The Victorian Jazz Club became incorporated in 1968 and is a “not for profit” organisation, formed to perpetuate the jazz genre of music, and to give enjoyment to the lovers of this type of music, together with work for the many jazz musicians in our community.
During 2018 the VJC hosted/organised 32 x 3 hour jazz gigs, as well as 6 all-day functions held on a Sunday with non-stop music.
The Club operates under a constitution based on the Act’s Model Rules, approved by the Department of Consumer Affairs. A committee of 11 volunteers is elected from the membership of the Club annually and these people see to the booking of jazz bands, running of special jazz events, providing work for musicians and enjoyment to jazz followers. They organise volunteers to do door duty at these functions, the supply and preparation of raffle prizes for various functions, a group of volunteers to organise, set-up and dismantle sound equipment at every function, compiling and printing of the Club’s newsletter and magazine, together with liaising with other Australian Jazz Clubs of which are situated in most States of Australia, and with links to many overseas organisations.
Special events held most years are as follows:
Classic Jazz Party
Held on a Sunday from 11.30 am to 5pm and featuring 4 or 5 different bands playing the various styles of jazz .
John Newman Memorial Trad Jazz Day – held on a Sunday from 11.30am to 5pm and featuring 4 or 5 traditional jazz bands. This function is in memory of the late VJC member John Newman, who bequeathed a large sum of money to the VJC which enables them to promote live jazz on an ongoing basis.
Since extending the jazz interests of the Club to include the younger generation who have been busily reviving Swing dancing, one of our current benefactors has been sponsoring a Swing day each year – once again all day on a Sunday – to encourage the younger generation of swing dancers to join the Club, and swing dance to the jazz rhythm. This is working very well, and there are now representatives of the swing fraternity serving on the committee of the VJC.
Big Band Day
Once again this day has come about due to the generosity of our current benefactor and consists of 3 “big bands” who are noted for their jazz and swing performances. This function has been held in recent years at the Clarinda Community Centre, which is acoustically a great venue, with easy access, an excellent dance floor and good facilities.
Tribute to Louis Armstrong
Held each year ( where possible) on the first Sunday in August, which is the nearest to the supposed date of Louis’ birthday. This event consists of a sit-down dinner at a local reception venue, and a chosen band who are given the task of providing an evening of Louis Armstrong music to honour the great musician. For the past many years this function has taken place at the Bentleigh Club – usually between 6pm and 9pm on a Sunday evening.
Seniors Week daytime concert
The VJC’s contribution to Seniors Week has been a reduced price morning jazz concert held on the Wednesday of Seniors Week in October. The VJC hires a top band and provides reduced entry prices together with a cup of tea, coffee etc. for Seniors. People have been known to come from all over Melbourne for this function.
New Year’s Eve
The VJC host a New Year’s Eve dinner dance each year, which has proved to be very popular and well attended. It is held at the Clayton RSL where the chef goes to remarkable lengths to provide a delicious sit-down table service meal, the committee goes to great lengths to decorate the room, and a top local band is hired to help see in the New Year. The cost of the evening even includes two glasses of bubbly!