[Dixielandjazz] Jazz amongst the gum trees.

jazzfact jazzfact at ozemail.com.au
Wed Feb 11 08:01:55 PST 2004

Hi Sam,
I wish we were there to participate! Sadly like many other musicians around
the world, my band will never be able to attend a festival like the one at
Halls Gap. It is by the way one of nature's treasures and a very worthy stop
off for any traveller. The concept of the festival unfortunately excludes
those players who need to earn an income from plying their trade. Suffice to
say there are many eager musicians ready to leap in and take the gig! Whilst
rejoicing in the worthy cause one should consider the café's, accommodation
houses, restaurants, booze merchants and others who benefit from festivals
like this. Do they do it for nothing too? I suggest that the organisers
charge a little more for the public and hire some interstate bands.

Richard Stevens

-----Original Message-----
From: dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com
[mailto:dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com] On Behalf Of Sam
Meerkin/Evelyne Perks
Sent: Wednesday, 11 February 2004 1:11 AM
To: dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
Cc: TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Jazz amongst the gum trees.

Tomorrow, I will join many others who love OKOM in our part of the world, at
a town between the state capitals of Adelaide & Melbourne, in a most
beautiful natural setting of eucalyptus trees, mountains and teeming
wildlife used to cohabiting with humans.  This is the Grampians Jazz
Festival in Hall's Gap.  Koalas munch leaves in the trees in the main street
of town,  screeching cockatoos, parrots, correllas and other amazing native
birds swoop in & out of the vegetation & Kangaroos & possums come right up
to you at dusk & beyond, showing no fear at all.  It's a breathtaking scene
thousands of fans in 6 or more venues within a short walk of each other and
everyone is there to have fun - musos included.  This phenomenon may be
unique to our part of the world, because bands do not get paid.  It's a sort
of a holiday, with each attending muso getting a grant of $120 or so for the
weekend to defray costs, a few drink coupons & reduced entry cost for
his/her partner.  It succeeds because musos from all over who may only see
each other occasionally get to jam together.  Many of them are not just
amateurs either.  A few bands have even been formed here and have gone on to
great acclaim elsewhere.  The event is run by Rotary, I think, & the funds
raised help worthy causes in the town & surrounding countryside.  This type
of festival is common in Oz, and contributes to making our OKOM community
one big happy family.  We have friends from all walks of life, far & wide,
who share a common love of OKOM. 
Maybe we'll one day have the pleasure of jazz lovers from the other side of
the world coming to sample the good life we have here.  It's sooooo nice.
I'll be back in a week to hear about all of you Northern hemisphere dwellers
freezing your assets off.
Best wishes,
 Sam Meerkin
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Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com

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