Brisbane Jazz Club

Brisbane Jazz Club, Annie Street

The Brisbane Jazz Club building at 1 Annie Street, Kangaroo Point, was originally an open-sided boathouse belonging to the South East Queensland Power Boat Club. The bar, stage (now seating gallery) and dance floor are all that remain. In 1970 the building and lease were acquired by the Adventurers Club which promoted jazz among its various activities.

The Adventurer’s clubhouse was officially opened by Clem Jones, the Lord Mayor at the time, on Saturday 15 April 1972. He was met at the Customs House Ferry Wharf by two club members and brought across the river in a sixteen-foot Indian canoe. They prayed all the way across that they would not tip over on the way!

In 1985 the Brisbane Jazz Club purchased the building and chattels and took over the lease from the Adventurers Club.

The deck on the river side of the building has an interesting history. It is a concrete slab which, like the building, slopes downwards towards the river. The slab is partly formed on an old barge which the Adventurers Club bought for recovery from the State Government for $10. The barge had sunk while being used in the building of the Captain Cook Bridge (completed in 1972) and was sitting on the bottom of the river about 50 metres downstream from where the bridge now stands. It was semi-floated to near the clubhouse and then winched over the mangroves to be adjacent to the building. Around that time, as Evans Deakin was leaving their shipbuilding site, they dumped loads of rubble to fill the riverside area. The deck that was built over the old barge and over Evans Deakin’s fill is now an integral part of the club complex and commands outstanding river and cityscape views.

Over the years the building has been improved extensively to make it comfortable premises for its members and visitors to listen to the best of Queensland’s jazz musicians as well as leading performers from interstate and overseas.

Comfortable, that is, until the devastating flood of January 2011. Fortunately, through the tireless work by a large team of volunteers the club is now looking a million dollars. Although not heritage-listed, the club has been recognised by the Brisbane City Council as a major icon of the city. Since the flood the Council has provided a grant for structural repairs and maintenance work to comply with Council requirements. The main focus was to support and stabilise the foundations; to level the dance floor; and to raise part of the building.