Blogger: 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.