On Tour with the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra

By Justin Kearin

Bass trombonist – Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra

Justin Kearin

Photo courtesy of ABC Jazz

I’m yet to hear a convincing argument as to why placing instruments into the overhead compartment of an aircraft violates safety regulations. I can only presume it is due to the poor quality fittings that Jetstar installs in their aircraft since both Qantas and Virgin seem to have no such problems with instruments on board. Unfortunately it is an unavoidable inconvenience when one embarks on a national tour on a tight budget. Despite these annoyances, the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra has successfully returned from an exciting and gruelling 14-day tour of Australia and New Zealand, relatively unscathed.

The first incarnation of the band appeared in 2003 to perform at the Jazzgroove Association’s Christmas party in Sydney. Under the artistic direction of David Theak, ten years, four albums and many tours later, the band has emerged as one of Australia’s leading creative jazz ensembles.

Taking an eighteen-piece big band on the road is no easy task and doing it on a tight budget is even more difficult.

One might be mistaken to assume life on tour to be a glamorous Hollywood existence; from private jets to limousines, champagne on ice backstage, luxurious hotel suites.

Alas no.

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