of last year, so it is with pleasure that I remind you that The Wombats will come together again to play at The Rosstown Hotel in Carnegie on Sunday 24 August from 2pm to 5pm.

The lineup will be most of the usual suspects: Bill Kerr – reeds, Ken Collins – trumpet, Judy Taylor – piano, Alan Stott – sousaphone, Jacqui O’Neill – washboard and Tony Orr on banjo. Ian “Smithy” Smith has a regular commitment on Sundays so his place will be taken in the rhythm section by Alan Stott who incidentally was an original member of the band and wrote the words for the group’s theme song, The Wombat.

The program will be all the usual Australian jazz compositions for which the band was established: Ade Monsbourgh, Graeme and Roger Bell, Dave Dallwitz, Jack O’Hagan etc.

For all you Wombat fans, this is a rare chance to enjoy your favourite band again, and to revel in their lively and engaging personality and stage presence.

As previously announced, jazz will be located upstairs in the function room with a door charge of $10, or $5 on presentation of a Bistro lunch receipt. Coffee/Tea can be ordered at the bar upstairs as well as other beverages. Doors open at 1.30pm.

Bookings are still essential, however there are no reserved seats. On the other hand, there are none of the obscuring pillars which made the downstairs room so unfriendly for good sightlines to the band.

New Trad Jazz Gig at the Rising Sun

rising sun hotel
A NEW Trad Jazz Gig is always welcome news, so it’s great to hear that The Rising Sun Hotel at 2 Raglan Street, South Melbourne is adding to its existing very successful JAZZ ON THURSDAYS, and BIG BAND on Tuesdays with a TRAD JAZZ RESIDENCY on Sunday afternoons from 2.30pm to 5.30pm.

Bands have been booked up to the end of December 2014, and include Michael McQuaid’s Mike’s Retro 5, The Syncopators, Shirazz, Virus, The Sugarfoot Ramblers, and The Four Scoops (Ben Gillespie, trombone/vocals; Lynn Wallis, drums; Craig Fermanis, guitar; Mark Elton, string bass). Check out The Ramble’s Coming Gigs page for monthly details.

Here are The Sugarfoot Ramblers if you haven’t caught up with them yet.

Daniel Berry, James Macaulay, Jason Downes, Travis Wood, Marty Holubek, Brett Thompson

Daniel Berry, James Macaulay, Jason Downes, Travis Wood, Marty Holubek, Brett Thompson

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.

Take The Blues Express to Jamieson on March 22

ROB Thurley from up Jamieson way, sends news of the Jamieson Jazz Club’s annual Autumn Jazz Cabaret. (See flyer below)

jamieson copy

The Jazz Cabaret Gala Night will be right on the Autumn Equinox ( 22nd March), and this year, Peter Gaudion’s legendary Blues Express is performing the concert.

The iconic Jamieson Memorial Hall will be transformed into an authentic Ol’ New Orleans Jazz venue for the night. The Jamieson Community Group is also putting on a host of other free activities over the weekend.

jamieson hall

One idea would be to get a group of friends together, come up on the comfortable scheduled VicRail bus from Southern Cross station to Mansfield and share a hire car/mini bus for the short trip to Jamieson, return on the VicRail bus on Sunday.

For information on the event, bookings, accommodation options or other activities in the region, contact Rob Thurley on

The Hall only seats 100 so if you’re interested don’t delay. A weekend in the High Country – particularly glorious at this time of year – plus great music and fine dining. Sounds all good to me!

jamieson view

Jazz on Thursdays @ The Rising Sun

rising sun hotelLOOKING for somewhere to go to hear jazz on Thursday nights? Well, here’s a place to check out…

The Rising Sun Hotel, 2 Raglan Street, South Melbourne.

The Joe Ruberto Trio has this new residency, with different special guests each week. You can check the listed guest each week on Jazz Ramble’s Coming Gigs page. Like most groups, the membership of the Trio varies, depending on who’s available, but usually comprises drums and bass, with Joe on piano of course.

This historic South Melbourne Hotel has had a long association with jazz, with the Down Beat Big Band performing from 8.00pm to 11.00pm every Tuesday which will continue. Now with new owners, a new menu and freshly opened upstairs lounge, this grand old pub is expanding its connection with jazz by adding a second regular residency on Thursdays.

The Joe Ruberto Trio performances will begin at 6.30 pm and end at 9.30 pm and are free to the public. Reservations are advised to ensure that you get a table. Phone: 9696 2411


The Wombats bite the dust – hopefully to rise again

wombat sad
THE much beloved Wombat Jazz Band has been a fixture at the Elsternwick Hotel on the third Monday of the month since 1997, with a passing parade of regular personnel and visiting sit-ins, and a repertoire heavily weighted on the side of Australian compositions.

Very sadly we have to announce that this residency is no more as of January 2014. But knowing the energy and resilience of Judy Taylor’s and Bill Kerr’s group we can only hope that some clever publican will recognise the special place the Wombats occupy in the hearts of their existing loyal followers, and their potential to create new audiences for the lucky pub/venue which provides a new home for them.

While we keep up our spirits waiting for the happy return of The Wombats, here’s a sample of one of their boisterous tracks – BACK TO BALLARAT – from their CD Are You Having Any Fun?. Click on the CD cover to hear it.

wombat fun