Warm up with some hot jazz

IT was undoubtedly one of the chilliest mornings this winter but that did not deter fans from filling the park in Bellingen for the opening of this year's Jazz and Blues Festival.

Wrapped in scarfs, buried under woolly hats and cradling steaming hot drinks, locals and visitors alike enjoyed being warmed by the rhythms of the Bellingen High School Jazz Band and the 2CS FM Band.

Not so warm, initially at least, were the young high school musicians, who opened the program at 7.30am.

“I don't remember it being this cold,” trombonist Robert Sherrington said. “But someone has to do it.

“At least the trombone has a slide and not freezing buttons.”

Festival president, Ted Greenwood, said this year's line-up was more varied than ever.

“We've got headliners in all areas, from blues to Gershwin, traditional to modern - Jeff Lang, Dale Barlow, Blaine Whittaker and our own David Helfgott,” Mr Greenwood said.

“What more could you want?”

After suffering big losses last year due to bad weather Mr Greenwood said the committee had agonised about whether to run a smaller low-risk festival or take the plunge and go for the big one.

“We decided to take the risk and get the big names here.

“It will be a wonderful festival.”

Co-ordinator Rowan Butler was also feeling pretty excited.

“It's great to see it all happening at last.”

For full program and festival details turn to Page 25 for our Jazz Festival feature.



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