Tony Freedland – President
Tony has been a member of the Brisbane Jazz Club for many years and was co-opted onto the Committee in 2006. Tony played an important role overseeing much of the building renovation and electrical work carried out at the Club during 2012. He now directs the maintenance of the building ensuring the many ‘odd jobs’ required are attended to and oversees the operation of merchandise sales. Tony took on the role of Treasurer in 2007, and has continued in that role until 2014, when he was elected as President. His contributions to the progress and improvement of the club have been highly valued.
Alan Western – Vice President
Alan joined the Brisbane Big Band as resident vocalist in 1989 and was appointed manager in 2008, joining the BJC Committee in the same year. Apart from running the BBB and his own band, Alan is very active in Music Events and Promotions for the BJC, and, in 2012 inaugurated the first very successful Brisbane Big Band Festival at the Club. Well-known as a popular entertainer Alan’s long experience is evident in singing, compering, acting and song-writing in cabaret, radio and TV plus, his sales and marketing roles in various other businesses. He is constantly devising musical and promotional activities, encouraging youth in jazz at the Club and was appointed Vice-President in 2014.
Joquithe Manricks – Treasurer
Well qualified as BJC Treasurer, Joquithe has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy and a Masters in Taxation Law. He learnt classical piano from an early age, double bass in the Ceylon Symphony Orchestra and lead guitar in a Beatles/Shadows group as a teenager. His first 25 years after emigrating to Australia were dedicated to work, study and family. His wife eventually bought him a keyboard which he now plays in 3 big bands, a 4 piece rock group, piano with a classical piano group and electric bass with an old time music group. Having retired in 2009 he will not tolerate the use of the four letter word ‘work’ in his presence!
Christine Talty – Secretary
As the Sole Director of a boutique commercial real estate company Christine brings a wealth of business experience and people skills to the BJC. After a short period of volunteering Christine was easily persuaded to take on the role of club secretary. “The first time I walked into the Brisbane Jazz Club I was warmly greeted by the volunteers, welcomed to the Club, shown to my seat and given an overview of this wonderful establishment. The seed was sown to one day become a volunteer helping the Club to provide a fantastic warm family atmosphere it is known for. I am confident I can offer professional help to the Club as Secretary and be a part of keeping live music alive.”
David Herbert – Committee Member
David ‘s career has mainly been in government. Initially training and working in the social welfare field in hospitals, community health and mental health settings, he has since held positions in industrial relations, change and strategic management. While toiling away 9-5 he has harboured several passions – live jazz, old British sports cars, good red wine and his Great Dane, for which his daughters tell him he has an unhealthy love. As retirement looms, no doubt these passions will completely overtake his life and being a BJC Committee member is part of the plan. His expertise in chairing and conducting meetings as been well regarded by various committees.
Gary Frontin – Committee Member
Gary “Gazzarini” Frontin has been a passionate follower of jazz music throughout his life, starting as a young enthusiast listening to local and international artists at jazz clubs and venues in his home town of Vancouver. Since retiring from his career as an allied health professional spanning three decades working in Australia, Canada and the USA, he has now found the time and energy to devote to the BJC. He joined the club early in 2016 following his move to Brisbane from Canberra and immediately started in the role of Volunteer. He is now serving on the Committee, devoting himself to club management in the area of Media and Marketing coordination.
Stuart Vasepuru – Committee Member
Stuart Vasepuru was born in Brisbane to Scottish/Estonian parents (in case you were wondering about the name), but ended up spending decades in Britain, most recently Edinburgh, where he worked as an engineer for multinationals like Motorola and Hewlett-Packard. He retired and moved back to Brisbane in 2016 to enjoy its mild climate and hot live jazz scene. When not trying to sell tickets for the club’s Grand Piano Art Union, he can be found watching cricket at The Gabba, out pedalling his bike or writing science fiction novels.
Di Clark – Committee Member
Di joined the BJC in 2008 when Jazz Singers Jam Night took up residence at the club. Di Clark – Committee Member She joined the committee for the first time in September 2011 and found heaps to do which she says it’s all very enjoyable. For her the reward is getting to see some fab musicians who appear at the Club and her role as Contracts Liaison Officer gives her plenty of opportunities to work closely with them. Di has also secured regular appearances as a guest vocalist with the Brisbane Big Band.
Irene McLeod – Committee Member
From Volunteering in 2008, Irene joined the current BJC committee in 2011. Whatever she lacks in height she gains in enthusiastic passion for the fabulous people and experiences that make up the very heart of the Brisbane Jazz Club. Her expertise in graphic design and knowledge of marketing have gained her a place in the Club’s promotional team. Besides her love of jazz Irene has carved a niche for herself as a Country Music vocalist and may often be found doing backup vocals for some of the Country star names. For good measure Irene also creates wonderful ceremonies as a Civil Marriage Celebrant.
