Welcome to the Melbourne Jazz Jammers

This is the place where musos and audience alike can get together to share the joy, passion and talent that is the Melbourne jazz scene. Here you can find news of the current Jazz jamming and other jazz items on the menu.

Melbourne Jazz Jammers sessions will resume some time in January 2014. They are held on Sundays from 4:00pm at the Leinster Arms Hotel, 66 Gold Street, Collingwood.

A Brief History The Melbourne Jazz Jammers formed as a diverse group of jazz lovers following the closure of the much Loved Dizzys Jazz Club, Richmond 21 November 2006.  Cast into the wilderness,  jazz musos and jazz lovers have moved through a succession of venues since, including The Night Cat, Onederland, Ramage Bar, la Pena, The Glasshouse and The Royal Standard Hotel. This site is to commemorate our journey, share pictures and stories, publish details of current jamming venues and gigs and be whatever the diverse group of Jammers wish.

Jammers News Jazz Jammers has a weekly write-up of all things jam related which informs interested people of events, CD launches, jam sessions, reviews of past sessions, promotes events being put on by Jammers, encourages people to get involved in live performance and provides an informative inclusive and friendly network for musicians and followers of jazz

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Castlemaine Jam back in Business Jan 5th

The renovations are well under way at The Comma, so publican James Evans would like to keep the Mainstream Jazz Jam going throughout the silly season.

Who are we to argue? As long as there’s a quorum and a smidgen of decorum, we’re ready to flip, flop and fly.

Come on down to the hippest jazz scene in Hargraves Street, Castlemaine, on Sunday 5 January at 3.30pm for more of the music that made 2013 such a blast.


The Grand Hotel develops taste in Jazz: The Last Hurrah

After nearly two years The Grand Hotel has decided to suspend the jazz. Or to put it another way, you are all sacked. So this Friday sees the Last Hurrah – a short set from Ruby Rogers, with Dean Constable, meself, the incomparable Doug Kuhn, and saxaphone maestro Damian Aitken, followed by as many of the singers and musicians who have played there getting up and taking turns (nicely, children!) to play all the tunes that nearly made them famous.

All jammers are encouraged to come along and join in – the Captain has arranged some light refreshments – and celebrate what has been a remarkably successful residency, first inspired by Kaye “one note samba” Young, who has also provided the PA system as well as as some of the longest endings in any form of jazz.

Highlights (for me anyway) have been:

Risa: invited half of Melbourne Uni’s Japanese students, and got three quarters of them to pack the joint – the biggest turnover the RAB bar has had since it opened 15 years ago. Standing room only in the Library!

Amy: Getting applause for starting a song, as well as at the end of it. Consistently our biggest crowd puller.

Anne Hayres: the biggest improver, and whose performance I have always enjoyed.

Gentleman John Curtis: I keep trying to pinch his exquisite phrasing, he keeps coming up with new ones.

Bronwyn: Has been in the audience more often than anyone else, and is an astute judge of performance.

Bruce Constable: the best of the drummers. Came down from Sydney and smoked it every time.

Dame Nellie Melba was unable to receive a prize as she failed to turn up despite repeated “comeback” promises.

Ruby Rogers: started like a windmill with a sequin problem, has developed some serious talent.

Ange Strickland: utterly gorgeous, and a gutsy singer to boot.

The Divine Miss Smith: for telling the best jokes and singing the best songs.

Frank and Andrew Lye, for both dropping in at short notice and saving our bacon.

And of course, Captain Chaos for all the hard work, entertainment, calling of fours at the most awkward moments, and encouragement for less experienced players.

And me, for enjoying (almost) every minute of it.

So, what next?

At last count, I had around 80 musicians and singers listed as having played at the Grand, plus quite a few who would have wanted to. The Friday night format has resulted in a significant improvement in the quality of music played on a Sunday. So it ought to continue.

We are currently exploring a couple of options for an alternative venue for Friday night. If anyone has any suggestions (other than the Strangled Ferret, Altona West) send an e-mail to melbournejazzjammers@gmail.com

Meanwhile, Gold Street Gossips On

Turned up rather later than usual, so had missed a few of the early cock-ups. Fortunately a lively turn-out of musos managed to repeat most of them for my benefit, so I didn’t miss much. Saxaphones the order of the day, although we seemed to have quite a few good bass players as well.

One of the joys of a jam is to sit back, blithely ignore the music and listen to the jammers instead. So, in between the cricket on the telly, and before the jam had spluttered to not so much a conclusion as a break in hostilities, in its usual manner, the world was put to rights over a glass of Carlton Daft and a bowl of Glens Fat Chips .. there can be no better to way to completely waste a Sunday afternoon . . .

Is Solar Worse than a Zombie? Zombies may be all the rage with today’s yoof; but they have never had to sit through a rendition of Solar, as poor Sam Izzo (piano) did. And just like Zombies who never quite die even though you think they should, this unutterably boring dirge keeps coming back. If you are not familiar with it (lucky you) it has about two chords, and even though it is quite slow, you cannot get away from it. No-one knows what possessed the Captain to call it, certainly not Sam who otherwise played some great stuff.

And dat, as they say in the talkies, is the news from Sleepy Hollow.

See ya next week