Young player scoops awards

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By TASHA BLACK

Porirua teen Leonardo Cogh­ini has scooped up more na­tional mu­sic awards, this time at the New Zealand School of Mu­sic Jazz Fes­ti­val High Schools Com­pe­ti­tion.

The young pi­anist performed in the com­pe­ti­tion at Welling­ton’s Town Hall on Au­gust 19 and 20, with his Jazz Trons band, and a larger en­sem­ble, In The Now. Jazz stu­dents came from all over New Zealand and at­tended work­shops with vis­it­ing jazz mu­si­cians.

While Jazz Trons did not pick up any awards, Cogh­ini won best pi­anist and most out­stand­ing mu­si­cian at the fes­ti­val, across all age groups and mu­si­cal in­stru­ments.

The Ranui Heights 14-year-old took out the best jazz pi­ano/key­board awards at both the Tau­ranga and Manawatu jazz fes­ti­vals ear­lier this year.

He says he is for­tu­nate and priv­i­leged to have ex­cel­lent teach­ers and men­tors, in­clud­ing David Lisik, Alex Ny­man, Amy Rem­pel, Vaughn Roberts, Rodger Fox, Val Bean of Pare­mata school, and Linda McDon­ald at Mana Mu­sic School – where it all be­gan – and Kapiti col­lege prin­ci­pal Tony Kane.

He also paid trib­ute to his Jazz Trons band­mates: Shaan (tenor sax/voice) and Tyaan Singh ( alto sax), James Geluk ( bass), and Matt Beachen ( drums). Cogh­ini at­tends Kapiti Col­lege with the Singh broth­ers. Tyaan was also hon­oured at the fes­ti­val, with awards for best sax­o­phone and best im­pro­vi­sa­tion.

‘‘I can’t for­get my mates: Tyaan and Shaan Singh . . . these guys are im­pro­vi­sa­tional ge­niuses and sax­o­phon­ist tanks in the mak­ing.’’

Tyaan took out the cov­eted Jazz Im­pro­vi­sa­tional Award and best sax player at the the first ever NZSM Jazz fes­ti­val.

Cogh­ini says the only way to get bet­ter is to learn and work with the best – which is his am­bi­tion.

‘‘I’d love to write mu­si­cal pieces for Peter Jack­son’s films one day and fur­ther my aca­demic learn­ing at NZSM or else study jazz over­seas.’’

New Zealand School of Mu­sic spokesman Stephen Gibbs said the three vis­it­ing judges at the fes­ti­val, Alex Sip­i­a­gin, Bob Shep­pard and Steve Houghton are among the very top level of jazz mu­si­cians in the world.

‘‘For them to recog­nise the tal- ent that Leo dis­played in his per­for­mance is a tes­ta­ment to his abil­ity, and there was no doubt in their mind that he de­served the award.’’

The Singh broth­ers hope to re­lease 500 copies of a CD they are work­ing on at the end of next month.

It fea­tures work from Cogh­ini and other stu­dents.

The boys will also fea­ture on tele­vi­sion show NZ Sto­ries, likely to air in Novem­ber on TV One.

Shaan said they are work­ing with a psy­chol­o­gist, who has a unique method of teach­ing mu­si­cians, as part of the tele­vi­sion show.

The episode will fea­ture footage from a Septem­ber 2 gig they will play at Zeal in Welling­ton, as well as the boys do­ing nor­mal things such as wash­ing dishes, he said.

Photo: MASANORI UDA­GAWA / pho­tow­elling­ton.com

Right notes: Leonardo Cogh­ini build­ing a groove at the New Zealand School of Mu­sic Jazz Fes­ti­val High Schools Com­pe­ti­tion, where he picked up two ma­jor awards.

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