The Famous Jazz Piano Lunches Resume Tomorrow

The famous Jazz Piano Lunches which were an important part of the Melbourne jazz scene for over twenty years ceased about two years ago. A group of Melbourne jazz piano lovers have revived the concept and the first jazz piano lunch will be held tomorrow the 25th of January 2018 in the Function Room at the East Malvern RSL between midday and about 3.00 pm. East Malvern RSL is set in parklands at 2 Stanley Grose Drive , East Malvern and is about 400 meters walk from the Darling Railway Station on the Glen Waverley line.
Each pianist will play a twenty minute solo bracket. Amongst those performing tomorrow will include Cathy Connor, Adam Rugear, James Mustafa, Keith Stevens , Jo Abbott, Andrew Farrell  and Ken Sumsion and we are sure others will be added to the list.
Entry is free and bookings are not required. Lunch can be ordered in the bistro and can be served in the Function Room while you enjoy the music.
The plan is for the piano lunches to be held every eight weeks and the next one is scheduled for the 22nd of March.

More details at :

Some January Jazz

Now that the dust has settled after a very successful 72nd Australian Jazz Convention in Ballarat it is great to have lots of live jazz in January in Melbourne. One of the highlights for fans of traditional jazz is the brief return to Australia of clarinettist & vocalist  Chris Tanner.

Originally from Melbourne Chris played clarinet with bands such as the Yarra Yarra Band, Allan Browne’s New Orleans Rascals, The Hoodangers and Virus.   He has been living and working as a very busy professional musician in Denmark for the last eight years and is back home in Melbourne for a short visit and will be performing at a couple of gigs here in Melbourne during his all too brief stay.

Next Friday the 12th of January at 9.30 pm he will be at the Paris Cat , 6 Goldie Lane Melbourne with Steven Grant trumpet , John Scurry guitar and Howard Cairns bass. Tickets $30.00 available from . Doors open at 9.00 pm.

On Wednesday the 17th of January between 7.30 & 10.00 pm he will be  reunited with Virus for a  special night of jazz  with  Julien Wilson on reeds, Matt Jodrell trumpet, John Scurry guitar, Howard Cairns bass and Lynn Wallis drums for the Victorian Jazz Club at the East Malvern RSL at 1 Stanley Grose Drive, East Malvern.  Doors open at 6.00 pm for dinner if you want. Admission for Victorian Jazz Club members is $15.00 and visitors is $20.00. You don’t have to be a member to attend, everybody is welcome.  Bookings advisable on 9874 8870 or 0425 735 428 or at

More details of Chris’ gigs can be found at

Thursday the 25th of January at East Malvern RSL will see the return of the famous Piano Lunches which were an important musical component of the Melbourne jazz scene from 1983 until 2014.  The piano lunches will be held in the Function Room at East Malvern between midday and approximately three pm commencing on the 25th of January and then bi monthly in March , May , July, September and November of this year.

Appearing  the first piano lunch will be Cathy Connor,  Adam Rudegeair,  James Mustafa,    Phil Carroll, Jo Abbott, Ken Sumsion and Max Teakle who will each  perform a twenty minute set.

East Malvern RSL  has an excellent bistro and meals will be served in the Function Room. There is no admission fees for the piano lunches and  bookings are not required .  Further details can be found at

Come along , enjoy live jazz and spread the word !






Nick Polites

Nick Polites, Melbourne clarinetist will retire soon from playing jazz at the tender age of 90. Born in Melbourne on the 2nd of July 1927 Nick took up the clarinet as a teenager and played at the First Australian Jazz Convention in Melbourne in 1946 with the Jazz Appreciation Society Band and with John Sangster’s Band , the Allfrey Street Stompers and Frank Johnson’s Fabulous Dixielanders from 1951 to 1956.  In 1957 he joined trombonist Llew Hird in the band that would become the legendary Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band. The MNOJB had a hugely successful tour of the United Kingdom and Northern Europe over eighteen months before disbanding in early 1963.  He then traveled to New Orleans for a lengthy stay before returning to Melbourne where he has been a mainstay of the New Orleans Revival style of jazz ever since.  Bands he has played with for lengthy periods include the Yarra Yarra Jazz Band, the Nick Polites Stompers, Hugh de Rosayro’s Nite Owls and for the last thirty years , the Louisiana Shakers.  The clarinet chair in the Shakers will be taken over by John Kelly. A former trustee of the Australian Jazz Convention and past president of the Victorian Jazz Club, Nick has performed at just about each of the past 71 Australian Jazz Conventions and will do so at the 72nd AJC this year at Ballarat.

