Jul 242020

Resulting from the restrictions associated with COVID-19, all Jazz by the Green events at the Eltham Bowling Club have been cancelled until further notice.

The Jazz by the Green monthly events commenced in March 2017 and are conducted in partnership between the Nillumbik U3A Jazz Appreciation Group (JAG) and the Eltham Bowling Club. Jazz aficionados have responded enthusiastically and bookings are often filled to capacity within minutes of going online.

Revenue from these events, after band fees, hall-hire, food and other incidentals are paid, is shared equally between the Bowling Club and the JAG. The JAG share is deposited in a special Bequest Fund for the purpose of financially supporting secondary school students in government schools within the community of Nillumbik, who are in music programmes and who have a flair for, or an interest in, further study towards improvisation, i.e. the jazz musicians of the future.

To date, the Bequest has provided support for:

  • Two local students to attend 24 weeks’ tuition at the Jazz Improvisation Workshops conducted by the Australian Jazz Museum. Both students were invited on stage to ‘jam’ with the featured professional band at Jazz by the Green last December.
  • Silver Sponsorship of the Eltham Jazz, Food & Wine Festival, 2020.
  • Two youth bands to perform on the Festival stage.
  • The cost of the St Helena Secondary College Music School’s group attendance at two American Institute of Music Master Classes being held in Los Angeles and New Orleans.

Sadly, the advent of the COVID-19 virus prevented the group’s departure from Australia, just two weeks before they were due to leave. This would obviously have been a bitter disappointment for the group after months of planning and preparation, but that disappointment is possibly assuaged by knowing that the virus was already rampant in the places that they intended to visit. The Bequest funding will now be retained by the school to support its music program’s proposed alternative tour later this year, to aid and entertain the victims of the bushfire ravaged areas of Victoria.

The JAG is looking forward to its further involvement with the Eltham Jazz, Food and Wine Festival in 2021, and to continue support of music programs in government secondary schools in the Nillumbik community. The Group is proud that, in partnership with the Eltham Bowling Club, such worthwhile quality entertainment has been provided not only for the enjoyment of the jazz lovers in the community but that live music, on a regular basis, has been brought home to Eltham after an extended absence.

We hope that Jazz by the Green gigs will be able to resume in the near future, but this will depend on all COVID-19 restrictions regarding numbers permitted and social distancing being lifted. A return to events at the Green will be a welcome and enjoyable relief for our audiences after many months of pandemic lockdown and enforced hibernation.