When I was young, my dear old Dad introduced me to Dixieland Jazz.  Whenever it came on the radio he would get this big grin on his face and point out features of the music that he enjoyed.  As a young man, while spending many years recovering from illness at Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, he became responsible for hosting an in-house radio show called “Swing with Bing”.  He loved the old crooner. On my return from New York, I had great fun showing him an amateur video (shot by yours truly) of Woody Allen and his Jazz band at the Cafe Carlyle. Now I’ve got another amateur video of my Dad with that same big smile all over his face while watching Woody.

Today, I attended a boogie Jazz concert at Montsalvat.  The Barn was host to Jan Preston, who played boogie, honky tonk and ragtime jazz on Montsalvat’s beautiful grand piano, ably assisted by her husband on drums and washboard. Together they delighted the audience with renditions of “In the Mood”, “Twelfth Street Rag” and “Five Finger Boogie”. Looking around the packed audience I saw lots of toes tapping and heads nodding and dare I say some smiles that reminded me very much of my dear old Dad.  To say there was enthusiastic applause after each number would be an understatment. The joint was jumping.

Montsalvat regularly hosts music events.  Coming up on the 20th of March is a concert titled “The North East Collective” featuring some of Australia’s finest musicians.  Then on 27th March one of Melbourne’s favourite singer songwriters, Kavisha Mazzella will launch her latest CD “Love and Sorrow” in the Barn at Montsalvat. Take a look at Montsalvat’s website for details of these upcoming concerts.