- Kiwis scoop the pool in the
2007 Bundaberg Rum Jazzer Quest
- More than 100 contestants took part in
the Bundaberg Rum Jazzer Quest in the Music Room at The Pub in
Tamworth. Six heats were contested daily at 4pm from Friday, January
19 until Wednesday, January 24, followed by the wildcard heat on
Thursday, culminating in the grand final on Australia Day. Quest
co-ordinator since 1995 Greg Williams has expanded the Jazzer team
to include the lovely Jacqui Gaynor, who handles the day to day
running of this important event. Standout performances were many,
resulting in high quality entertainment for the big audiences
present every day.
“The wildcard heat on the Thursday was a successful innovation a few
years back and very well received by the audience and contestants,”
Greg Williams said. “It allowed for some of those contestants you
couldn’t possibly leave out, to get another shot at the grand final
and the big prize pool.”
The junior section was won by 12-year-old New Zealander Hannah
Cosgrove, a very popular crowd choice. As well as winning $1000 from
Bundaberg Rum and a fabulous Fender acoustic/electric guitar, Hannah
won Axiom Entertainment Agency’s scholarship to Tamworth Camerata
2007 – Australia’s only recognised youth country music school staged
annually in the Country Music Capital. She also accepted a
performance spot in Young Country Stars the next day at The Pub.
Second place in the junior section was won by Melanie Dyer from
Inverell, NSW, while Daniel Cosgrove (yes, Hannah’s brother!) took
out third place. Second and third junior placegetters received $500
and $300 from Bundaberg Rum.
The open section winner, Katie Thompson from New Zealand, completed
a Kiwi clean sweep of The Jazzer. Her winner’s package included
$2000 cash from Bundaberg Rum, and a fabulous Fender
acoustic/electric guitar, arranged by Cheapa Music, Tamworth, and
presented by Fender representative Clay Algie (pictured with Katie
and Hannah). Second place was won by Sydney’s Taryn Traustch, who
impressed the judges just ahead of Brisbane’s Lance Coassin who
secured third prize. Second and third open section placegetters
received $800 and $400 from Bundaberg Rum. All contestants had the
option of utilising the Bundaberg Rum Jazzer Quest band throughout
the quest, composed of wonderful musicians Les Scott on guitar, Glen
Skarratt on bass, and sharing drumming duties, Terry Phillpot and
Glenn Wilson. Compering duties were ably handled by Kevin Anderson,
Aleta Tulk, Jodie Crosby and Jon Wolfe. Judges for this year’s
Bundaberg Rum Jazzer Quest came from a wide cross section of the
country music industry - Allan Tomkins, Nicki Gillis, Jodie Crosby,
Errol Gray, Simon Johnson, Sam Burgess, Amber Lawrence, Darren
Colston, Lynne Carey, Aaron Bolton, Donna Boyd, Aleta Tulk, Tubby
Dyer, Victoria Baillie, Deniese Morrison, Paul Wilson and Steve
Cheers. Entry fees collected from contestants amounting to more than
$600 was directed to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in
Melbourne, in memory of the quest’s namesake – the late Jazzer
Smith. This has been the custom each year as Jazzer was treated at
Peter Mac with kindness, dignity and respect, during his 17-year
battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The quest is now 25 years old, an
ongoing icon of the Tamworth Country Music Festival, now firmly
established in its new home at The Pub, which was voted the CMAA’s
Best Country Music Venue 2006. Strongly supported by wonderful
sponsor Bundberg Rum, this quest not only maintains the standard, it
Photo: Katie Thompson, Clay Algie - Fender Australia, and Hannah
Cosgrove with their new Fender guitars. Photo: Jon Wolfe.
For more information, please visit The Pub website,
www.thepub.com.au – or phone Anna
Rose on (02) 6765 4875 or 0428 413 809
Jazzer Quest on again
- The Bundaberg Rum sponsored Jazzer
Talent Quest – named in honour of the late Australian country music
icon – is on again in 2007 at The Pub on Tamworth's Gunnedah Road.
"The Pub’s newly expanded entertainment room was the perfect venue
for the 2006 Quest, an important part of Tamworth Country Music
Festival," said organiser since 1995 Greg Williams.
Contestants have now “found” the quest, he said, which relocated
after "a year off" from the city's central business district.
"Heats were hotly contested from the first Friday of the festival to
the following Wednesday and audiences were thoroughly entertained.
