MJC 50th celebrations – and a brief history of the Club . . .

(from club president David Edge’s post in the November club newsletter, with minor edits) – Stuart

The Jazz Club started out on 28th April 1966 as Manawatu Musicians and Entertainers Club, with its first President Alan Horsfall, and holding its first concert at The Newbury Hall on 12th June (setting the second Sunday of the month tradition) with The Massey Swing Quartet, Peter Wood Quintet, Graham Prattle Trio and Dave Clark Combo….and an audience of 40. Over the next year, Alan had got a Big Band going and sent Peter Wood off to perform to great acclaim at The Tauranga Jazz Festival. The First Manawatu Jazz Festival was launched at the Opera House on Labour Weekend 27th October 1968, …admission 50c!

Manawatu Jazz Club held a celebration of our first 50 years over Labour Weekend 2016, on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd October.

The first day at the Savage Club Hall attracted not only our second President Colin Brown over from Melbourne, but lots of old friends from past years and a good selection of keen musicians.. including Bruce Crichton back from Echuca, Victoria. Apologies were received from John Robinson, Vern Smith, Peter Wood, Don Fulton and Harvey Barraclough. There was a wonderful collection of posters, Festival videos/DVDs, a fabulous scrap book of the early days, handwritten minute books and memorabilia. We also had a visit from TV3’s “Story” reporter Kim Vinnell who interviewed Terry Tawharu, Alan Horsfall and Colin Brown…and filmed Ian McLaughlan and Colin Eglinton’s piano duet and our “house band” Larry Ward and Colin Eglinton on saxes, Ian McLaughlan on piano, Terry Tawharu, bass with Bill Pink, drums, which aired at 6:21pm on the following day (Check out www.newshub.co.nz). The house band got a jam session going with contributions from Errol Christiansen (flute &/or drums) Bruce Crichton, Graydon Crawford, altos, Jeff Baker  drums, Colin Brown, and Judy Gridley, vocals, Robin Berrigan, keys.. and David Edge on bass clarinet.

Altogether, a really great way to spend 6 hours…and the general opinion was that the jam session was great and something we should keep going at Club Days.

Celebrations continued in concert format in front of122 enthusiastic people on Sunday at 2pm at Cloverlea Tavern with the MJC Big Swing Band; Bop Cats (Graydon Crawford saxes + vocals, Joanne Crawford, keys + vocals, Michael Crawford, bass, and Bill Pink, drums), James Tait Jamieson Combo (JTJ saxes, Nicky Wuts vibes, Nik van Dyke, trombone + flugel, Chris Dann keys, Phil Boniface, bass, Hayden Lauridsen, drums with guest Rodger Fox); Rose City Seven (Peter Hales, trumpet, Colin Eglinton, clarinet, Graydon Crawford, trombone, Ray Woodley, banjo+vocals, Rita Banks, keys+vocals, Terry Tawharu, bass, Errol Christiansen, drums); Mac Attack (Johnny McCormick, saxes, Ian McLaughlan, keys, Kevin Downing, guitar, Roger Brasell, bass, Ted Frickleton, drums, with guests Kevin Clark, Rodger Fox and Colin Brown vocals) and with a very enjoyable 6 hours..and…another jam session!…but wait there’s more ….and more important things

We would like to thank all the musicians who made our celebration such a success, both on and off the stage, The Savage Club for the use of their Hall and keyboards, Richard Mays for his excellent article in The Tribune, and Kim Vinnell and TV3’s “Story” team for their interest and putting us in their show. Special thanks go to Terry Tawharu, Alan Horsfall, Neville Pickett, Colin Eglinton, Ian McLaughlan, Bill Pink, and Bruce Stephens for their archiving and especially personal memories, and to Roger Simms and Stuart Hubbard for collating images and arranging AV support through PN City Library, to Chrissy Toms for setting up the venues, Glenys McLaughlan for collecting signatures and looking after the name badges and the door and Simon Grant for staying up, setting up and running the sound. We would also like to thank the audience for their enthusiastic support of …..yet another great weekend at the Jazz Club….

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