Before joining the Committee in 2010, Mal played trumpet with various bands at the BJC for many years – Cloudland Dance Band, Brass Hats, Swing Chronicles, Glen Miller Tribute Band, Swing Fever, Decahedron and the ever-famous Brisbane Big Band. With a welcome lesser work load (gigs on weekends) and a grown-up family, he now nurtures some further social skills while hearing a wide variety of great jazz, and meeting and talking with some very talented musos. Apart from musical abilities Mal’s many handyman skills and diligent hard work as Stage Manager contribute towards creating more vibrant and spectacular nights at the Brisbane Jazz Club.
Originally from New Zealand, Duncan has established himself and his
sign-writing business in Brisbane and provided the BJC with our neon Jazz Club sign which is highly visible from the river. He has always been a supporter of Jazz Singers Jam Night in which he often appears as a guest vocalist. Duncan joined the Committee om 2013 and has played a significant role in organising signage, especially for the front and side, and the in famous Club lightbox.
Alan’s love of music has seen him running discos while on overseas assignment, in places such as Bougainville, and hosting live music radio programs in Brunei and Oman. Although not a skilled jazz musician, he has enjoyed playing guitar and singing since the age of 15. He joined the BJC Committee desiring to contribute to the success of a wonderful, volunteer-run organisation, dedicated to the presentation and appreciation of live jazz in Brisbane. As a Committee member, Alan will draw on organisational experience gained as President of the Upper Brookfield Recreation Club and Second office of Brookfield Rural Fire Brigade. He will also continue as an enthusiastic member of the ‘Tuesday crew’ who carry out important maintenance activities at the club.
With over 20 years as a professional musician, bandleader and educator, Mal enjoys the responsibility for securing world class jazz acts for one of the world’s warmest swinging jazz venues, upholding the traditions and integrity passed down from wonderfully clever jazz musicians and jazz-lovers who have established the BJC as such a special place in which artists can paint their live jazz story. Every day he reviews and responds to applications for performances at the BJC – researching, negotiating and engaging live jazz bands from all over the world. Daily communication with past, present and future jazz artists is essential in achieving a balance between established and emerging jazz styles.
France Dauphin – Financial Co-ordinator
France was born in France, but grew up in Tahiti and has settled in Bris Vegas. France has worked in different fields overseas and in Brisbane, in the Renewable Energy, Tourism and Airline industries and teaching French to children. “I love my job – the live music is therapeutic in every level, and most of all I love the fantastic Brisbane Jazz Club team from the Committee to the Volunteers, the bar, the catering people and patrons who have one thing in common – the JAZZ….”
Kirsten White – Coordinator – Administration, Front of House
Her younger days in the Sydney and Melbourne music industry saw Kirsten working as a manager, booking agent and promoter, but she gave it all away to start a family and later returned to Brisbane. Kirsten began Front of House work at the BJC where her love of jazz and the Club lifestyle soon lead her into working in administration during the day while continuing evening FOH duties. She is immensely proud of the Club, as a very unique place, and loves that it appeals to a wide variety of ages and tastes. She truly gets a kick from seeing people’s reactions when they visit the place for the first time and very quickly become regulars – their enthusiasm is contagious.
Brad Esbensen – Musical Director: Brisbane Big Band
Brad Esbensen is a Brisbane based trumpet player, arranger, composer, copyist and educator. His association with the BJC stretches back to 1986 with involvement in jazz workshops with Rick Price and as President of the erstwhile Brisbane Junior Jazz Club set up under John Morris. Among other things, he is currently the Musical Director with the Brisbane Big Band, an association which stretches back to 1987, and Herb Armstrong and the Royal Street Krewe; both groups appear regularly at the BJC.
Rhiannyn Jones – Bar Co-ordinator
Rhiannyn’s bright personality is just as bubbly as the beer and wine she serves. This young lady is very popular with patrons with her winning smile and friendly attitude. Rhiannyn is thrilled to have recently been appointed to the role of Bar Co-Ordinator. Even though she is studying nursing she loves working in the jazz club environment and is already putting her youthful energies into the task of running the bar successfully. This is giving her the opportunity to further decvelop her bar-tending skills and put in place some of her ideas and plans to improve and expand the range and quality of beers, wines and spirits enjoyed by our patrons.
Mark Smith – Sound Engineer
Controlling and producing the sound of the music is an important feature of shows at the BJC. Mark uses his skills from long experience as a musician and sound specialist in producing great sound – well regarded by musicians, vocalists and patrons alike and celebrated his 10th year at the BJC in September 2014. A member of the Music & Events sub-Committee, Mark looks after all the Club’s musical, sound and lighting equipment. Mark has lead the production of BJC ‘High Tide I and II’ CDs and, under his business name Real Productions, his first-class recordings for artistes and bands, both at the Club and in his own studios, are always in demand.