"Standout performances were many during each of the six daily heats,
resulting in a high quality talent showcase for the grand final on
final Friday– and a highly entertaining wild card heat on Grand
"The wild card section on the Thursday was a successful innovation
and very well received by the audience and contestants," Greg said.
"It allowed for some of those contestants you couldn’t possibly
leave out, to get another shot at the Grand Final and the big prize
Entry fees collected from contestants are donated to the Peter
MacCallum Cancer Institute in Melbourne where the quest’s namesake
Jazzer Smith was treated for many years for non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Entry details can be obtained from www.thepub.com.au or by ringing
The Pub Management on 02 6765 4875.
The Pub Management
Representing: Felicity Urquhart, Aleyce Simmonds, The Baileys, Aaron
Bolton, Katrina Burgoyne
T: 61 2 6765 4875
M: 0428 413 809
F: 61 2 6762 4304
Tamworth Country Music Festival 19 - 28 January 2007
Tamworth Camerata 30 June - 5 July 2007
Tamworth Hats Off Festival 5 - 8 July 2007
- The Jazzer is on again
in 2007. Contact
The Pub Management 02 67654875
The Pub’s newly expanded entertainment room was the perfect
venue for the 2006 Bundaberg Rum Jazzer Talent Quest, an important
part of Tamworth Country Music Festival. Contestants have now
“found” the quest, relocated from the central business district to
The Pub on Gunnedah Rd.
Heats were hotly contested from the first Friday of the festival the
following Wednesday, at 4pm daily, and audiences were thoroughly
Quest co-ordinator since 1995 - Greg Williams, said standout
performances were many during each of the six daily heats, resulting
in a high quality talent showcase for the grand final on final
Friday– and a highly entertaining wild card heat on Grand Final eve.
“The wild card section on the Thursday was a successful innovation
and very well received by the audience and contestants,” Greg
Williams said. “It allowed for some of those contestants you
couldn’t possibly leave out, to get another shot at the Grand Final
and the big prize pool. That Thursday’s wild card heat was almost on
par with the Grand Final. As it was, four went through to the Grand
Final from the wild card heat. We hope to maintain this wildcard
situation every year as its great entertainment, but its under
pressure from heavy demand from contestants for heat places.”
The Junior section was won by 9 year old Kiara Rodrigues, from
Mackay in North Queensland, a very popular crowd choice also. As
well as winning $1000 from Bundaberg Rum and a fabulous Fender
acoustic/electric guitar, Kiara won Axiom Entertainment Agency’s
scholarship to Camerata 2006 – the youth Country Music school. She
also accepted a performance spot in Young Country stars concert the
next day at The Pub, where she received an encore.
Second place in the Junior section was won by Anna MacDonald from
Southland, South Island, New Zealand, while Bart Thrupp from
Toowoomba Queensland took out third place. Second and third Junior
place getters received $500 and $300 from Bundaberg Rum.
The Open section winner, Ryan Sampson from Toowoomba Queensland,
Queensland Champion of Champions 2005, topped off a great festival,
as he was a Toyota Star Maker Grand Finalist, and impressed in many
quarters during his stay, having just completed the CMAA Country
Music College preceding the festival. Ryan is a graduate of the
inaugural Tamworth Camerata 2002 and 2005.
His winner’s package included $2000 cash from Bundaberg Rum, and a
fabulous Fender acoustic/electric guitar, arranged by Cheapa Music,
Tamworth. The winner was to be offered a spot in Winners & Grinners
concert the next day at The Pub, and Ryan was already in it, so
obviously a good choice was made.
For Tamworth’s Ben Hazell, it was almost dejavu, as he was in the
winners circle last year as well.
He and his duo partner, fellow NSW Talent Development Project
graduate Jessica Smith, of Sydney won second place. Jessica also won
third prize. Second and third Open section placegetters received
$800 and $400 from Bundaberg Rum. Ben and Jessica accepted an
invitation to perform in Winners & Grinners concert the next day at
The Pub, and performed beautifully.
All contestants had the option of utilising the Jim Beam Jazzer
Quest band throughout the quest, composed of wonderful musicians Les
Scott on guitar, Darby Burger on bass, and sharing drumming duties,
Terry Phillpot and Doug Gallacher.
Compering duties were ably handled by Kevin Anderson and Anna Rose.
Entry fees collected from contestants amounting to $600+ has been
donated to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in Melbourne, where
the quest’s namesake Jazzer Smith was treated for many years for
non-Hodgkins lymphoma. This donation tradition has continued for
many years of this talent quest.
