Tag Archives: Australian jazz

Australian Jazz Museum: new name, same focus

Australian Jazz Museum banner 1
The Victorian Jazz Archive, in the few short years since its establishment in Koomba Park, Wantirna in 1996, has become the major repository of Australian jazz research material in all its many formats, and gained a national and international reputation for its professional and proactive work in preserving, providing access to, and promoting the history of jazz in this country.

For some time the Board of Management of the Archive has been working towards a name change for the organisation which better reflects its role and objectives. So if you come across an institution called the Australian Jazz Museum, it’s not a new body, but the VJA in its new and more appropriate identity.

Terry Norman, President, explains the reasoning behind the name change on the Museum’s website.

The primary reasoning behind this change is that our current name could be misconstrued to suggest that we are only interested in Victorian Jazz. In fact our archive has always proactively collected all Australian Jazz, and is now the major institution devoted to Australian Jazz. Our collection also encompasses International Jazz. We intend to slowly make the transition to a new visual identity as resources permit.

Congratulations to all at the AJM as they move forward from the VJA!

New Melbourne Jazz Band still going strong!

ROSS Anderson’s New Melbourne Jazz Band needs no introduction to Australian jazz fans, nor to many overseas fans who will have enjoyed the various incarnations of the band during its many tours.

Hans Koert from the Netherlands did a fine background article on Ross and the New Melbourne on his blog, “Keep (it) Swinging”.   You can read it here.

Ross got his band together in 1981 for a one night stand at the Limerick Arms Hotel in South Melbourne. Here  we are 32 years later and the NMJB is  still very much part of the scene with regular residencies throughout the Eastern suburbs – Maroondah, Ringwood, Ferntree Gully, Clayton, and frequent gigs at jazz clubs, special concerts and other venues.

For example in June the New Melbourne gig guide looks like this:

Wednesday 5th 6.00pm – 9.00pm Maroondah Sports Club, cnr Dublin & Mt Dandenong Roads, Ringwood East. 9879 2922.
Sunday 9th 1.00 pm – 4.00 pm Royal Hotel , 1208 Burwood Highway, Upper Ferntree Gully.   9758 2755
Saturday 15th 8.00pm – 11.00pm Werribee Jazz Club, Werribee RSL Bowling Club, Chirnside Park, Watton Street, Werribee. 9974 2918  or  9687 4762.
Sunday 16th 1.00 pm – 4.00 pm Maroondah Sports Club, cnr Dublin & Mt Dandenong Roads, Ringwood East, 9879 2922.
Sunday 23rd 1.00 pm – 4.00 pm Monash Hotel, 2077 Dandenong Road, Clayton.  9544 8011

To keep up to date on New Melbourne appearances, you can visit their website at http://www.newmelbournejazzband.com/ or look under Coming Gigs here on Jazz Ramble.

New Melbourne Jazz Band
(photo: Ron Jobe)


New Ultrafox residency @ Claypots Evening Star bar, South Melbourne Market

PETER Baylor’s gypsy jazz band, ULTRAFOX, is starting a residency on Tuesday nights from 7.30 – 10.00pm down at Claypots Evening Star at the South Melbourne Market, Shop 101 on the corner of Cecil and York Streets, South Melbourne. There’ll be plenty of Le Jazz Hot and songs, plus great seafood fresh from the market slab, drinks and atmosphere.

The Market is easy to get to by car (plenty of parking) , bike, walking or public transport (light rail #96 from Bourke St or trams #109 or #112 from Collins St).

Renan Goksin

A sister operation to the iconic Claypots Seafood Bar in St Kilda, Claypots Evening Star is a Teppanyaki-style seafood restaurant, with dishes ranging from snacks right up to seriously noteworthy dishes at “market prices”.

Open for a bit over 12 months, Claypots Evening Star offers a whole new dining experience – seven nights a week. Renowned South Melbourne identity, owner and chef extraordinaire Renan Goksin is at the helm on this culinary journey, where you can enjoy the spectacle and great taste of seafood fresh off the Teppanyaki grill, as well as some great music at least on Tuesday nights. Phone for info and bookings: 9645 5779

Simon Vancam Trio has new gig at Prince Alfred Hotel, Richmond

IT’S always good to hear of another “permanent” gig for jazz – alas there are all too few these days, so we need to patronise as many as we can and with great enthusiasm.

