Save the date. OzManouche is back for 2021 from the 25th to the 28th of November at the Brisbane Jazz Club. Artist announcements will be in August.
|Vale Jon Delaney 10/4/76 - 11/3/21|
Since his arrival onto the gypsy jazz scene, Jon Delaney was a mainstay at the OzManouche Festival in Brisbane. He was a festival favourite performing almost every year in various ensembles and the first musician to perform a solo concert. Jon was a hugely inspiring and influential musician, loved by everyone who knew him. He treated everyone with a great deal of respect. It did not matter to him if you were a professional musician, a hobbyist or even in the beginning stages of your musical journey; Jon was always humble, kind, patient and free with his seemingly limitless knowledge of guitar technique and repertoire. I found this quality in Jon completely refreshing. Often when you play with your musical heroes, the experience can be bruising; Jon always made you feel like one of the gang. A quality both he and Ewan MacKenzie imbued and made an impression on me that has carried into my work for the OzManouche Festival.
After Ewan's passing and I began my role for the festival, Jon was one of the first people to call me, and we spent hours talking and workshopping ideas for the festival. He and I both agreed that even though the programming may change, the essential elements and community aspects of what Ewan built would remain as a tribute to him.
We had a funny relationship at times. Sometimes best mates, other times there was epic shit-stirring and piss-taking. It was never mean spirited, and there was always mutual respect and friendship behind it all. Jon would refer to me as the "Dungeons & Dragons" of gypsy jazz because of my long hair, former life playing rock music, and penchant for Star Wars quotes. I wore it like a badge of honour in a "You know it, Baby!" kind of way. And would goad him by quoting metal riffs or the Star Wars theme in my solos to his amusement and faux disgust.
"Gypsy jazz to me is playing with your mates with one foot on the ground and the other pounding the earth," he told me once. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been able to have to spend hundreds of hours playing music with him. Always in places hundreds or thousands of kilometres from my home in Sydney. Countess times sitting across from him playing rhythm guitar while his hands danced across the fretboard with boundless energy and inspiration, feeling the sound of his guitar hitting me in the chest and filling the air. Nights jamming turned into mornings as we explored deep into the repertoire and rediscovered forgotten songs. I remember one particular night after a jam session at L'Apostrope in the 10eme of Paris. We decided to continue jamming by the canals with some other musicians after the bar closed. At about 3 am, I realised that I had no way to get back to where I was staying in the 5eme—the other side of town. The metro was long closed, no taxis about. Jon ended up hiring a bike for me and pushed off me in the direction of Notre Dame with my guitar on my back. I wasn't as familiar with Paris as I am now and didn't know my way. I still remember Jon yelling, "Stay on the Boulevard de Sébastopol until you hit Notre Dame, then turn left!" as I drunkenly pedalled off. I have so many memories like this with Jon, and I will cherish them always.
We will be setting up a photo page in tribute to Jon with photos of past festival performances. The 2021 Festival will be dedicated to his memory. In the meantime, there are some performance videos in the comments section.
Jon, we love you and miss you. Travel well dear friend.
Parts 1 & 2 of Radio 4EB's OzManouche special are available here below.
Part one of the OzManouche 2020 special on Brisbane Radio 4EB presented by Richard Hammernik is now listenable via the radio on-demand link below. This edition features interviews by Brisbane Jazz Club President, Paul Day. Camaron De La Vega, Shenzo Gregorio and Jan Van Dijk.
A heartfelt thank you to all the people that contributed to OzManouche this year. Our treasurer and producer, Ronnie Woods, photography and graphic design, Mary Brettell, poster art and graphic design, Irene Ypenburg, live sound, Mark Smith. Camaron De La Vega aka Cameron Ford for organising and running the jam sessions. At the BJC Paul Day, Allan Western, Kirsten White, bar staff and volunteers. And the family of Ewan Mackenzie.
I’d also like to thank all of the musicians that performed over the weekend, especially under such completely different circumstances. It’s an inspiration for me to work with you all. I'm very grateful to be a small part of this community we have.
Thanks to our wonderful audience for your continued support of OzManouche and my apologies to those of you who were unable to get tickets. We did our very best under the circumstances, and we thank you for your understanding.
Thanks to the everyone that contacted me over the weekend with updates and messages of support. I much appreciated it. It meant a great deal to me.
We will see you next year.
Some additional tickets have been released for some OzManouche shows. Please contact the Brisbane Jazz Club by phone to enquire (07) 3391 2006. Phone sales are currently the Club's preferred means of contact.
Traditionally we have offered members of our professional musician community passes to attend the festival and to jam on stage for last set jam sessions. Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, we aren't able to offer these passes this year. Additionally, we have a long history of creating a space for members of our gypsy jazz community and newcomers to come along to the festival, bring their instruments and jam on the deck before shows and during the weekend. Unfortunately, we can't offer that aspect of our festival to you this year for the same reasons. We apologise for this. It's a huge part of our festival, and certainly, I would not be where I am today without having come along as a "Jammer" in those early years of the festival. But rest assured these aspects will return in the future once restrictions are lifted.
That being said, we will be having an unofficial after-show jams hosted by Camaron De La Vega during the festival from Thursday night. We won't be mentioning this publically on social media; musicians will inform the audience at the close of their performances. If people wish to get together during the day a good place to organise this would be the Australian Gypsy Jazz page on Facebook which you can find at the bottom of this message.
Festival shows will be recorded by Richard Hammernik of Radio 4EBfm, 98.1 FM for a delayed broadcast on Friday, 4/12/20 at 2 pm and 11/12/20 at 2 pm. The same two-hour shows will be broadcasted on Global Digital Radio on Tuesday, 8/12/20 and 22/12/20 at 2 pm. Additionally, there is Radio on-demand via available on www.4eb.org.au. I will put a link on the OzManouche website once it becomes available.
Lastly, I'm not able to attend the festival this year. It's too late for me to travel and some restrictions are still in place with travel to Brisbane from Sydney. We have a wonderful selection of bands for you this year, and I'm sure it will be an amazing experience. I'm grateful that circumstances are such that we can go ahead and that our festival can continue its unbroken 15-year run. And to also provide Queensland musicians with a stage to present their music and for our wonderful gypsy jazz community to have to place to experience it all. Thank you for supporting the OzManouche Festival and Australian Gypsy Jazz artists.