Jan 012020

Our last gig for 2019 gave the audience an opportunity to meet, and listen to, the two young musicians, Chanel Langdon from St. Helena College, and Dean Coehlo, from Eltham High School, who the Jazz Appreciation Group have financially supported for their attendance at the jazz improvisation workshops, at the Australian Jazz Museum this year and to see and hear them sit-in with the Maryborough Traditional Jazz Ensemble.

Stuart Winstanley videoed the sit-in during the last set. This captured the last 20 minutes of the night on stage, with the students and the band ‘jamming’ together.
Watch the edited video. The lady who appears at the start of the video, is the convenor of the jazz improvisation workshops, Marina Pollard.

Chanel and Dean will appear with their respective school bands and with the jazz improvisation workshops band at the Eltham Jazz, Food and Wine Festival to be held 22-23 February. The U3A Jazz Appreciation Group is sponsoring the bands for their appearance and contributing to the general staging of the Festival.

Our first gig at the Green for 2020 is on Sunday, 19th January, commencing at 1.30 pm, with the Blues’ Express. Those interested in attending are advised to register their email address with Roslyn Camera from the Eltham Bowling Club on 9439 4467. You will then be informed of each event and when the bookings open.

Dec 012019

The monthly jazz events conducted by the Jazz Appreciation Class, in partnership with the Eltham Bowling Club, commenced in March 2017 and continue to play to capacity crowds. These jazz nights have been welcomed by the community, and have provided an opportunity to mix and meet socially with other local residents and to enjoy first-rate jazz entertainment in safe and convivial surroundings.

A Bequest Fund has been established by the Jazz Appreciation Class to use their share of the revenue from these events (after musicians’ fees, food costs, hall hire, etc have been deducted). The fund is in the name of Mal Harrop (late patron) and John Crichton (tutor). It was Mal’s express wish that the Fund be utilised to support and nurture secondary school students in the local government schools that have music programmes designed to encourage participation in, or interest in, improvised music, i.e. jazz.

This year the Fund has supported the fees of two local students who undertook 24 weeks of tuition provided by professional jazz musicians at the Jazz Improvisation Workshops conducted under the auspices of the Australian Jazz Museum. The Fund will also support three bands (from St. Helena College, Eltham High School and the Jazz Improvisation Workshops) that will perform at the Eltham Jazz, Food & Wine Festival to be held in February next year, as well as contributing towards the staging of the Festival.

The final jazz event for the year at the Green will be held on Friday, 13th December, at which the two workshop students supported by the Fund will be introduced to the audience and given the opportunity to sit-in with the professional band appearing that night.

Bookings for Jazz by the Green can only be made online and sell out quickly. Those interested in attending are advised to register their email address with Roslyn Camera from the Eltham Bowling Club on 9439 4467. They will then be informed of each event and when bookings open.

The Jazz Appreciation Class will continue to investigate means of encouraging and supporting young musicians in the community, consistent with the wishes and legacy of its late patron, Dr. Mal Harrop, OAM.

Aug 012019

In late July, 21 of us undertook a guided tour of the Australian Jazz Museum, located at Wantirna. The museum has national accreditation to house the archives of all material relating to jazz music & performance, recordings and jazz memorabilia, both from within Australia and overseas. The tour included an hour’s live jazz performance by professional musicians, followed by coffee, tea and light refreshments. The tour was thoroughly enjoyed by all and a most rewarding experience for lovers of jazz music.

One of the historic pieces in the Museum’s custody is the Montsalvat Jazz Festival Roll of Honour. This contains the names of a number of prominent people, particularly musicians, radio personnel, patrons and one politician who were instrumental in various ways in the festivals held between 1988 and 1996. One notable omission was the name of the Founder and Principal Director of the Festivals, the late Mal Harrop, who was also the founder of the ‘Friends of Montsalvat’ whose membership now numbers several hundreds. The class presented a framed and suitably inscribed photograph of Mal to be attached to the Honour Roll. Mal’s widow, Val, joined the tour group (the photo on the right is of Val and myself).