Blogger: Roger Mitchell

Roger Mitchell

I have been a journalist for most of my working life, but recently completed almost two years as a senior communications adviser at Fair Work Australia (now Commission) before returning to the media trade as a sub-editor for AAP’s Pagemasters, working on a range of Australian regional publications from Tasmania to the Northern Territory.

I write about jazz when I can, on the Ausjazz blog, which I set up when editorial space became less readily available in Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun and Herald Sun in Australia.

When not working night shifts, I go to a lot of live jazz performances in Melbourne and want to let as many people as possible know about the music that is out there.

I am convinced that if more people knew that such talented and hard-working jazz musicians were playing at local venues for such reasonable admission prices, they would turn up and try the music. If they heard this music, much of it improvised, I believe they would return for more. But it is important to overcome resistance to “jazz” and just give people the opportunity to enjoy the diverse music that is out there.

There is no need for patrons to pay for expensive recitals in huge venues when they can be in a jazz club up close and personal with great musicians for a fraction of the cost. It is great to have the opportunity to hear visiting artists in venues such as Hamer Hall, The Forum or the Melbourne Recital Centre, but I often find the most memorable gigs are those in small clubs, many featuring musicians who learned their trade in Australia. There is a freedom in much jazz played in Australia not necessarily found in the work of those closest to the American jazz tradition, rich as that obviously will always be.

I created this blog in part because opportunities to have jazz articles appear in print these days are often limited by space restrictions (there are other priorities in entertainment writing). I believe the future of writing about music outside the dictates of the most popular genres lies in online interviews, articles and reviews.

Also, I like to post some photographs and thoughts I am unable to make available in print about live gigs, including such major festivals as Wangaratta Festival of Jazz, Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival and Stonnington Jazz.

I also want to provide an archive of my CD reviews and articles on jazz that have been published in the Sunday Herald Sun and Herald Sun newspapers.

Unless otherwise stated, the images posted here have been taken by Roger Mitchell. If you wish to use any of them please let me know — and a pic credit would be appreciated.

If you have friends who live in or are visiting Melbourne, enjoy live music and are interested in trying something new, please pass on the link to ausjazz.net and invite them out to Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, Uptown Jazz Club, Paris Cat or Dizzy’s Jazz Club or other venues mentioned on this blog.


ausjazz.net[AT symbol]gmail.com

25 responses to “About

  1. kenny (not dead - yet) weir

    Hey Roger! This blog is a fantastic effort, mate. Love your work etc etc blah blah blah. Keep it up, buddy. But don’t kill yourself in the process. And how about at least a passing mention of the food and coffee situations encountered on your wide-ranging adventures?

  2. Also, I reckon it’d be cool if you sexed things up with a bit of celebrity stuff. Was Ironguts drunk and/or belligerent? Who are Adrian’s latest conquests? (On the golf course, silly!) That kind of thing. Come on man – let your Sunday Herald Sun bloodlines do their thing!

  3. Hi Roger

    really liked the site.

    Loved the images you have of the Phil Slater/Sculthorpe gig. I am working on helping Phil with creative development for this project and was wondering if we might be able to use some of these images please? Nothing commercial planned, just trying to raise funding to take it to another phase. I can send you more info if you are interested.

    Sound Travellers is a project built around touring of contemporary music, one of the strands being jazz. We have helped Way Out West and Mark Isaacs tour nationally.

    Many thanks Joanne

  4. kenny & Bennie

    Dodger – Love your work! Thought we better fire with a comment, given the conspicuous and shameful lack of fan mail. You should review one of the Paul Williamson’s Hammond Combo Monday night Rainbow Hotel gigs, even if theyr are only doing one a month these days.

    • As Ravi Shankar said during the Concert for Bangladesh, “if you appreciate the tuning so much, I hope you will enjoy the playing more”. There is much tuning still to be done on this blog…

  5. Great blog Roger really enjoyed it


  6. If you can’t spell demeanor, better bury your beret, k&b

  7. Hey, Roger, well done. Great blog site, easy to navigate and interesting album and performance reviews. Keep on truckin’ matey and stay cool.

  8. Hi Roger,
    Great read on the Wang! Thanks.

    I am promoting Al DI Meola’s tour next March, wondering if you’d like to cover it? All dates and venues on my site – bellepromotions.com.au.


  9. HI Roger

    Jazz on Puffing Billy Railway is back by popular demand! Climb aboard Australia’s most famous steam train — Puffing Billy — for a night of fine wine, food and live Jazz.

