Becky Guggisberg has only been a member of the Kiama Jazz & Blues Club for 18 months, but at the last AGM she was elected President. The visual artist has taken on the role with her usual enthusiasm, and is excited by the promise of the year ahead.
“There are big plans for the 31st Jazz & Blues Festival in March, with sensational local, national and international acts already locked in,” she says.
“The weekend injects more than $2 million into our local economy, while being entirely volunteer run, inclusive and free. Visitors come prepared to spend in our town as the high quality music experience is for free.
“We are seeking partnerships and sponsorships from businesses for next year’s Festival and invite anyone interested in supporting the Festival to contact the Club.
“We know our business model works, we have a long established history and the event is now a tradition with people rebooking accommodation.”
Since taking on the Presidency, Becky has applied for a Destination NSW grant to help support the annual Festival by targeting the Canberra market to come here over what is, for them, a long weekend.
She is working along side Vice President Mikey Freedom (who as part of the 2017 Festival painted a mural in a Terralong St lane), new Music Director Dan Sullivan and a team of committed club members including Tricia Ashelford, Eevie Stein, Ross and Heather Eggleton, Steve Vassallo, and Geoff and Ginny Pratt.
“Throughout the year the Club promotes quality live music to entertain, enrich, and inspire our community,” says Becky. “It is a great club to be part of.
“Our next event is Surfing The Blues at the Kiama Downs Surf Club.
“I encourage anyone who wants to get involved to come along and see what fun we have.”
Becky says her initial driver to join the Club came from her desire to reinvigorate the visually creative aspect to the Festival. “When I was at Kiama High I’d watch art teachers and jazz lovers Dennis Cox and Jeff Hewitt create posters and prints for the early Festival events,” she says. “I’ve never forgotten their enthusiasm.
“For any club to not only survive but thrive, younger people have to get involved and carry on the legacy.”
Details: Surfing the Blues, Sat 28 Oct, $20. http://www.kiamajazz.com