For decades the who’s who of the Melbourne and international jazz scene sauntered in and out of the legendary Reef Jazz Club.
Located in Melbourne’s City Square, sweet, soulful sounds of jazz crept through the doors of the club until it closed down in the 1990s.
Now Country Club Tasmania is trying to revitalise the jazz scene, launching its own Reef Jazz Club at Tonic.
The event will showcase Tasmanian jazz talent for free on the last Friday of each month.
Country Club Tasmania local entertainment manager Matt Gower said musicians from across the state would be invited to perform at the jazz nights.
“We’ve got a real plethora of talented jazz musicians in Tasmania who often get gigs playing in vineyards and specific events, but not really somewhere they can congregate,” Mr Gower said.
“We want to show the broad spectrum of talent.”
The idea took off about three months ago with Gower enlisting local artist and jazz musician Evan Carydakis to help co-produce the monthly events.
“Evan has studied with some of the greats of jazz, and was regular patron of the original Reef Jazz Club when it was at its peak in Melbourne,” Mr Gower said.
“His insight and understanding will ensure we deliver a monthly event that the Launceston community will grow to love.”
The first show will feature Hobart musician Janelle Stowe, acoustic bassist Oliver Plapp and drummer Andrew Dennis.
The band will be under the guidance of musical director Brendon Siemsen, who graduated from prestigious international jazz institution Berklee College of Music in Boston.
He hoped the evenings would encourage members of the public to get involved and start tapping their toes to “the jazz of a bygone era”.
“By presenting jazz, we’re hopefully going to attract new fans to the style of music and hopefully that will give a flow on to the artists themselves and give them more of a profile,” Mr Gower said.
Each event would feature new musicians and could have a theme such as the women of jazz, he said.
As for how long the series will run for, he said it would depend on the level of community support.
“If we get a great response from the public … we’d look at doing it ongoing,” Mr Gower said.
“We’re reaching out to the jazz community and people who are interested and encouraging them to come along, because we’re putting this on to support those patrons out there who do like this sort of thing.
“We’re pretty excited about it, hopefully we’ll get that response.”
- The Reef Jazz Club at Tonic will be held at Tonic Bar at Country Club Tasmania on the last Friday of each month from 8pm. The free event will feature special cocktails and drink specials.