Throwback Thursday - River City Jazz Festival

January 18-19 1985. There was speculation that Taree could be the venue for the 1987 Australian Jazz Convention following the success of the inaugural River City Jazz Festival in Taree.

Held over two days at various venues around the city, the festival culminated in a concert at Queen Elizabeth Park on the Sunday afternoon that attracted a crowd of 1500.

“Nancy Stewart with her mellow, youthful voice and brilliant 22-year-old multi instrumentalist James Morrison were the weekend’s popular favourites,’’ wrote Lachlan Harris in a front page story in the Times the following Tuesday.

“It will be an annual event now,’’ festival sponsor Bob Berrigan told the Times.

“Taree will certainly be the jazz music capital of Australia.’’

Festival chairman Lloyd Smith told the Times the committee took $2009 from the gate on the riverbank and hopes to contribute about $3500 to the Manning Civic and Entertainment Centre committee from the gate and the jazz ball on the Saturday night. The ball was held at Taree RSL Club.

Members of Taree North Rotary Club and Manning River Aquatic Association made up the jazz committee.

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