Castlemaine music scene gets jazzy

SING: Performers Meg Corson and Jude Parsons on the piano. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN
SING: Performers Meg Corson and Jude Parsons on the piano. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

Castlemaine's first jazz festival will groove into town over the weekend giving opportunities to old and young musicians.

More than 50 groups have registered, ranging from duos to the 20-piece Daylesford Swing Band.

Meg Corson is one of the acts featured in the weekend.

She will sing with Myles White on Sunday 4pm at the Public Inn and also with John Fleming at the Cumberland Hotel at 6pm.

Since recently moving from Melbourne to Castlemaine Corson and her young family have embraced the local art scene.

"I've been focused on being a mum for the last few years and now I have the opportunity to re-ignite my career," she said.

"This town has been a big part of that.

"I am excited about becoming more a part of the jazz community.

"I can't not be a part of it."

Jude Parsons will also perform in her band The Jude Parsons Trio.

"It will allow people who get the odd gig or muck around at home to play in front of an audience," she said of the festival.

"I have returned to singing in the last couple of years.

"As the jazz scene has grown it has given me many opportunities to express myself.

"I wouldn't miss it for the world."

These two acts are part of the assembly of more than 220 musicians from all over the country.

The festival is organised by 60 volunteers from the region.

Ken Turnbull, one of the festival volunteers, said enough people were interested in the concept of a festival to get it going.

"The event began as a result of two regular jam sessions happening in central Victoria and the desire to spread the joy of jazz music," he said.

View Street picture framer and artist Geoff Sayer will pursue his other interest of jazz drummer over the weekend.

"This will be an inclusive event that allows everyone to enjoy jazz in all its diversity, from New Orleans style to Miles Davis numbers and beyond," he said.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the festival office behind the market building in Mostyn Street, Castlemaine.

A two-day pass is $75 and one-day is $40.

Venues welcoming patrons are The Cumberland Hotel, The Bridge Hotel, The Comma Bar and Bistro, Lot 19, The Newnorthern, Public Inn and Run Rabbit Run.

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