Nick will play his final Sunday gig with the Louisiana Shakers on Sunday the 24th of December between 1.00 & 4.00 pm at the Clyde Hotel , Carlton.  A fitting opportunity for the Melbourne jazz community to farewell a great musician who has given so much to traditional jazz in this country. 

East Malvern RSL Jazz Christmas Breakup – Wednesday 6th December – Creole Bells

                                                      Our Christmas breakup for the 2017 East Malvern program will be on Wednesday week the 6th of December featuring the masters of classic jazz , the Creole Bells Revival Band who will be presenting two hours of hot jazz from the 1920s and 30s through to the compositions from the 1940s onwards of the Australian jazz pioneers such as Graeme & Roger Bell, Ade Monsbourgh and Frank Johnson. The Creole Bells are led by Steve Waddell on trombone & vocals along with Bob Pattie cornet, Graeme Pender reeds , Tony Orr banjo , guitar & vocals, Doug Rawson piano and Alan Stott sousaphone.
Everybody is welcome. You don’t have to be a member of the Victorian Jazz Club to attend.
Come along , enjoy live jazz and spread the word !
Admission : Victorian Jazz Club members – $15.00 , visitors – $20.00.
Doors open for dinner in the Jazz Room at 6.00 pm . Music starts at 7.30 pm.
Bookings are advisable . Bookings & Enquiries : 9874 8870 or 0425 735 428.
The 2018 East Malvern jazz season will open on Wednesday the 17th of January 2018 with the return from Denmark of Melbourne born musician Chris Tanner for a reunion with the legendary Virus.

Tony Newstead

Melbourne trumpeter Tony Newstead died in Melbourne on the 6th of November 2017. Tony was born on the 1st of October 1923. He took up trumpet in 1940 and  joined the RAAF in 1942 and served in New Guinea until the end of the Second World War. On discharge from the Air Force at Melbourne University he played with the Varsity Vipers with musicians such as Nick Polites, Ken Ingram, Will McIntyre and Keith Cox.

In the late 1940s he started leading his own bands   using the word Southside in the band name.  A fine musician his trumpet style , tone and phrasing reflected his love for the music of Bix Beiderbecke and bands under his leadership had a strong swinging Chicago style sound which he pioneered in this country.   Highly qualified in telecommunications technology he studied and worked in the UK , the United States  and Hong Kong for extensive periods which allowed him to sit in and record with many overseas groups .  The cover of the 1960 Swaggie EP called “ Tony Goes Chicago “ has an iconic photo of Tony sitting in at Eddie Condon’s Nightclub in 1958 with musicians of the musical  stature of Rex Stewart, Buzzy Drootin, Gene Schroeder and Herb Hall.

In Australia Tony played and recorded actively with leading bands such as Storyville, the Powerhouse Band, the Yacht Club Band and many other jazz groups. During his time in Washington he led the Potomac River Jazz Club Band and performed and recorded with local bands at the Manassas Jazz Festivals in 1972 and 1973. Examples of Tony’s musicianship can be found in a compilation CD called “ The Best Of Tony Newstead – a retrospective “ available from the Australian Jazz Museum. The CD includes recorded works of the Southside Gang of the 1960s, Storyville and the Yacht Club Band of the 1970s together with examples of live sessions recorded in the United States for the Fat Cat label.

A celebration of Tony’s life will be held at Le Pine, 981 Burke Road , Camberwell at 10.00 am this  Friday the 17th of November .

Classic Jazz at East Malvern RSL – Wednesday 15th of November

The name says it all . On Wednesday week the Victorian Jazz Club is very proud to present a night of hot jazz from the 1920s & 1930s  at the East Malvern RSL  between 7.30 & 10.00 pm with Golden City Classic Jazz with special guest Graham Eames on trumpet.

This band was one of the highlights of the 71st Australian Jazz Convention at Ballarat

Led by Herb Jennings on trombone this band is made up of some of Australia’s top musicians playing in the classic jazz style including Garry Richardson on reeds, Barry Hirst on piano and vocals , Tony Orr on banjo, guitar and vocals, Allan Stott on sousaphone , Richard Opat on drums and washboard and from Adelaide,  a master of hot jazz trumpet , Graham Eames.  Herb has put together a program of hot jazz & blues that will be a treat for listeners and dancers alike. A special night of jazz – for one  night only !

Admission : Victorian Jazz Club members – $15.00 , visitors – $20.00.

Doors open for dinner in the Jazz Room at 6.00 pm . Music starts at 7.30 pm.

Bookings are advisable . Bookings & Enquiries :  9874 8870 or 0425 735 428.  

