[Dixielandjazz] Manly Jazz Festival Report

Zenith Sydney zenith at ans.com.au
Mon Oct 4 16:13:16 PDT 2004

Hi DJMLers,

The 27th Manly International Jazz festival by the Sea was opened with a Gala
Cabaret Party in the Manly Pacific Hotel featuring, amongst others, James
Morrison and the Dan Barnett Big Band. On Saturday the free outdoor program
got under way on four stages in tandem with fringe events in many other
locations.  A colour coded program listed something for all jazz tastes,
ranging from traditional and swing to modern jazz, funk, blues, gospel and
soul over the four day festival.  Five roving bands weaved their way through
the crowds each day playing and entertaining visitors during changeover sets
at each stage.  A Kinderjazz special event created in 1997 that exposes
children to quality music again enthralled children, parents and
grandparents in the Corso Amphitheatre Stage and was one of the highlights.
It was a program for big and little kids.

Presented by the Manly Council in Sydney each holiday weekend this is one of
the top events on the Australian Jazz Calendar.  Visiting performers from
overseas included Light of Love a Gospel/R & B Ensemble, a nine piece unit
from Illinois, USA, veteran drummer from UK Cyril Bevan (toured with pianist
Winifred Atwell),  Italian contemporary quartet, The Actis Dato and
trumpeter Bob Montgomery from USA who is also a member of the board of
trustees for the International Foundation for Jazz.

The Zenith had a great Sunday at Manly, everything went fantastic.  The
weather was sunny which brought out people wanting to have a good time and
Manly was buzzing with holiday atmosphere crowds.  Just before our set on
the Oceanfront Stage I signed three release forms, two for camera crews (one
for filming the band and one for recording a video interview with me) and
one for a Japanese radio station.  I said OK for each release provided they
gave us a copy of what they filmed and recorded.  Our CDs started selling
during the first number and we averaged almost one every 30 seconds.  From
the first number onwards we also had swing dancers up jitterbugging
continuously for the full one hour set assisting in creating a capacity
audience whilst trying to dodge around the 3 to 4 year old kids happily
bouncing impromptu solo along with the band.  From the bandstand we could
also see people sunbathing on the beach within earshot of the band whilst we
watched the surf waves breaking and glistening in the sun.

Once again I can certainly endorse that OKOM is alive and well with the
average man in the street.  The audience we drew and held, were mainly Mr &
Mrs middle Australian music lovers, tourists/holidaymakers, our fans and a
small percentage (IMHO) of what we could call strictly jazz followers.

Tom (OKOM lives!) Wood

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