Book now for Wangaratta jazz & blues

Was Wangaratta the Naked City in 2014? The scene in the early hours of Monday at a Pinsent Hotel jam session of interest.

That heading is misleading in one way and not in another. Many fans of the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues are longing for the return of that Cup weekend gathering at which we have in past years enjoyed a feast of music and the experiences that inevitably go with that event. It is is easy to despair at the imposed stoppage put on live music due to the pandemic constraints, often severe.

As a result, this year’s opportunity for the festival to return in the flesh has not materialised, and the National Jazz Awards held online will be the only part of this august festival held in 2021. However, as previously posted, the festival organisers – bless them, it must have been so tough to make the postponement decision – have announced that the event will be back in 2022. Amen to that.

So, while it is impossible to book now for concerts next year, there is a book now in the offing that promises to bring us the magic of our hangs at Wang, along with all the saucy tidbits that longtime artistic director Adrian Jackson and journalist/musician Andra Jackson are about to release in print.

This is timely as we cannot attend, so we must reminisce in the privacy of our homes, settling down with a good book instead of enduring Zoom meetings.

The Wang hang has been such a rewarding experience in many ways. The musicians, organisers and volunteers have made it so. As I continue to miss the annual escape to Wangaratta in past years, I can’t help but recall the buzz that so often filled the Pinsent hotel at festival’s end as musicians and others involved let off steam and relived another series of improvisational highlights.

Back in 2014 my review after attending 25 concerts began with these words:

“The 1948 film entitled The Naked City closed with the line, “There are eight million stories in the Naked City and this has been one of them.” Well, one story to come out of the Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival in its 25th year was about a young man, possibly a guitarist, who it is alleged was close to naked on stage at the Sunday night jam session in a local pub of some interest to jazz fans.

“That’s one story, and there will be a lot more — if not quite eight million, at least as many as there were patrons at this long weekend feast of great music.”

Well, Adrian Jackson has spilled the beans and let the cats out of the bags. The myth that what happened in Wang stayed in Wang has been busted. Well, I’m hoping that’s the case, because the book about to hit the presses will be all the richer for it if he does deliver on these back stories.

The word from Andra Jackson is that crowd funding has been needed to raise money to make sure this book celebrating 30 years of the Wangaratta Jazz festival can be published this year. It was to be launched at the festival, but now it will be an entree to the years ahead as well as a chance to relive many moments that national and international performers have given us.

“We have a publisher but have been unable in this present climate to attract any government funding, hence this fundraiser appeal,” Andra says.”So, here you can take a peek inside the book, order a copy or put your hand up for any of the fabulous prizes you can nominate for when you donate and/or order the book.Please share this link as widely as possible with friends or on any mailing list you may have:

As at time of posting there are five days left to join in this fundraising effort and ensure this 30-year anniversary book will be out soon for us all to read. Let’s make it happen. And get vaxxed.

Roger Mitchell


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s