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Aug 132018

Kuranui College and Jazz in Martinborough came together on Friday to present their annual event “Fresh Jam”, held in the Kuranui auditorium.

Jazz Jam Kikorangi

Ririn Tanaka and Amethyst Sutherland jam with their band Kikorangi. Photo Catherine Rossiter-Stead

From its origins back in 2011, the popular jazz festival has grown to a progamme of more than 30 free concerts to be held on the weekend of 30 September-2 October and Fresh Jam is now firmly established as the lead-up event. It provides an opportunity for the South Wairarapa community to engage and support college students interested in jazz.

Friday night’s event showcased their considerable talents and gave them the opportunity to perform in front of large audience, which was an invaluable experience. Wairarapa College, St Matthew’s, Chanel and Makoura were also involved, which gave the students the chance to meet other young jazz musicians from around the region.

Kuranui music teacher Mr Saali Marks believes that this was a good way for students to learn and collaborate with one another. “They learned how to cooperate with people they don’t know, how to listen, be punctual and have respect for their fellow musicians, with jazz, it is important to be aware of the work of others in group, since there is an element of improvisation to it.”

The students also enjoyed a workshop run by renowned jazz specialist and New Zealand School of Music lecturer Dr Rodger Fox. He went through their songs and tunes, and gave feedback and suggestions on where they can improve. “This workshop had a big impact on the way students view their music,” explained Marks. “It gave them a chance to explore music forms and progress with their instruments.”

Kuranui student Sacha Francis Murray who plays drums, enjoys jazz as it has helped him learn different styles and has led to him learning how to play the saxophone. “I like working with other people who are musically-minded; it’s a lot of fun. Learning the theory behind jazz has made me appreciate it a lot more.”

Jazz Jam Sacha

Kuranui’s Sacha Francis Murray plays drums as part of Fresh Jam. Photo Catherine Rossiter-Stead