extempore was already out in the world, but now it’s official. On Friday 31 October, in the Supper Room at St Patricks Hall, Wangaratta at the beginning of the 2008 annual jazz festival, about 70 people celebrated the journal with some wine, cheese, readings and [what a relief!] very short speeches.
Pictured above – some of our guests on this happy occasion.
We were also treated to readings by Geoff Page and John Clare. Lynn Hard, whose poems ‘Quintet’ and ‘Jazz’ appear in Issue 1 was also there on the evening and we convinced him to read ‘Quintet’ for us as well.
But before all this, jazz icon and a great supporter of both extempore and the National Jazz Writing Competition, Mike Nock, launched the journal, calling it a very welcome addition to the landscape, noting also how important it is to have a place to tell the stories around any artform.
Geoff Page treated us to a reading of ‘Coffee With Miles’ – his poem about the music in coffee shops… and more than one person said to me how much his resonated with their own experience!
A highlight was the performance by John Clare. He had agreed to read from his piece ‘Rock and Roll Diary of a Jazz Musician’ but instead of a reading, we were given a performance! John recited three excerpts from his piece, and the room was enthralled.