Home » ‘Jam’ spreads Christmas music joy

‘Jam’ spreads Christmas music joy

Daniel Bouwmeester    December 28, 2023    3 min read   

Local musical group ‘Jacaranda Jam’ has finished the year with a flourish, performing for dignitaries, volunteers, and others at a Christmas party event last month.

Jacaranda Jam is a ukulele band, featuring guitar, vocals, and a number of percussion instruments, and performs around nine concerts annually at nursing homes and retirement villages across Springfield, Ipswich, and western Brisbane.

Their last gig of the year was at the Community Christmas Party at Brighton Homes Arena on Monday, December 11 – an event hosted jointly by Oxley MP Milton Dick and Jordan MP Charis Mullen each year.

Watch the band in action here: https://www.facebook.com/reel/3531173470481325

Director of Jacaranda Jam Community Music Steph Sherrington said the Christmas party was a fantastic way to wrap up the year.

“This was by far our largest, and youngest, audience who got involved – and were generous with their applause,” Steph said.

Above: Volunteers and dignitaries at the recent Community Christmas Party thoroughly enjoyed the singing and ukulele. Top: Jacaranda Jam at their Christmas lunch and final rehearsal at AVEO Springfield. All images: Jacaranda Jam.

“In addition, we made some unexpected musical connections to be followed up in the new year.”

On the list for 2024 is a Musical World Tour concert, currently in the planning phase – as well as the group’s popular St Patrick’s Day and Christmas concerts.

Ms Mullen, who donated a set of flashy new shirts in time for the event, called the performers “amazing”.

“These wonderful ladies (and a few great blokes!) perform at aged care homes and at concerts throughout our region bringing absolute joy to our seniors through beautiful music.”

Jordan MP Charis Mullen is a big supporter of Jacaranda Jam. Images: Charis Mullen MP.

Jacaranda roots

Steph has been a member of the band since 2012 and inherited the role of director in 2021.

In between concerts, the band gets together and plays a variety of music “for our own enjoyment,” she said.

The group was founded in Camira in the 90s – although it has transitioned through various incarnations since.

Two members have been with Jacaranda Jam for over 25 years, Steph noted.

They meet at AVEO Springfield on Wednesday mornings – “cuppa and chat included”.

“We have a regular group of about 15, and others who come along when they can.”

The majority of members live in the Springfield area, as well as Camira, Bellbird Park, and Redbank Plains.

In terms of age, they range from their mid-50s to 80s – with one even reaching his late 90s recently.

“Our dear friend Eric retired from the choir due to ill health at 98.”

It’s a testament to the power of music in creating enduring connections between friends, Steph explained.

“We welcome anyone who enjoys music to come along and join this very happy group of friends.

“No need to play an instrument, but if you would like to learn, we can do that too.”

They derive “so much happiness” from watching audience members get involved with the music, Steph said.

“We have found that people with limited mobility after a stroke still tap along with the beat with their good hand.

“Music really is magical.”

Jacaranda Jam’s weekly rehearsals will resume on Wednesday, January 17.

The band includes members ranging from their 50s to 80s, and rehearses weekly.

Jacaranda Jam meets at Aveo Springfield on Wednesdays, 9:45am to 12 noon.

For more information, visit facebook.com/JacarandaJamCommunityMusic or contact Steph Sherrington on 0400 196 095 or email binzep2016@gmail.com.

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Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.