The Jazzer is on again in 2007. Contact
The Pub Management 02 67654875
TAMWORTH ARTISTS MANAGEMENT:
GREG WILLIAMS P O BOX 1681 Tamworth NSW 2340
Ph: +61 2 67662616 Fax: +61 2 67662616 Mob: 0408 255 908
Bundaberg Rum Jazzer Quest
- New sponsor on board for
‘the Jazzer’ 2006
An integral component of the annual Tamworth Country Music
Festival – the Jazzer Quest – has a new sponsor for 2006.
The talent quest, which began in the Kmart store more than 20 years
ago, coordinated by Kmart staff and the late Jazzer Smith, a
renowned country music drummer and journalist, is now being
sponsored by the Bundaberg Rum group of companies.
The quest is now known as the Bundaberg Rum Jazzer Quest and is
widely regarded as a launching pad for up and coming artists, and
offers a huge prize package for the winners of the open and junior
The open winner can take home $2000 plus a fabulous Fender acoustic
guitar and the junior winner receives $1000 plus an acoustic Fender.
The quest is now held daily throughout the Festival at The Pub, 99
Gunnedah Rd, Tamworth, with heats commencing at 4pm on Friday,
January 20 and concluding with the grand final on Friday, January
The quest will be staged in the newly renovated Music Room of The
Pub, with double the seating capacity for the comfort of patrons.
For entry details visit
www.thepub.com.au or phone 6765 4875.
Prepared by Anna Rose for and on behalf of The Pub Group, December
- Jazzer Quest grows in
new surroundings 2005
For more than 20 years, Tamworth has played host to the
annual Jazzer Smith Memorial Talent Quest which found a new home in
2005 at The Pub on Gunnedah Rd.
After being staged for two decades in a shopping centre in the
central business district, the quest relocated – with a new sponsor
on board – and is now firmly established as the Jim Beam Jazzer
Quest at The Pub.
Entries for the 2006 staging of the quest are now being sought by
organisers, who are seeking talented young people to follow in the
footsteps of 2005 winners Cameron Clayton (open) and Kirsty Lee
Longtime quest compere Greg Williams said there were certain
advantages to “getting in early” as entrants then had a better
choice of which heat, or heats, to enter.
Heats commence at 4pm on Friday, January 20 and continue until the
grand final on Friday, January 27. In amongst all that is the very
popular “wildcard” heat, where some contestants who just miss out on
a placing are offered a second chance to shine.
Kirsty Lee Akers is one contestant who firmly believes in the
validity of the “wildcard” heat – as she was invited back on a
wildcard, only to take out the junior section of the 2005
Fabulous prizes are on offer for winners and placegetters in both
sections, including a Fender guitar for the junior and open winner,
as well as a substantial cash prize of $1000 and $2000 respectively.
Quality backing from professional musicians is available for all
contestants, who are encouraged to utilise the band to enhance their
overall performance, however recorded backing tapes are not
The junior winner also receives a scholarship, courtesy of Axiom
Entertainment, to the 2006 Tamworth Camerata – the junior country
music school held in Tamworth during July.
Entry forms for the Jim Beam Jazzer Quest can be downloaded from the
website, www.thepub.com.au, click on the Jazzer Quest icon and
follow the directions, or phone 6765 4875 and ask for an entry form
to be posted to you.
- Jazzer Talent Quest
- Hi everyone
This is to let you know of the re-establishment of the long-running
Jazzer talent quest at Tamworths January Country Music festival.
It used to be at KMart, but is now at The Pub.
There are heats every day at 4pm from Friday 14 till 20, with Grand
Final on Friday 21 at 4pm.
There are Junior (16 & younger) and Open (17 & over) sections, and
you can now download entry forms at
Great prizes are on offer, including cash, Camerata scholarship, LBS
record release and Ashton acoustic guitars.
If you want to enter, or know someone who would, please do so.
The Jim Beam Jazzer Quest has a brand new home and sponsor and will once again be back on
the Tamworth Country Music Festival program, after its much missed
presence at the 2004 Festival.
For more than 21 years, the quest has provided a platform for up and
coming talent, with its early beginnings in the Kmart complex in what is
now known as City Plaza.
The very first year it ran, with James (Jazzer) Smith as its compere, it
was conducted within the Kmart store, in the ladies’ fashion department.
What a tangled mess those clothes were in by the time the quest finished
each day and frazzled Kmart staff would run around restoring order until
the next onslaught of happy country music visitors.