Our 2017 Christmas special will be on Wednesday the 6th of December with the Creole Bells Revival Band.

The 2018 East Malvern season will open on Wednesday the 17th of January 2018 with the return from Denmark of Melbourne born musician Chris Tanner & Virus.

Everybody is  welcome. You don’t have to be a member of the Victorian Jazz Club to attend.

Come along , enjoy live jazz and spread the word !




John Scurry’s Reverse Swing – New CD post matinee

Melbourne based guitarist and composer John Scurry has released a new CD called post matinee by his band Reverse Swing which will be available this weekend at the Wangaratta Jazz & Blues Festival.

17 tracks all composed by John Scurry. The band features Eugene Ball trumpet, Michael McQuaid tenor sax and clarinet, Matt Boden piano, Howard Cairns bass and John Scurry guitar. Guests on the CD include Shelly Scown vocals, Danny Fischer drums, James Macauley trombone and Phil Noy alto. With musicians of the calibre it promises to be a great production .

The CD is available in Melbourne through Readings, Thomas’ Music and Northside Records and downloads can be purchased at

The Cope Street Parade from Sydney at East Malvern RSL one night only next Wednesday 25th October


Just a reminder that the next  night of live Jazz presented by the Victorian Jazz Club for 2017 at the East Malvern RSL ( 1 Stanley Grose Drive, East Malvern ) will be on   Wednesday the 25th of October    between 7.30 & 10.00 pm.

On stage will be  The Cope Street Parade   from Sydney with special Melbourne guests Eamon McNelis  on trumpet & vocals and Grant Arthur  on trombone & vocals. This is the band of young Sydney musicians who originally performed under the mentoring of legendary Sydney trumpeter and vocalist Geoff Bull as the Finer Cuts.  Since then they have performed and recorded with leading Australian jazz musicians such as Bob Henderson and Dan Barnett.   Led by Justin Fermino  on reeds & vocals , the band also includes the talents of Ben Panucci on guitar, banjo & vocals ,  Aaron Flower guitar and Sam Dobson bass  .  This is the band that entertained a capacity audience at the East Malvern RSL in November last year and the  VJC  is  very proud to present the band again  for one night only with a night of red hot Dixieland , Jazz classics, Blues , Ballads and original compositions ,  a special treat for listeners and dancers alike.

Seats are still available but bookings are highly recommended.

You don’t  have to be a member of the Victorian Jazz Club to join in the fun.  Everybody is welcome.  For VJC members entry is $15.00  & for visitors & guests $20.00.

Doors open in the Jazz Room  at 6.00 pm for dinner …music starts at 7.30 pm.

Coming up at East Malvern on Wednesday the 15th of November  are Golden City Classic Jazz  from Ballarat  with Adelaide guest  Graham Eames  on trumpet.

Bookings & Enquiries :  9874 8870 or 0425 735 428 or online at


Adrian Jackson – Jazz & Blues Fundraisers For Adrian

As well as being the jazz critic for the Age newspaper for close to 20 years, Adrian Jackson is best known as the artistic director for the Melbourne International Jazz Festival , the Stonnington Jazz Festival and notably until 2016 the first 27 Wangaratta Jazz & Blues Festivals.
Adrian requires expensive surgery in the near future and the Jazz & Blues communities are joining together to return some of the support that Adrian has given to music over the last forty years.
At the Jazzlab , 27 Leslie Street, Brunswick, a fundraiser co-hosted by Jazzlab and the Melbourne Jazz Co-Op will be held on Sunday the 19th of November between 7.00pm & 11.00 pm featuring the Julien Wilson Trio ( with Stephen Magnussen & Steve Grant ), Andrea Keller, Michelle Nicole, Tony Gould, Nichaud Fitzgibbon, Bob Sedergreen, Sam Keevers, Scott Tinkler, Ronny Ferella, Tamara Murphy , Eugene Ball, Sam Anning, Mirko Guerrini and Ilaria Crociani amongst others. Entry $25.00 or $20.00 concessions. Ticket sales at
On Sunday the 26th of November a Blues Benefit will be held for Adrian thanks to MBAS between 3.00 pm & 11.00 pm at the Flemington – Kensington Bowling Club , 407 Racecourse Road , Flemington 3031. Further details at

Ashley Keating Tribute Day – Sunday 15th October

Next Sunday the 15th of October starting at 1.00 pm there will be a special afternoon at the Clyde Hotel in Carlton to celebrate the life and music of popular Melbourne musician and leader of the Louisiana Shakers . Everybody is welcome .