Created by Pete Jeavons and Alan Corbet, the concept of the Explorations Jazz Jam Session was first realized in 2005 at West Perth venue ‘The Bluenote Tavern’. This first season of Explorations was co-managed by Pete Jeavons and Jimmy Murphy and began on Tues Aug 13th culminating on December 27th in the same year. Later, the project took up residency at a number of Perth venues including The Paddington Alehouse (Dec 5th 2006 – 24th April 2007), The Rosemount Hotel (13th Nov 2007 – 30th Dec 2008) and The Ellington Jazz Club (Mar 8th 2009 – 27th Dec 2009).
From 2010 onward, JAZZWA adopted a more targeted approach to presenting Explorations jam sessions (rather than having a weekly event) due to the changing needs of the jazz community. Jam sessions were divided into three categories (“Showcase”, “Community” and “Youth” jam sessions – see below) and were held at a number of different venues around Perth.
By the end of 2013 the Explorations project had created more than 550 paid performance opportunities (totalling more than $73K in perfomance fees) for individual jazz musicians. Other than those musicians in the housebands, there have been countless jam session participants including a number of internationally renown jazz musicians such as trumpeter Skip Martin (‘Kool and The Gang’), saxophonist Jon Gordon (USA), British tenor saxophonist Danny Moss, and legendary Jazz trumpeter/pianist Arturo Sandoval (Cuba/USA) to name a few.
Showcase Jam Sessions
Designed primarily for professional and semi-professional jazz musicians as well as visiting jazz artists and WAAPA jazz student musicians, showcase jam sessions have been held at a variety of Perth venues including The Bird (Northbridge), The Velvet Lounge (Mount Lawley) and the Ellington Jazz Club (Perth).
Community Jam Sessions
These low-pressure community jazz jam sessions are targeted at mature aged but non-professional/amateur jazz musicians. JAZZWA provides a rhythm section (usually comprising WAAPA jazz students) led by an established jazz professional with educational experience who offers tips, insight and instruction to the jam session attendees. Numerous community jam sessions have been presented at the Overflow Cafe (Northbridge) lead by a variety of professional jazz musicians such as Russell Holmes, Roger Garrood, Rick Webster, Ray Walker and Garry Lee.
Youth Jam Sessions
A cross-project initiative with JazzNOW! the youth jam sessions are a great way for young aspiring jazz musicians to meet, form friendships and share ideas all whilst having fun with jazz music and improvisation. Youth jam sessions are conducted by an experienced JazzNOW! musician/educator who guides the participants and teaches them about the conventions of jazz jam sessions, as well as offering tips on improvisation and repertoire. These jam sessions also provide a follow up meeting for the students (from various schools) who have attended a JazzNOW! Jazzcamp and thus gives them an opportunity to strengthen their friendships and establish a greater connection to their peer group.