Give me that jazz hot baby! The Toowoomba Jazz Society is the hub of everything jazz in Toowoomba and the region. Jazz, swing and latin are a few of the sounds you can experience and kick up your heels to on the spacious dance floor. Visiting performers often grace the stage along with local artists. The mood swings between laid back and lively.
The bands include Windy City Jazzmen, the Jim Miller Big Band and The Stephen Henry Quartet (smooth, slick & tight) who sometimes indulge in swing. The wonderful Caxton Street Jazz Band (heavy on the brass) of Brisbane was a recent success with over 150 in attendance. Their sound is reminiscent of the New Orleans' French Quarter. Local band Onya Bike features the well-known clarinettist Martin Crook. Onya Bike recently took part in the Summer Tunes events around Toowoomba.
Musicians are welcome to bring their instruments for a jam session after gigs on most club nights.
Image by toowoombajazz.com
Forming the Club
The Toowoomba Jazz society has come a long way from its early days playing at The Farmers' Arms Hotel in Cabarlah. The Society has been bringing the night to life since 1976. Sax player Brian Close began it all by getting together with his 'blues brothers' Dennis Levonis (trombone) and Don Armstrong (cornet) and coming up with the Society from a Scratch band. Ray Carrol, Alan Zimerle, Jon Rotteveel and Pat Harrington filled out the band with banjo, drums, bass, baritone sax and tenor sax.
The 37th Australian Jazz Convention was held in Toowoomba at the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education in 1982. This event was organised by Jazz Society members. Profits from the event saw the purchase of a funky building on Water Street, in use until 2012.
Image by toowoombajazz.com
Wine & Dine
Drinks are at Bowl's Club prices. Dining is from 6:00pm with a two-course meal at $14. A casual and sociable atmosphere of group tables welcomes couples or singles to join them. Caffeine fixes and biscuits are free.
Image by toowoombajazz.com/index.php/gallery.html
The Toowoomba Jazz Society's next event will be 27 January 2017 with Joie De Vivre. A Jazz Festival is a possibility, if enough interest can be generated.
Other events around Toowoomba are at the well known Bon Amici cafe on some Sunday afternoons, the Empire Theatre, concerts by the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba Regional Council's Summer Tunes in parks on weekends and during the Carnival of Flowers. Some Toowoomba schools have exciting music programs including jazz ensembles and bands.
Fees for joining help keep the club afloat. Discounts on concerts apply for paying members of the Society. Social membership is only $5 for five years. Special event nights are $25.
1. Ordinary Member $30.00
2. Jazz Musician $25.00
3. Student Musicians $15.00
4. Associate Member $10.00
Associate membership applies it you are the second member of a couple. Become a member online or at the club.
Nightlife gets jazzed up at the North Toowoomba Bowls Club on the second and last Fridays of the month. There's heaps of parking space. Keep an eye on Facebook for the annual Jazz Ball.
Meet the team. Image by toowoombajazz.com/index.php/join-us.html