Named after a popular Brisbane entertainment precinct, the Caxton Street Jazz Band have been performing locally, nationally and internationally, in various combinations, across 43 years since they got started, way back in 1977.
While the inspiration for their signature Trad sound is unmistakeably the ‘Hot Jazz of the 1920’s and 30’s’, they pride themselves on a repertoire which embraces a broad range of tunes, genres and styles; all delivered with a smile and a wonderfully entertaining flair.
Of the current line-up of this talented six-piece, the first to play with the Caxton Street Jazz Band was piano player/vocalist, Bernice Haydock. Her first gig with the band was ‘probably Friday 29 July 1977’.
‘Front man’ Tom Nicolson returned on trombone, banjo and vocals, having originally joined the band in 1979.
Trumpet-player John Braben became a permanent member after stints with the band in the late 80’s and early 90’s. (John has a long association with the Brisbane Jazz Club. He first played here in1973!!)
Paul Williams, on tenor sax and clarinet, joined in 2000.
The most recent additions were bass player, Andrew Shaw, in 2010, and David McCallum on drums and washboard, in 2017.
During their 43 years together, with a variety of line-ups, featuring the cream of local talent, the Caxton Street Jazz Band have established themselves as one of Australia’s most loved Jazz bands. And they have become something of an institution in Brisbane.
And here at the Brisbane Jazz Club, they are among our most popular performers. Having played here many, many times since 1977, they currently play to a sell-out crowd on every first Friday of the month; something they have been doing now, for more than 3 years.
These Friday sessions attract an enthusiastic, appreciative, sell-out crowd, who are always treated to a memorable night of swinging, foot-tapping entertainment.
And looking back through our archives, I see that back in 2013, Committee Member, David Herbert said…
‘Caxton Street Jazz Band may come often, but they always seem to manage to sound fresh. Happy, joyous, traditional music that is accessible and familiar, played with enthusiasm and style by seasoned musicians. You can tell they are long-time friends with each other, as well as half the audience. Makes the Brisbane Jazz Club feel as comfortable as your favourite armchair’.
And so it was tonight!!
Through a set-list that sprinkled vocals from Bernice and Tom among the instrumental Jazz classics and memorable solos from each musician, the band and the night skipped and rolled along like the nearby Brisbane River.
Among those vocals, was Bernice’s ‘Comes Love’; a song covered by almost every famous Jazz vocalist you could name.
‘Comes a snowstorm, you can get a little heat. Comes love; nothing can be done’.
Well, Comes the Caxton Street Jazz Band….and they bring the house down. Every time they are here!!
So, don’t forget…you can catch them at the Brisbane Jazz Club on the first Friday of every month. See you next time!!
Brisbane Jazz Club