The latest is a trio led by “Slappin'” Simon Vancam which is playing on the second and fourth Sundays each month at the Prince Alfred Hotel, 619 Church Street, Richmond from 2.00pm to 5.00pm.

The May gig is on Sunday 26. In June you’ll catch them on Sunday 9 and 23.

The Trio comprises Simon on bass, Frank Stewart on clarinet, and Ron Scott on banjo. The group has been together only since late last year, and had one of their first gigs at the Stud Park Shopping Centre in December 2012, although of course Simon and Frank have played together for many years as members of John Morrison’s Moonee Valley Jazz Band. Here they play the classic ballad, “Nevertheless” at Stud Park.

Simon is also a sousa player, and can be found playing in many different music styles including Boogie, Rockabilly, Bluegrass, Swing, Covers, and of course Jazz. You can find out what else he is doing at his website: http://www.slappinsimon.weebly.com.

And if you’re wondering why the nickname “Slappin'” Simon, here’s a clip of Simon playing with the Moonee Valley Jazz Band at the Rosstown Hotel In July 2912.

Syncopators Bon Voyage Bash: their 16th European tour!

IN 1984 when Chris Ludowyk put together a band for a one night stand at Athol’s Abbey in St Kilda Road, Melbourne who would have thought that 29 years later that band would be about to set off on its 16th European tour! Certainly not Chris.

The band (originally The Society Syncopators) actually had an extended residency at The Abbey, and has gone on to be recognised world wide as one of the best jazz bands that Australia has ever produced.

In preparation for their next tour in June, (when they will play in Finland, Germany and Switzerland), The Syncopators are holding a Bon Voyage/Fund Raising bash at the Bentleigh Club, Yawla Street, Bentleigh on Sunday 19 May. Their special guest star for this event will be that super singer, Hetty Kate.

Doors open at 12 noon, and the party gets underway at 12.30. Tickets are $60 which includes a two course lunch, tea and coffee, prizes and surprises. Drinks at bar prices.
Bookings 9531 7551 or 0408 993 786.

This is a chance to enjoy international class jazz without having to renew your passport or worry about what to pack. Here’s a sample of The Syncopators swinging in Stuttgart on a previous tour:

Here Hetty sings “Almost Like Being in Love” with Leigh Barker and Marc Meader in Dresden, Germany in 2011.

Mothers’ Day, if that’s your bag

SUNDAY 12 May (the second Sunday in May) is designated as Mothers’ Day, so if that’s a significant date on your calendar, here are some jazz events which you might ask for if you’re a Mum, or which you might select for that important lady instead of a new vacuum cleaner or cordless drill.

The Amora Riverwalk Hotel at 649 Bridge Road, Richmond is offering a special Mother’s Day Buffet Lunch of three luscious courses plus a complimentary glass of bubbly for $59, with children under 10 for $20. Click here for a look at the MENU.    Bookings 9246 1200.

And of course this is where the Riverwalk Trio led by the indefatigable, inimitable and impeccable Ian Smith provides live jazz from 12.30 to 3.30pm every Sunday. Ian is just back from a well earned world jaunt and holiday, so should be in fine form. The lineup of the Trio varies from week to week, but is always made up of some of Victoria’s finest musicians (with an occasional overseas visitor sitting-in).
Here locals Ian and John Cox play with UK clarinetist, Eric Newton in January 2013.

The Royal Hotel, 1208 Burwood Highway, Upper Ferntree Gully will present the New Melbourne Jazz Band, led by Ross Anderson, with music from 1.00pm – 4.00pm. Bookings are essential because of the popularity of this legendary and much loved band, and after all, it is that Day.    Phone: 9758 2755.

