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Cool Jazz Hits a High Note at Broughton Hall

15th July 2020

Written by Susan Peak – Daughter of Broughton Hall resident

A brilliant sun provided just the right lighting for a standout jazz performance conducted on a balmy Friday in June at Benetas’ Broughton Hall in Camberwell.

Saxophone legend Wilbur Wilde joined a superb duo, whose sassy vibes had residents kicking up their heels in a classy outdoor show, which would otherwise have been a frontline act at any of Melbourne’s leading jazz clubs.

Together with Grant Siedle on piano and vocals and David Nelson massaging the strings of a double bass - his jaunty trilby bouncing in time to the beat - the trio set just the right tone for the Dukes of Debonair to deliver some much-loved classics from decades past.

The trio knew their stuff. They had the crowd purring to Henry Mancini’s Pink Panther theme, sashaying to Brazil’s Girl from Ipanema, lapping up the languid Autumn Leaves, dreaming of Flying to the Moon and cheekily acknowledging why The Lady was indeed a Tramp.

Residents were also treated to Wilde’s knowledge of the music business. He explained that the brilliant Rodgers and Hart duo had produced several hits from the 1937 musical, Babe in Arms. Before the group delivered evergreens My Funny Valentine and the Tramp.

Wilbur was intent on blowing the roof off the Hall, his sax sending rhythmic messages right around the quiet leafy streets of conservative Camberwell.

The performance was the trio’s gift to Siedle’s mother, the charming Jenny and dad Rob, both residents who were among a 40-plus audience, all grateful bystanders or movers and groovers.

Siedle commented that the show was “so good for performers, staff and residents”, hinting that he might make a return via Zoom.

Community Engagement Coordinator, the fun-loving Roxanne Azat, was at the centre of the action, her camera phone never missing a beat while, at the same time, she whipped up enthusiasm encouraging wallflowers to try a few gentle dance moves.

It was a ball at the Hall. We’re all hoping the Dukes "get the band back together”, just as the Blues Brothers did in their movie of the same name, and return to our lovely Benetas home.

Thank you from everyone at Broughton Hall for an amazing day, this is a great example of #SpreadKindness.

Learn more about Benetas' residential age care service, Broughton Hall, in Camberwell Melbourne.