Officially founded in July 1993, the Werribee Jazz and Swing Club as it was originally called was formed by avid jazz lovers Mr Roy Phillips and his partner Ms Beverley Hassett, who had become tired of travelling to the city and beyond just to enjoy live jazz music.
Small advertisements were placed in the community newspaper seeking people who were interested in joining the club. The initial aim was to create a club environment in an area not serviced by other clubs of the time and to encourage musicians to possibly form jazz and swing bands.
At the first meeting held at the Italian Sports Club on Wednesday 28th April 1993, the newly formed club acquired over 64 members! The Werribee Jazz & Swing Club became incorporated the same year with Mr Roy Phillips as President and Ms Beverley Hassett as Treasurer/Secretary.
The Inaugural Werribee Jazz and Swing Club Dance was held on 10th July 1993 and eager committee members began organising popular local bands to perform their repertoire at local venues in Werribee.
Club events included regular gigs, yearly gala balls, barbecues and bus trips to jazz festivals held within the state. Popular venues were the Italian Sports Club Werribee, the Werribee Events Centre, Kelly Park Centre and the old Laverton Hall.
Some musicians living in the area went on to create their own bands, in particular the One More George jazz band which was highly sought after in the ensuing years.
As within all committees, there has been some changes made within the Club. One of great significance is the club’s name change in 2015. Due to less swing dancing and a stronger focus on live jazz music, members voted unanimously on the decision to drop the ‘swing’ and changed the club’s name to the Werribee Jazz Club.
Nevertheless, today the Werribee Jazz Club engages a large variety of jazz styles to entertain our patrons with Trad, Dixieland, New Orleans, mainstream and of course, that little bit of swing!