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 .