Tag Archives: Merimbula Jazz Festival

Apples with Rhythm

LFW took a drive out to the country on the weekend, and joined the sunshine, crowds, apples, and music at Loriendale Orchard Apple Day on Saturday 1 April.

loriendale-orchard-apple

Image: Apple and Pear Australia Limited

Loriendale is a boutique orchard with over 120 varieties of apples, as well as selection of nectarines, peaches, nashi pears, berries and nuts. The orchard runs organic best practice, which means that the fruit actually tastes like the fruit you may remember from your childhood, before all the GM, gassing, spraying, and cold storage. Apple pies, toffee apples, jams, jellies, chutneys, sauces and relishes were also on offer, together with amazing apple based afternoon teas for just a few dollars.Loriendale peach jam

The farm was purchased by the Pidgeon family in 1982 but it wasn’t until around 1997 that the apple and cherry trees were planted, and the orchard was established. The farm is also a WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) hosting farm; providing the opportunity for young people, from around the world, to live and work on the farm and learn about agriculture, farming, and a bit of Australian culture.

Paul Herbert on flute

Rhythm Syndicate with Paul Herbert on flute

But, one of the best things about the Apple Day was sitting in the sun with our afternoon tea, and listening to some cool jazz from local group Rhythm Syndicate. This great vocal group has been performing in Canberra and the region since 1990, and offers a mix of cool jazz, gospel, classics, and popular.

Accommpanist and composer Mike Dooley

Accompanist and composer Mike Dooley

The mixed group sings in four-part harmony, accompanied and a cappella, and includes talented muso and vocalist Paul Herbert on harmonica and flute, brilliant pianist and composer Mike Dooley, and is pulled together by director and conductor Camilo Gonzalez. You can hear them next at the Merimbula Jazz Festival over the June long weekend.

Loriendale RS1

Rhythm Syndicate with conductor Camilo Gonzalez

Loriendale Orchard, Carrington Road, Hall www.loriendale.com.au. You can also find Loriendale at Capital Region Farmers Market every Saturday from 7.30 – 11,30am.

Rhythm Syndicate www.rhythmsyndicate.com.au.

Images by LFW except where indicated

 

 

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It’s JAZZ time on the Sapphire Coast!

The Merimbula Jazz Festival celebrates 36 years of jazz this year. That’s right! Thirty-six years of swinging, singing, and stomping on the Sapphire Coast over the June long weekend, and it’s getting bigger every year! By Aine Dowling

MJF Ball

As well as some fantastic jazz from great performers from Canberra, Victoria, and New South Wales, there are two main features of the Festival this year. First up is the black tie event; the Jazz Festival Ball on Thursday 9 June at Club Sapphire where you can dance the night away to the Festival All Stars, enjoy a great cabaret show, and relax with a glass of bubbles and yummy three course meal; all included in the ticket price. Bookings for the ball are essential.

Another fantastic initiative is the Jazz Quest which has been running for the past four years and has been a huge success. The Quest is open to musicians aged 25 years and under, and its aim is to encourage young and up-coming musicians in the world of jazz, and to help their musical development along with competitive experience. Two of the previous winners include singer Liam Budge, and jazz pianist Kade Brown—both of whom have gone on to huge success and acclaim in their fields, with Kade selected for the Julliard Winter School as both student and mentor.

Jazz Quest 2015 Winners

Jazz Quest 2015 Winners

The Quest is held at the Lakeview Hotel at the end of the Saturday night program. Judges usually include five of the top musicians at the Festival who view the performances of each competitor. There are a number of categories including confidence in performance, technical ability, entertainment value, and the ability to perform different styles and instruments through two different performances to show their ability. Cash prizes are awarded to the winners, and second and third placements, and both the Quest (and the prize money) goes a long way to help the career of young jazz musicians around Australia.

The popular jam session follows the Quest and gives everyone the chance to get on stage and perform with all sorts of musos and singers. If you can keep the pace going until 2am you’re welcome to join in the fun!

The Jazz Festival runs from Friday night (10 June) until Sunday night at four main venues around the town, and local Canberra acts heading down for the weekend include smooth jazz duo In 2 Deep; check them out if you can.

In 2 Deep - photo by Hot Shots Photography

In 2 Deep – photo by Hot Shots Photography

Big bands include Connextion Big Band, In Full Swing, and the Royal Military College Big Band, plus some terrific school bands. Vocal ensembles include Rhythm Syndicate (who also perform at the ecumenical Gospel Church Service on the Sunday), and Shades of Monday, and you can check out some great swing dancing from Canberra Swing Katz.

If you like the south coast and you love jazz … what more could you want?

Get more info on the Merimbula Jazz Festival from their website or Facebook page.

MJF1

Cool Canberra Jazz …

… In the Vines Grape_Vine02

In a past life I was somewhat involved in music and jazz and performed around the Canberra region. Earlier this year I visited the Merimbula Jazz Festival (for a jazz hit and a bit of nostalgia), and found a few terrific Canberra performers well worth seeing if you get the chance. My original article appeared in Surya Magazine, but I’ve been following these bands and thought it was time to update their news, and flag some upcoming awesome gigs, and special events, including a few at local wineries!

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