THE Caulfield RSL has been a great venue for traditional jazz over the past decades. but sad to say this is about to come to an end.
It was common knowledge last year that attendances were falling off, with a decline in income for the RSL. However under the energetic and experienced management of Bob Whetstone, this year has seen a remarkable turnaround in the profitability of Friday Night Jazz with an exciting programme and much better promotion. Despite this success, the new manager has decided to take the club in a new direction to try and attract a younger audience. This will involve no more jazz on Fridays after 4 November, a new catering service and other changes yet to be announced.
This is bad, sad news for followers of trad jazz as another weekly venue closes – one less opportunity for bands to play on a regular basis, and one less choice for fans to enjoy the music we love to hear. It may be a vain hope that a new venue for traditional jazz will surface – it’s happened before – but in the meantime let’s continue to support those that are still operating. It’s in our own interests as players and audiences.
The two remaining gigs at Caulfield will be on:
Friday 28 October with Des Camm’s Band
Friday 4 November with John Morrison’s Moonee Valley Jazz Band.
Both much loved bands, so come and make their Caulfield swan songs shouts rather than whimpers.
Bookings are essential on 9528 3600. Cover charge is $15. Dinner available from soon after 6.00pm. Music 8.00pm to 11.00pm.
In happier times, here are Bob and Marcia Whetstone dancing (with others) to the music of The Syncopators.
And now all we can say is a huge “Thank you” to Bob for the dedication and perspiration he has expended over the past 11 months to bring us so many joyful musical experiences.
One of the musicians who has played at Caulfield puts it so well:
Hello Dear Bob,
What sad news indeed! Not the least because I know just how much extremely hard work, physically & emotionally, that you’ve put into keeping the Jazz alive at Caulfield on Fridays.
Always with very best regards,