Blues made its first serious appearance at the Inverloch Jazz Festival last weekend where it was enthusiastically embraced and playing up a storm in the Marquee was Diddy Reyes and the Jazz Maniacs, a band from the Mornington Peninsula.
THE 21st annual Inverloch Jazz Festival last weekend was a roaring success with some of the biggest names in the state’s jazz scene performing and several of the best show bands as well.
On top of that, the event’s first foray into the blues was a winner as well and the genre is certain to have an on-going place in the festival in the future.
President of the Inverloch Jazz Festival Committee, Bob Pritchard, couldn’t have been happier with the atmosphere for the event, the public support, the standard of the music and the efforts of the event’s hard-working volunteers.
“We had similar numbers to last year so we were very happy with it,” Mr Pritchard said.
“The event’s got a great, relaxed vibe which is why the bands and our supporters like to come back year after year.
“It started out as a fundraiser for aged care but since then the funds raised have supported a lot of community groups and worthwhile causes.”
Funds raised also go back into attracting the bands.
“Relatively speaking, we’re not paying the bands a lot to come. It’s just an incentive really. They just love coming here.”
There were many highlights over the four days from Friday night’s sessions through to the popular Monday in The Glade. Here’s just a few singled out by the event’s musical director Clive Budd:
“The ‘Admiral’s Own’ Navy band had such a good time the previous year that they asked to come back again and they were superb. And we also had the Salvation Army Band here for the first time, in the Hub on Sunday. They didn’t play religious music. It was more popular music with very modern arrangements. They were excellent.
“One of the state’s best-known jazz singers, Pippa Wilson, was here again and you had a man who would have been the top clarinet player of the 60s and 70s, Alex Hutchinson, here as well.
“In the Warrawee Club on Friday night we had an emerging talent, Sarah MacLaine, who has a superb voice and looks to match. Former VCA head Tony Gould was in on Saturday for a couple of sessions and we made a great start to our blues in the Marquee, especially on the Saturday.
“I heard very good things about Diddy Reyes and the whole thing was a really good addition to the weekend,” Mr Budd said.
“And of course, we had our own Patsy O’Neill playing and celebrating her 79th birthday on the Saturday.”
The weekend, which featured more than 80 performances, culminated in the Picnic in The Glade on Monday, from 11am until 4pm, where a big crowd of people enjoyed five performances for free.
The Inverloch Jazz Festival has become the premier event on the seaside town’s social calendar and if the 21st running of the event is anything to go by, it’s headed for an even brighter future.