The New Melbourne Jazz Band


Website  by Clive Budd  -

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The Band

Ross Anderson Bass player and Leader of the band, Ross began playing around 1952 in a quartet based in Echuca in northern Victoria.  He joined the RAAF in 1956 and for a period of 12 years continued playing rossin a variety of groups in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin and Townsville.  Back in Melbourne in 1968 he fronted a jazz trio that played for 9 years at the Dorset Gardens Hotel in Croydon.  Ross joined the famous Storyville Allstars in 1974 and played with them until 1981 when he left to form The New Melbourne Jazz Band.  In 1984 he took this band to the USA to perform at the prestigious Sacramento Jazz Festival where they were a resounding success and since then The New Melbourne Jazz Band has made 14 trips to the USA and Canada to perform at major jazz festivals.  In 1997 Ross was appointed musical director of The Marvellous Melbourne Jazz Festival.  When not playing music, Ross [a carpenter by trade] uses his wood crafting skills to design and build the Anderson Travel Bass.

Mike Edwards

A multi-instrumentalist, Mike started playing trumpet when he was 14. He played and recorded with The Red Onion Jazz Band before moving to Sydney where he played with The Olympia Jazz Band, filling in for Geoff Bull while he was overseas.

Returning to Melbourne he took up sax and during the 60’s played on the pop scene with such well-known groups as The Ram Jam Big Band, The Pink Finks, Jeff St. John’s Yama, and The Party Machine.

Influenced by the country /rock music of the early 70’s, Mike took up guitar and played and recorded with Quinn, Sundown and The Cherokees.

In 1971 he made a major tour of Vietnam, singing and playing guitar as part of the show-band Phoenix, Returning to the jazz scene in 1973, Mike played guitar and banjo with Frank Traynor’s Jazz Preachers.

After a brief period in the folk scene where he played mandolin and tin whistle, Mike played guitar in reception bands until the mid 80’s when he again returned to the jazz scene.

In 1991 Mike joined Radio Days on clarinet, saxophones, flute and guitar.

In 1994 he joined Steve Waddell’s Creole Bells and for 8 years performed with them at venues and festivals around Australia. During this period the band also made 4 trips to the USA to perform at jazz festivals on the west coast.

Charley Farley Banjo playing Charley was born in England and migrated to Australian when he was 13 years of age.  Taking up banjo at 17 he started his musical career in the folk scene in 1966 with the Witney Green Singers.  Charley then switched to jazz and in 1970 joined the legendary New Harlem Jazz Band which appeared in the movie Squizzy Taylor and also played on the sound track.  In the mid 70s he played with well known bands LaVida, The Nick Polites Jazz Band and Poppa Cass Dixielanders.  In 1978 he was one of the original members of the Creole Bells and played with them for 18 months until joining The Cotton Club and The Cairo Club Orchestra.  In the early 80s Charley rejoined the New Harlem Jazz Band which later transformed itself into the popular jazz orchestra Radio Days.  He stayed with them until 1992 when he joined the Maple Leaf Jazz Band.  Charley joined the New Melbourne Jazz Band in 1997 playing banjo and guitar and singing in his unique vocal style.  An authority on the banjo, Charlie plays a selection of classic instruments, including a Majestic from 1927, which is one of only three in the world.

Graeme Steel  Graeme has been on the Melbourne jazz scene for nearly 60 years. He has worked with

many of the top jazz musicians, and has earned a reputation as one of the more reliable

jazz players, equally at home in Modern, Mainstream, Dixie and Traditional styles.

He has been a regular contributor at Jazz Festivals at Merimbula, Halls Gup, Moruya,

Deniliquin, Wagga Wagga , Paynesville, Coolart and Inverloch (He was music director

of the Inverloch festival for 5 years).

His well known and subtle use of the muted trumpet has won many accolades, especially

as a backing player for vocalists including Pippa Wilson, Anita Harris, Sarah Maclaine

and Patsy O'Neill, and has recorded CDs with Anita (2) and Patsy.

Some of the musicians he has worked with include John Adams, Helen and Neil Jowsey,

Graeme Coyle, Ron Sandilands, Alan Smith, Mike Edwards, Ron Trigg, Alex

Hutchinson, Kenn Jones, Leon Heale, Jeff Kluke, Harry Price and many more.

(photo courtesy: Ron Jobe)

Ron Hayden/Drums
1957 Ron played in Melbourne’s first Rock’n’roll band. This is noted in the Australian Book of Rock’n’roll.

1966 Led resident band at Kenilworth House, South Yarra. (Lots of weddings and dinner dances).

1966-1968  South Side 6 (six nights a week) with John Foster, Helen and Neil Jowsey. Did many spots on IMT with this band.

1971-1974 Led a quartet at Tullamarine airport. Wendy Stapleton sang with the band.

1974 Tony Gould trio with Ray Speakman.

1975. Tony Gould trio supported the L.A. 4 in Melbourne.

1975-1980 Played in a Bavarian band (complete with leder hosen) at the Eltham Barrel.

1981-1982. Joined Frank Traynor’s Jazz Preachers.

1985-1988. Played at Baron of Beef restaurant. Female vocalist Kelly Stewart sang with the band.

1998-2013. Worked with the Society Syncopators.

2014 Currently playing with the New Melbourne Jazz Band.