The Clyde Hotel on the corner of Elgin and Cardigan Streets, Carlton is of course the current home of Melbourne’s fabled New Orleans style band, The Louisiana Shakers. Doors open at 1.00pm for lunch (don’t expect silver service, but the food is plentiful, affordable and appetising),. The music meanders on from 2.00pm to 5.00pm. I don’t think they make any special arrangements for Mum’s Day, but you could ring and book if you were planning to take a large party. 9347 1874

The Pinnacle Hotel at 251 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North advertises itself as helping to keep live music alive. And so it does on a Sunday afternoon between 4.00pm and 7.00pm with jazz in the Beer Garden. (a bit chilly in the winter time so dress appropriately, and the music is hot!) On Mother’s Day the band is The Four Scoops, an exciting mix of four musicians from very different musical backgrounds: Ben Gillespie, Leader/trombone; Craig Fermanis, guitar, Mark Elton, double bass; and Lynn Wallis on drums. At the moment the Four Scoops are playing alternate weeks with The Shuffle Club.

The Emerald Hotel, 415 Clarendon St South Melbourne is the Sunday night magnet for lovers of that superb group, Stevenson’s Rockets.
Dr Jo Stevenson leads this group of world class musicians who meld together with the ease of long collaboration and comparable very high skill levels. (The lineup is usually Jo on reeds, John Adams, paino, Chris Ludowyk, bass and Ian Smith on drums.) Dinner and show are from 6.00pm. Bookings, if you’re lucky,
9690 4719.

As reported earlier Shirazz will be launching their latest CD, “Re-Wined” at The Workers Club, cnr Brunswick & Gertrude Streets, Fitzroy Doors open at 7.30pm. Music starts at 8.00pm with THE NYMPHS, a great 4 girl singing group, and Shirazz will kick in at 9.00pm. Tickets at the door. $10.

Popular festival “Girl Band” Frilly Knickers Jazz Band will be performing at the Open Studio, 204 High Street, Northcote From 8pm – 11pm.
Open Studio is a live music venue, bar, and crêperie, on the hill opposite the Northcote Town Hall. A number 86 tram stops across the road. You can follow the Frillies’ fortunes on Facebook: www.facebook.com/FrillyKnickersJazzBand or contact Jaz Stutley for info on other gigs at jazstutley@internode.on.net

AND if you’re still going – or indeed just starting – what better way to do it than with Peter Gaudion’s Blues Express at The Dogs Bar, 54 Acland Street, St Kilda. 9.00-11.00pm. 8534 3020.


BUT the Rosstown Hotel does NOT have jazz on Mothers’ Day!

68th Australian Jazz Convention update: steaming along!

THE 68th Australian Jazz Convention Committee is going full steam ahead, with a fine new website which gives you the latest information on the Goulburn party, provides for registering online, includes details of the Original Tunes Competition (an important feature of the AJC), and will publish the Committee’s regular Newsletters as they appear.

The program for the Convention will include:

Welcome Night                                               Picnic in Victoria Park
Street Parade                                                   Public Concert in Belmore Park
Programmed Venues                                     New Year’s Eve Party
Original Tunes Competition                         Music Industry Trade Fair

Chris Gildersleeve, the webmaster, will keep the site up to date as news breaks.

Click on the marchers below to visit the website.

For further information visit http://www.2013jazzconvention.org.au or
Email: info@australianjazzconvention.org.au

David Horniblow with The Shuffle Club

LAST Sunday we went to the Rosstown Hotel to hear The Shuffle Club. They were their brilliant selves with a couple of alterations to the regular lineup: Ash Gaudion was on alto sax and Rod Gilbert on drums, but for a change we had Sam Lemann on guitar and Phil Rex on double bass. The fact that they had been playing at The Famous Spiegeltent until all hours of the morning (only 1 hour’s sleep!) didn’t dampen their vibrancy one iota.

Halfway through the afternoon, we had the added pleasure of hearing two sitins – Bob Whetstone on trumpet and UK visitor David Horniblow on clarinet. Here are three videos that I took of this combination.

GOIN’ TO CHICAGO, the Count Basie blues about the massive migration north by African Americans.

