Walk by The Unity on a Sunday afternoon and the place is heaving – jazz tunes and laughter drifting out onto the street. Known as one of Sydney’s best venues for live jazz, the pub even has its very own jazz band - The Unity Jazz Band.
Gary Walford, the bandleader, has just retired from playing music after 50 years with the band. He did his first gig at The Unity in 1972. Back then he could never have guessed that the band would become the longest running resident jazz band in Australia.
Wanting to carry on the band’s legacy, Dan Barnett and drummer Graham Hilgendorf have taken over the reins.
Over the years, some of Australia’s greatest musicians, including Tom Baker, Roger Janes, and James Morrison have performed with the band and many international stars pop in when touring, just like they do at the great Preservation Hall in New Orleans. International guests from the Harry Connick Jr band, Thirsty Merc and Culture Club have all graced The Unity stage.
The Dan Barnett Big Band play on the first Sunday of the month and The Unity Jazz Band play all other Sundays from 3-6pm.
UNITY HALL HOTEL
292 Darling St, Balmain