THE HISTORY OF JAZZ AUSTRALIA
Jazz Australia was established in Melbourne in the mid 1980s by Diana Allen OAM, in order to promote, present and preserve the best Australian classic jazz, both from Melbourne and interstate. Over the years she has also presented many great international musicians and bands which include the Swedish Jazz Kings, the Jim Cullum Jazz Band, Martin Litton and Spats Langham from the UK, Jon Weber from Chicago, Ralph Sutton, Kenny Davern from the USA and of more recent times the fabulous gospel singer from Portland, Oregon Marilyn Keller.
You can read all about the experiences Diana has had with these colourful local and international jazz musicians in her recent publication The History of Jazz Australia which she wrote in 2015 on the 30th Anniversary of the establishment of Jazz Australia in Melbourne. In this memoir Diana describes her many and varied experiences over the years, some of them hair-raising, others humorous. It’s a good story that has been well received by those who have read it to date, both in installment form in the Victorian Jazz Club’s magazine Jazzline, and in Diana’s own publication which retails at $15 including postage.
Although Diana phased her operation down when she moved to Point Lonsdale in 2009, she has certainly not hung her hat up yet. She presents quarterly concerts on the Bellarine Peninsula both at Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff, and in 2016 she ‘launched’ her first Jazz Australia cruise to the South Pacific to take place in 2017. She thinks this may be the first Australian jazz cruise to date, and judging by its popularity, she suspects it won’t be the last!