SEE SEE RIDER, a traditional 12 bar blues made famous originally by Ma Rainey in the 1920s. Shows off the blues skills of the whole band – isn’t Sam Lemann one of the best blues guitarists in town!

Finally SWEET GEORGIA BROWN, with Bob scatting

Bob and David will be playing with John Morrison’s Moonee Valley Jazz Band for the Williamstown Jazz Club at Williamstown RSL cnr Ferguson and Melbourne Roads, Williamstown tomorrow afternoon – March 24 – between 4pm and 7pm. Ring 9311 3349 to book.

“Mike Durham: we lost a champion”: Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party organiser dies

Mike and Patti Durham

THIS was the title of Michael Steinman’s post on his wonderful blog Jazz Lives which greeted me this morning when I logged in to my email. You can read the whole piece at “Mike Durham: we lost a champion”

As Michael says, not everyone in the jazz world would know who Mike Durham was. This is particularly so in Australia because Mike Durham was English, living in Newcastle, where his fame was not as a musician – although he was an elegant trumpet player – but as a jazz festival organiser.

For more than two decades he ran the Whitley Bay International Jazz Festival, and more recently, the Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party.

My interest in the Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party was roused when I came across a group of videos (again through Michael Steinman’s Jazz Lives) of Michael McQuaid leading a set of tunes composed by Graeme Bell, Ade Monsbourgh and Humphrey Lyttelton and recorded in collaboration with Lyttelton in the early 1950s.

All of the commercially published recordings of this collaboration have been brought together in the CD “Humph Experiments”. (LACD 266). Click on the CD cover to enjoy the whole, or at least most, of this program from the Whitley Bay Party 2012 led by Michael McQuaid in his usual impeccable style.

Mike Durham had strong and passionate views as to the sort of jazz festival he wanted to organise. He didn’t mind an ad hoc group getting together in a jam session outside the regular program, but the formal sessions involved international musicians honouring past jazz giants by recreating their music with accuracy, fervour and practised skill. Michael Steinman calls them “the most vivid, lively and enrertaining “jazz museums” I have ever

This all sounds a lot like our own John Buchanan and his Southern Highlands Classic Jazz, Ragtime and Swing Festival coming up very soon at Mittagong, NSW (20 and 21 April). And perhaps it’s no surprise that Michael McQuaid will be one of more than 25 of Australia’s top jazz musicians taking part at Mittagong next month. Others include Stephen Grant, Paul Furniss, Brett Iggulden, Geoff Bull, Gary Walford, Geoff Power, Neil McBeth, Viv Carter, Paul Finnerty, Harry Harman and Peter Locke.

Special guest will be Marilyn Keller, jazz/gospel/blues vocalist from Portland, Oregon.
The music and musicians to be honoured will include Clarence Williams early bands, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Kansas City music 1920s-30s, Music of the night clubs and cabarets of New Orleans, Hot dance bands of the 1920s, Johnny Dodds Black Bottom Stompers, Lu Watters Yerba Buena Band, and Paul Furniss’s San Francisco Jazz Band.

It’s late, but not too late, to make plans to attend this very special festival. Go to the website for further details, or contact John Buchanan on 0438 654 267 or john@jbclassicjazz.com.au

Margie Lou Dyer Trio @ Claypots, St Kilda

Margie Lou Dyer and Allan Browne

HERE’S a gig I missed for the St Patricks Day listing, (Sunday March 17) and on Sundays thereafter.

The Margie Lou Dyer Trio plays at Claypots, 215 Barkly Street. St Kilda on Sunday nights at 9.00pm. Phone: 9534 1282.

The Trio consists of Margie Lou, piano and vocals; Allan Browne, drums; and Cam Robbins, clarinet. (I believe that Cam maybe overseas at the moment and that Julien Wilson could be depping for him.)

For an idea of the Claypots ambience, here the Trio gives “On The Sunny Side of the Street” a working over, with a famous sit in, US tenor saxophonist/teacher George Garzone duelling with Cam Robbins on clarinet. Wonderful stuff!

Can’t guarantee this level of programming every Sunday night, but the raw excitement and the virtuosity are always there.