The Doubly Gifted Committee & the Bell Jazz Lectures

Bill Liddy

MY generous mate, Bill Liddy, tipped me off to this remarkable Australian jazz phenomenon: the Doubly Gifted Committee’s Bell Jazz Lectures.

In 1992, the Doubly Gifted Committee held its first ‘Jazz Art Happening’ exhibition at Waverley Library, Bondi Junction, Sydney to showcase the double talents of jazz musicians who are also artists. It was the brainchild of Committee member Harry Stein, (who incidentally was one of the founders of the Australian Jazz Convention). The following year, the exhibition was expanded to include the Bell Jazz Lecture, also organised by the Doubly Gifted Committee, in recognition of Graeme Bell’s significant contribution to jazz. The Jazz Art Happening and Bell Jazz Lecture have continued as a two-week annual event at Waverley Library since 1993.

Members of the Committee over the years have included Harry Stein, Graeme Bell, Jeannie McInnes, Kate Dunbar, Verdon Morcom, Margaret Stevenson, Ron Lander (Waverley City Librarian), Jiri Kripac, and Bob Baird (since 2005).

And what is so wonderful is that the complete text of each of the lectures so far – all 19 of them – can be downloaded from the Waverley Library website!.

Here’s the complete list of speakers and topics:
1993. Bruce Johnston. Jazz & Society
1994. Gail Brennan. Jazz Posibilities: realised & denied
1995. Dick Hughes. Jazz & the Press, and related airs and themes.
1996. Judy Bailey. Jazz – A Question of Growth, (or Survival of the Hippest?)
1997. Clement Semmler. Whither Jazz?
1998. Geoff Bull. Jazz – What’s in a Name?
1999. Jack Mitchell. Jazzdags
2000. Peter F. J. Newton. Along Dark Alleys: the Literature of Jazz and Crime
2001. Mandy Sayer. Goodbye Porkpie Hat: writing jazz in the twentieth century
2002. Bill Haesler. Fixty-six years of jazz & Jazz Conventions
2003. Len Barnard. No Sticks Before 10 O’clock
2004. John Morrison. Serious Fun
2005. Jim McLeod. Jazz & the Cinema
2006. Graeme Bell. Leader of the Band
2007. Bill Boldiston. Sydney Jazz Until 1950
2008. Bill Pochee. Things ain’t what they used to be
2009. Jeannie Lewis. You know I don’t listen to the words
2010. James Valentine. The Myths of Jazz
2011. Daniel Hardie. Buddy Bolden and me – the true story

This is an absolutely wonderful, rich local resource on jazz – wide ranging, scholarly but entertaining – and one which every jazz fan should dip into.


One response to “The Doubly Gifted Committee & the Bell Jazz Lectures

  1. Hi Jazz Ramble
    Sorry I was not sure who this reply should be sent to, I’m sure you can direct it to the correct person. Looking at your web site today with reference to the Annual Bell Jazz Lecture. You have missed out on the last 2, 2012 and 2013 of the Bell lectures. I hope you don’t mind me bringing it to your attention.
    The 2012-2013 is now on the waverley council web site with all names as reference.
    Kind regards
    Bob Baird.

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