Wombats out West

CLASSIC Australian jazz band, The Wombat Jazz Band, will make a brief foray out west from their usual stomping ground – The Elsternwick Hotel in Brighton Road, Elwood where they have been playing on the third Monday of the month from 7.00pm – 9.30pm since 1997 – to the Gannawarra Centre attached to the Essendon North Uniting Church at 132 Keilor Road, North Essendon.

When? Sunday 20 October from 2.30pm – 4.30pm.

I understand that the band will comprise some of the usual suspects – Bill Kerr, reeds; Ken Collins, trumpet; Jacqui O’Neill, washbord – with a couple of guests in the shape of Kim Harris on piano and Simon Vancam on string bass and tuba.

As devotees will know, The Wombat Jazz Band’s reason for being is to help keep alive the best of Australian jazz compositions. Their repertoire contains over 200 classic Australian compositions from the period 1930 till 1980. It includes tunes by Bob Barnard, Geoff Kitchen, Tom Pickering, Neville Stribling, Frank Coughlan and John Sangster, as well as works of contemporary local musicians such as Dave Hetherington, John Scurry, Ian McNamara, Eric Holroyd, Graham Coyle, Bob Pattie and band members Ian Smith and Bill Kerr.

Inspired by the unique sound of early Australian groups such as Roger Bell’s Pagan Pipers and Lazy Ade’s Back Room Boys the band has sought to develop its own style, featuring a line-up of Trumpet, Clarinet, Alto Sax, Washboard, Piano, Bass Saxophone or Sousaphone.

This is a chance to share with The Wombats the joy of our Australian jazz heritage at a different location. The Gannawarra Centre has on-site parking, wheelchair access and excellent facilities.

For more information you may contact Bill Kerr by phone at 9596 1520 or byemail

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