    The “Jazz on Puffing Billy” train will depart from Puffing Billy’s Belgrave Station throughout 2010 with 4 nights of toe-tapping fun to be held on:

    Friday 5th February;
    Saturday 17th April;
    Friday 9th July; and
    Thursday 21st October.

    For all enquiries, please visit http://www.puffingbilly.com.au/?id=jazzonpuffingbillyra or contact our Customer Service Centre on (03) 9757 0700



  10. This Summer Kingston Arts Centre is all about hot nights and cool jazz! Kingston City Hall Bar has been transformed into a themed funky jazz lounge with improvised live Latin Jazz from DJ Nick Romney and percussionist James Lewis.

    Come along every Friday in February and check out Melbourne’s best stencil artists as they create works in the space and take in projected images of the City’s famous graffiti laneways!

    Becky Fox (accompanied by Tony Gould) and the Julien Wilson Trio will perform in February (20th and 27th).

    Please let other jazz fans know Roger.


  11. Hi Roger – just wondering if i could use a pic you took of trio with myself, Gianni Marinucci and Tony Gould? we need a pic of the trio for next concert in Sorrento and yours is the only one! cheers Imogen

  12. Hey Aus Jazzzzzz!

    Cool site! You’ve no doubt heard about Joe Chindamo’s nomination for BEST INDEPENDENT JAZZ ALBUM; Another Place, Some other Time (Jazzhead), for this years AIR Awards!

    Thought you’d like to know that this Friday Oct 1st (this week) the JAGERMEISTER INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS will be at The Forum Theatre, Melbourne (Australia) and Joe is performing. Doors open at 8:00pm and tickets are $29 + BF, if you’re interested and are available now through Ticketmaster!

    Aussie Jazz is doing its thing and representing this year with a huge list for ‘Best independent jazz album’ nominees including:

    * Alan Brown Quintet – Une Saison En Enfer (Jazzhead)
    * Joe Chindamo – Another Place, Some other Time (Jazzhead)
    * Jonathan Zwartz – The Sea (Vitamin)
    * Mike Nock – An Accumulation of Subtleties (FWM)
    * Stu Hunter – The Gathering (Vitamin)

    Justine McInerney


    PS – To win a double pass to the gig change your status on Facebook to: “I want to go to the Jagermeister Independent Music Awards” and tag AIR | Australian Independent Records. You could rub shoulders with industry and catch an awesome lineup including British India, Cloud Control, Amity Affliction and M-Phazes.

  13. Hi Roger,
    great site, well done. Is there an email address I can contact you on? thanks

  14. Hi Roger,
    Could you please forward your contact details?

  15. Great blog! Ive got you on my RSS feed so I can easily keep up with all the best news. Thanks so much!.. and I’ll spread the word about this blog with jazz musos here in Perth.

  16. Hi Roger,
    I am writing to request copies of the photos you took of my bands on 1/5/11, Loops and Kafka Pony.
    Would you mind emailing them to me?
    Full credit for your photography would be given if any are used.

  17. Jonathan, Please send your email address to me at ausjazz.net@gmail.com,
    cheers, Roger

  18. Do you have a sub list?

  19. Mikyla Gilbert

    How do I email you media releases?
    Mikyla Gilbert – Festival Director
    Hoot! Adelaide Hills Jazz Festival

  20. It’s got to be you! – photo likeness less hair. I came accross an old address book -Terhan 1977-9 and “googled” a few names. Good to see you are still enjoying this world and still reviewing music. I was in Melbourn on an OZ visit 4 years ago, to catch up with an old school friend, who was over from NZ to visit her daughter, and, would have looked you up if I had known you were back in Melbourn. Last news was you were off to Canada…….
    I am back in Cornwall, since 1986, after periods in Nepal, Cyprus and Saudi Arabia. Llfe has been good and still enjoying it, walking, spinning and weaving, painting, and growing veg & fruit on the allottment.
    Very best wishes to you, et. al. Su
    PS. I am visiting family on the North Coast of NSW between 2-Dec-13 and mid 17-Jan- 14- I try to get back every 3-4 years for a visit

  21. Nice blog Roger. it was nice to meet you at Stonnington Jazz. Catch you soon on Melbourne Jazz… Robert

    • Good to meet you, Robert. Look forward to seeing some of your work and catching you at a gig or two. Roger

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