Horst Liepolt: Instrumental in Growing Australian Jazz Scene for Decades

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Jazz musician Sean Wayland sat down for a chat with Matt and Dan on their show Blow at Eastside FM on Thursday the 7th of February discussing the legendary Horst Liepolt.

Horst Liepolt, immigrated from Germany in 1951 and after a period in Melbourne, where he opened the club Jazz Centre 44, came to Sydney in 1960 and quickly established his reputation as promoter of jazz music. He managed the six nights a week schedule at The Basement popularising jazz music and giving young and experienced musicians the opportunity to play in front of an audience which was crucial to their development. The list of Australian musicians and groups which appeared at The Basement is a ‘who’s who’ of Australian jazz – Don Burrows, James Morrison, Judy Bailey, Mike Nock, Dick Hughes, Bob Bertles, the list goes on and bands such as Galapagos Duck, Conservatorium Big Band, Young Northside Big Band under John Speight, Jazz Co-op under Howie Smith as well as many smaller groups. International jazz stars Dizzy Gillespie, Johnny Griffin and Freddie Hubbard played there as well as pop stars Prince and Neil Diamond to mention a few. He also established 44 Records label and released over 30 LPs of Australian Jazz. Horst died 9th January, 2019.

From L to R: Barry Buckley, Bob Sedergreen, [unknown], Horst Liepolt, [unknown], Brian Brown, Ted Vining at The Basement, Sydney, 1974. Image courtesy of the Australian Jazz Museum

Sean shares some stories of his encounters with Horst and even managed to record some of his chats with Horst which he has posted to his youtube channel.

Click here to checkout Sean’s website and listen to some of his music!

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