Our Charter

The Ballarat Jazz Club Inc comes together to promote the playing and enjoyment of jazz music and related genre; to assist and encourage the development of young musicians through our strong partnership with Ballarat High School Performing Arts Department; to provide regular community musical entertainment and activities for those interested in the art of playing and listening to jazz music; and to bring local, national and international jazz musicians to Ballarat for the enjoyment of the community.

About the Committee

The 2021/22 Committee currently consist of the 4 Executive, (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer) and General Members some of which are specialist positions (Band Co-ordinator, Functions Co-ordinator, Functions Assistant, Newsletter Editor, Photographer and Website Administrator). All positions are declared vacant at the Annual General Meeting held in April, with nomination forms available at least a month prior. Existing committee can re-nominate and so can any interested financial member of the club (and you are most welcome to!)

The Committee meets monthly at 10am on the Saturday morning before the Sunday gig and lasts for about 2 hours. There is always plenty to discuss! There are 11 meetings a year plus the AGM. Any financial member of the Club is welcome to attend a Committee meeting and participate in discussion and decision making. We always welcome input from any Club member as there are many things to organise in the successful running of the Club and it’s events.

If you wish to attend a committee meeting, please phone the booking number on  0456 689 123 or email ballaratjazzclub@gmail.com 

A Brief Early History

Ballarat has a long history of support for and appreciation of Jazz music as reflected in the formation of the Ballarat Jazz Society in the 1960’s and 70’s that held concerts and band performances at various venues in the Ballarat area. Before the Australian Jazz Convention was held in Ballarat in December 1985 a number of local musicians and enthusiasts got together and decided to form the Ballarat Jazz Club as a means to organise regular jazz music gigs and assist in the running of the Convention. Instrumental in this was Herb Jennings (the first President), Bob Scurry (the first Secretary), Don Lockett, Terry Lockett, Judi Anderson, Kevin Bolton, Eddie Brown, Bob Pattie, Jeanette Pattie, Dennis Platts, Mick Potter, Jodi Scurry and Kevin Howard. The club became an Incorporated Association on Nov 7th 1985. Members with long term involvement on the organising committees include our Life Member Marie Wilson, Mary Batten, Len Tyzack, Len Hoekstra, Dennis Brookes, Louise Kelly, Jo Frances, Peter Gilbert, Noel Stingers, Dawn Houghton, Cindy Turnbow, Molly Scott, Elaine Cook, Mynie Brown and the late Geoff Herkes.

Early venues included the Stable at the Royal Oak Hotel, the Camp Hotel (now Irish Murphy’s), Porters Bar and Café (later the Bridge Hotel and now the Freight Bar), The Provincial Hotel with a Piano Bar (later closed, renovated and recently re-opened), and there were gigs at the Windermere Hotel, the Western Hotel, amongst others.

Early bands and Musicians hosted by our club included the Russell Monger Quintet, Golden City Jazz Band, Yarra Yarra Jazz Band, Neville and Simon Stribling Jazz, the Cotton Club Orchestra, Ken Ways Band with Bob Pattie, Maryborough Traditional Jazz Ensemble, Bob Pattie and his Jazz Desperates, The Ballarat Big Band (18 piece!), Alan Stott’s Hottentots, Nick Polites New Orleans Stompers, Steve Waddell’s Creole Bells and the list goes on….