Young jazz musos set to impress at gala night in Blenheim

Marlborough Boys' College Jazz Combo trumpeter Jonty Zydenbos.

Marlborough Boys' College Jazz Combo trumpeter Jonty Zydenbos.

Jazz lovers can look forward to some exciting performances as the Southern Jam Youth Jazz Festival wraps up on Saturday night.

Festival head judge and programme leader at ARA Institute of Canterbury, Gwyn Reynolds, says he and the other judges had been very impressed with the degree of improvisation shown by the young musicians.

It is an aspect of jazz which they had been trying to encourage over the past three years, he says.

"It's really great to see the musicians doing more improvisation. It is a scary thing to do, but is really exciting to watch."

READ MORE: Southern Jam Youth Jazz Festival fosters young talent

Gwyn says the judges had also been impressed by the number of bands performing from around the South Island, with 17 taking part this year.

"We have had such a wide range of bands performing, from all over, we are super happy with what we have seen." 

The festival is set to conclude with a gala performance at ASB Theatre Marlborough on Saturday night from 7.30pm.

Marlborough4Fun organises the event each year and chief executive Katrina Lange says this time around has been particularly exciting, with the new theatre being used by bands for the first time.

The festival kicked off on Wednesday with free public performances at Marlborough cafes and bars, which gave the young musicians a chance to experience performing in new venues.

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They were also kept busy with the competition and workshop elements of the festival, from which judges would decide who would make the cut for the gala night.

Tickets are available from



 - The Marlborough Express


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