Kāpiti Musos shine at National Youth Jazz competition

Kāpiti College pianist Leo Coghini was awarded the George Rawiri Trophy for Most Outstanding Young Musician and the Bill Hoffmeister Trophy for Most Outstanding Pianist at the National Youth Jazz Competition in Tauranga.

Also featuring was Tyaan Singh (Kāpiti College) who won the Yanagisawa Trophy for Best Saxophonist.

Auckland and Tauranga schools shared the top awards at the 35th National Youth Jazz Competition held in Tauranga as part of the 50th National Jazz Festival this weekend.

Tauranga Boys’ College Big Band won the New Orleans Trophy for Best Big Band on Friday while YFO Auckland Grammar beat 13 other bands from around the country to win the Norman Family Trophy for Best Jazz Combo. In an unusual move, judges awarded the More FM Best of the Festival for Most Outstanding Jazz Band to a third Tauranga ensemble T Jazz Collective.

In past years, the winner of the Best of the Festival award has been chosen from the winner of the Big Band and the Combo awards.

Adjudicator Mike Booth says this year the groups were so close that it seemed only fair to share the awards around. “Judging this year really was tough and very little separated the top combos.”

T Jazz Collective also won the Derek Jacombs Trophy for Innovation while their vocalist Leilani Taula won the Dave Feehan Trophy for Most Outstanding Vocalist; drummer Kelly Ballard was awarded the Hill/Wilcock Trophy for Most Outstanding Drummer; and clarinettist Eric Begley won the Tom Bayliss Trophy for Most Outstanding Clarinettist.

YFO Auckland Grammar was also awarded the Ken Mitchell Trophy for Best Original Composition and the Dennis Huggard Trophy for Best First Year Performance Band.

YFO (short for Youth Fusion Orchestra) saxophonist Daniel Reshtan says the quintet only got together about six months ago and decided to enter the national competition. “It’s our first year coming to this competition and we’re really happy with how we’ve done. It’s great to go home with three awards.”

The National Youth Jazz Band Competition celebrated its 35th year this year with entries from school bands and ensembles from Bay of Plenty, Wellington and Auckland.

Adjudicator Mike Booth said the standard among the bands continues to be very high with many of the solo performers playing well above what is expected of students of their age.

Other awards presented at the National Youth Jazz Competition went to Luke Spence (Trident High School) Rodger Fox Trophy for Most Outstanding Trombonist; Nick Garrett (Trident High School) Edwina Thorne Trophy for Most Outstanding Trumpet or Flugel Player; Kenji Inamatsu-Holiday (Avondal College) Mayers Music Centre Trophy for Most Outstanding Guitarist; Tim Shacklock (Harsh Tasty) P&S Penman Trophy for Most Outstanding Bassist; and Tyaan Singh (Kāpiti College) Yanagisawa Trophy for Best Saxophonist.