The first Inverloch Jazz Festival in 1994 featured 13 bands and 61 musicians. Some of those first musicians who will attend this year’s festival, the 25th.
“The intimacy of it is probably the best thing about it. It’s a very friendly festival in a little country beachside resort town. Inverloch is for people like me who like playing with their mates in a band. We play for the love of the music.”
This year’s festival, on the long weekend from March 9-12, will feature some 40 bands with 200 musicians and singers, playing across a range of genres: swing, trad, bebop, Latin, progressive, big band and more. Artists include Chris Wilson and friends, Anita Harris, Wonderdogs and Dr Crask and His Swingin' Elixir.
When the festival began in 1994, the plan was to raise funds for a community aged care hostel in Inverloch. The state government of the day eventually gave the bed licences to a private provider so that idea went by the way. Over the years the proceeds have been donated to local groups such as the Surf Lifesaving Club and the Inverloch Men's Shed.
The community-run festival offers a long, lazy weekend of jazz from Friday night through to Monday's free concert in The Glade. Bands will perform in three comfortable venues, all in the centre of town.
The Saturday community grand parade from 10am is a highlight, known for colourful cars, banners and musicians. This year’s parade is organised by the Inverloch Men's Shed, and includes a town crier, Frank Deane.
A new gourmet menu from Brent Sinclair is available at The Hub, home-baked goods can be found at Warrawee and Dirty Three Wines are manning the bar.
Visitors can also stroll among the artworks at the Inverloch Art Show, which returns to the stadium at the back of the Community Centre.
The festival concludes with a free picnic concert in The Glade on Monday morning, with local producers showcasing wine and food amid the jazz.
Information and tickets www.inverlochjazzfestival.com