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December 3, 2022

Lismore City Bowlo and all that jazz

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Laura Nobel will be launching her new album, A Time for Love at the reopening of the Lismore Jazz Club. Photo Tree Faerie.

What Lismore needs more of now is fun and joy and music and the Lismore Jazz Club’s popular monthly gigs are about to return to help make that happen.

A not-for-profit organisation, the Lismore Jazz Club was formed in July 2004, primarily to organise the 60th Australian Jazz Convention, which was to be hosted by Lismore City in December of the following year.

What followed was a series of fundraisers for that event that featured a few local bands and a jam session or two.

Over the next months, regular gigs were held – the group raised the much-needed funds for the staging of the Convention and the gigs continued on from then.

Jazz Club President Jennifer McLennan with musos Laura Nobel, Greg Lyon, Neville from the Bowlo and Jazz Club VP Pietro Fine. Photo Tree Faerie.

A casualty of the COVID and floods

The club was just one of many casualties of the COVID shut-downs in the local music scene, and the 2022 floods severely impacted the club’s favourite venue, the Lismore City Bowling and Recreation Club, affectionately known as the City Bowlo.

With the reopening of the Bowlo the good news is the Lismore Jazz Club monthly gigs are back!

The first gig of the new program is Lismore songstress Laura Nobel, with Greg Lyon (bass), Brendan St Ledger (piano) and Scott Hills (drums), at the City Bowlo, home of the Jazz Club on Sunday October 9.

Brendan St Ledger is a special guest making his first appearance at the Lismore Jazz Club and travelling down from Brisbane for the gig.

A Time for Love

Laura Nobel will be launching her new album, A Time for Love, which was recorded live here in the Northern Rivers at Byron Bay and produced by Greg Lyon.

Laura and the quartet say they are thrilled to be performing for the Lismore Jazz Club as it celebrates the re-opening of the City Bowlo. ‘This gig is important because it’s like the regeneration, the rebirth of Lismore – music is partly the thing that’s bringing Lismore.

‘We’ve got a long history with the Jazz Club here and we’re the first gig for the Jazz Club since June last year.’

Jazz Club President, Jennifer McLennan, said the Jazz Club has delighted members and friends with its recent announcement that its regular gigs are resuming in October. It’s fantastic news. We’re ooking forward to more great music. It is fabulous to have jazz back on a Sunday arvo at the City Bowlo.

Gigs were missed

Ms McLennan said the gigs were missed when they were suspended through COVID restrictions, and then the devastating and ongoing flood trauma, so it’s fantastic that we’re able to return to live music again. ‘I’d like to thank the outgoing Lismore Jazz Club committee members whose tireless work and enthusiasm for live music and the jazz community will certainly be missed.

‘We’re keeping our prices at pre-COVID levels for now—we want to keep live music as accessible as we can for people in this region.

‘We’re also very grateful for the continued support of the Lismore Bowlo in providing such a great venue for our gigs.

‘Our first event is the second Sunday of October — it was a bit hard to compete against the football grand finals and a long weekend—but from then on it will be the first Sunday of each month.’

Access to the bowling club has changed for the time being as the club car park is closed. Parking is available on Molesworth Street with pedestrian access to the front of the club.

Entry to the Sunday afternoon gigs is still only $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers, with a yearly membership fee of $20.

For people who join the Lismore Jazz Club or renew their membership now, this year’s membership fee will cover them to the end of 2023.

The next Lismore Jazz Club gigs, featuring more great artists from this region and beyond, will be held on 6 November, 4 December, and then on 5 February next year.

This event starts on Sunday October 9 at 2pm at City Bowlo.

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