Driven by then Kmart staffers including Gary Newell, Marilyn Morrow and
Graham Myer, and then subsequent staff members, the quest grew in
stature each year until it outgrew its instore venue and was staged in
the complex outside Kmart, with portable chairs, armrest to armrest,
lined from one end of the shopping centre to the other.
With Jazzer’s death on May 30, 1987, Kmart management approached
Jazzer’s partner, Anna Rose, asking permission to name the Kmart Talent
Quest in honour of its original host, after which it became known as the
Kmart-Jazzer Smith Memorial Talent Quest.
Quite a mouthful – and now, with the assistance of the Jim Beam company,
and Peter Harkins of Cheapa Music securing sponsorship from Ashton
Musical Instruments, the quest has come of age, moving out of the
shopping centre and into a real venue – one of the city’s premier
country hotspots – The Pub.
It’s back – at a brilliant new venue, handily situated at 99 Gunnedah
Rd, Tamworth. And anyone who’s ever seen a fraction of the talent to
grace the Jazzer stage, knows what real entertainment is all about.
In the new millennium, youngsters standing before the microphone may
sometimes have wondered just who this Jazzer Smith was – and why the
heck was the quest named after him.
To set the record straight for all those fans and entrants who’ve
pondered the subject, in a nutshell we will try to encapsulate the life
of the amazing James Russell (Jazzer) Smith.
Born in Hobart, Tasmania on September 4, 1939, Jazzer grew up in Tassie,
exploring life from his happy home on the slopes of Mt Wellington at a
tiny place called Fern Tree.
He was an extremely active and energetic person throughout his life,
particularly when at age 30 he was told his life was over. He was
diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma – cancer of the lymph glands.
At that time he was still living in Tassie, working several jobs to keep
his family fed, and playing music at night. There was little time for
sleep in Jazzer’s hectic schedule working as a proofreader at the
Saturday Evening Mercury newspaper, a bread delivery driver, and
fulltime band member.
Not strictly following doctor’s orders - who told him he was going to
die on three separate occasions, Jazzer used the power of the mind to
stay alive. This, combined with both alternative and traditional
therapies, helped him fight off that illness until it overtook him in
1987 – but not before he’d notched up an enviable record as the longest
surviving patient (at that time) with the disease.
These days, non-Hodgkins lymphoma is infinitely more treatable (and
curable), as Jazzer had always dreamed it one day would. He planned to
be the first in line for that magical pill, but that was not meant to
Through his love of life – and the people in it – he survived and
thrived – and in the process inspired countless others, those with
serious illnesses – and those in perfect health.
He was a member of Toastmasters International, achieving the ultimate
accolade in that worldwide communications organisation – the rank of
He made countless speeches at corporate functions, service clubs,
community groups, always leaving his audience in awe of his energy and
of his determination to overcome the odds.
Jazzer worked in radio in three states – Tasmania, Victoria and NSW –
and edited several magazines and publications – one of which eventually
led him to Tamworth, the Australian Country Music Capital, in 1980.
He came to Tamworth at the invitation of Gary Robertson and Max Ellis,
then sales manager and general manager of Radio 2TM’s marketing arm, BAL
Marketing – the organisers of Ag-Quip and publishers of Australasian
Country Music Capital News.
In the following seven years, Jazzer transformed Capital News from an
annual publication into Australasia’s only country music monthly
newspaper, and after leaving that publication, he wrote The Book of
Australian Country Music, while working as a staff writer at The
Northern Daily Leader newspaper and won a Golden Guitar for services to
the country music industry.
He was a much-loved and respected member of the Tamworth community – not
only for his musical input in several bands, but for his incredible
input into the lives of people all over Australia through his radio
broadcasts, public speaking and journalism.
That’s why the Jazzer Quest had to continue. This was achieved largely
through the generosity of the Douglas family and their connections, plus
the enthusiasm of longtime compere Greg Williams, who will be back for
the 2005 event.
It’s back – at a brilliant new venue, handily situated at 99 Gunnedah
Rd, Tamworth. Anyone who’s ever seen a fraction of the talent to grace
the Jazzer stage, knows what real entertainment is all about.
And wouldn’t the man just love it, to know that when people think of
him, they smile.
Heats will be held daily at The Pub from 4pm from Friday, January 14 to
Thursday, January 20, with the final on Friday, January 21, 2005.
To enter the all new Jim Beam Jazzer Quest in 2005, simply visit the
website, www.thepub.com.au and click on the link. Alternatively you can
phone (02) 6765 4875 and ask for an entry form to be posted.