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Jazz musos ready to bring the heat

NORTH Hobart will get its swing on with the Hobart Jazz Club delivering its 16th annual Hot August Jazz Festival on Sunday 30 August in numerous venues from noon until midnight.

The festival will be the first live music festival in Tasmania since COVID-19 restrictions and has been given the sub-title of “come out and play”.

“This has a double meaning – come out with your instrument and play, or just come out and enjoy some good music, good food and great company,” Hobart Jazz Club president Kaye Payne said.

“We have taken extensive steps to ensure that we can all enjoy a great day while following distancing and good hygiene.

“It’s been too long in between gigs for many of our musicians so let’s support them and our hospitality industry while we get back into the swing.”

Eight venues are confirmed for this year’s festival, including the Uniting Church (North Hobart), Queens Head, Raincheck Lounge, Republic Bar, Willings Bros Wine Merchants, The Crescent, Marigold Café and Room for a Pony.

Groups, duos, solo acts and big bands will play throughout the day across the venues, culminating at the Republic Bar at midnight.

The event promises to deliver something for all jazz tastes with genres ranging from traditional and mainstream through to funk and zydeco.

Guitarist Billy Whitton has been playing at Hot August Jazz for more than 10 years and said it was a great day to get out and see some music.

“It’s a great chance for all these jazz players around town, young and old, to get together and have a bit of a jam,” he said.

This event is also a showcase of Tasmanian jazz talent, proving to be a starting point for many young musicians.

Vocalist Eleanor Meredith said it gave them the  opportunity to perform professionally in front of an audience, while also have the chance to watch experienced musicians.

“The Hobart Jazz Club is really accommodating and encouraging to the young talent coming through,” she said.

Ms Meredith will be singing with her own quartet as well as with the Southern Lights Big Band on the day.

“It’s a really great community event, you get to see things you wouldn’t necessarily get to see all of the time and there are a lot of niche projects that don’t get out very often,” she said.

“I really like the community element of it – getting to see everyone and it’s a really good time for people to come together and celebrate music.”

Cool August Blues will be on the night before Hot August Jazz on 29 August at the Republic Bar, and will feature four Tasmanian blues bands.

Both events are free, with programs available two weeks before the event either at the venues or at www.hobartjazzclub.com.

For more information, contact Kaye Payne on 0412 825 967 or Christine Bailey on 0438 722 137.

Caption: From left, Billy Whitton, Randal Muir, Chris McGuinness Terry, Eleanor Meredith, Crystal Livermore and Aaron Entresz.