Three Years to Tasmania

Mike Field at the Clarence Jazz Festival

Being invited to play at the Clarence Jazz Festival in Tasmania has definitely been one of the highlights of this year’s tour so far. But getting there wasn’t quick and easy - it took three years to build a relationship with the festival organizers in order to receive the invitation. So once we were finally invited, I couldn’t wait!

BUT, I only had five days between shows in Melbourne to travel to Tasmania, and everyone says there are at least three things we should definitely see in Tasmania: Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park, Cradle Mountain National Park, and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart. So it made for a pretty crazy schedule, but I managed to do it. Here’s what the five days looked like. (And please note, this is not normal. Usually, the sightseeing is replaced with emails and computer work of some sort.)

Saturday, Feb 18
8-11pm: Play at Melbourne’s “Victorian Jazz Club”
11pm: Pack up, head back to hotel, pack for trip
1am: Bed

Sunday, Feb 19
5am: Leave for Melbourne airport, return rental car
10am: Arrive in Hobart and pickup rental car
11am-3pm: Drive to Freycinet National Park
3-8pm: Hike in Freycinet National Park
9-10pm: Practice trumpet in car
10pm: Bed

Monday, Feb 20
6am-2pm: Wake up, drive to Cradle Mountain
3-7pm: Hike in Cradle Mountain
7-9pm: Drive to hotel
9-10pm: Practice trumpet in car
10pm: Bed

Tuesday, Feb 21
9am-noon: Drive to Hobart
1-4pm: Rehearse with band
5-8pm: Emails, etc.

Wednesday, Feb 22
Morning: Visit MONA art gallery
Afternoon: Prep for concert
6pm: Arrive at jazz festival
8:30pm: Play concert (the best part!!!!!)

Thursday, Feb 23
Morning: Hike the hills just outside of Hobart
2pm: Leave for airport, return rental car
10pm: Arrive at hotel in Melbourne

Friday, Feb 24 & Saturday, Feb 25
Concerts at Paris Cat in Melbourne

After three years of trying to make it there, I figured I should make the most of the trip! It really was amazing. The best part was definitely being able to play music there, and the band members were phenomenal: Al Dobson (tenor sax), Randy Muir (piano), Hamish Houston (bass) and Liam O’Leary (drums). They picked up the tunes so quickly and just nailed the concert. I hope we get to play together again in the not-so-distant future.

Finally, here are some photos from the trip. If you haven’t been to Tasmania, I highly recommend going - especially if you love hiking, wildlife (like wombats and wallabies!), being around really nice people, seeing cities set in beautiful locations, or slowing the clocks down just enough to relax from busy city vibes.

Wineglass Bay

Wineglass Bay

Hazards Beach

Hazards Sunset

Cradle Mountain

Wombats

Band Rehearsal

MONA Art Gallery

Knitted Piano Cover