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Jazz students win multiple awards at Wellington competition!

Avondale College jazz musicians walked away with literally half the awards from the Wellington Jazz Project competition held last week! Six of the twelve awards went to Avcol students, for their individual and group performances at the nationwide secondary schools competition.

The Avondale College Quartet of Tyler Diprose, Lucas Kewell, Toby Barrett and Delores Lesatele won the award for Best Combo - for the second time this year! They were also named Best Combo at the National Schools Jazz Competition in Tauranga in April.

This wasn't the only award to replicate the results from Tauranga: Tyler was (again) recognised as the Best Bass Player, and Lucas (again) the Best Pianist! To top off the accolades, Lucas's composition Poor America was named Best Composition.

While all four are outstanding individual musicians, the group puts their success down to their strong friendship.

"If you like the people you play with, you play better," says Delores. "You're more comfortable to express yourself."

Also winning recognition at the Wellington competition was Year 13 musician, and Deputy Head Prefect, Hirimaia Eketone. Her band, Hiri and the High Hats not only won the award for Best Original Arrangement, but Hirimaia received the award for Best Musicianship - across the whole competition - an outstanding result!

Avondale College's HOD of Jazz Mr Mike Robinson said he was delighted by the success of the students at the competition:

"This year's incredible results speak volumes about the continued dedication and commitment that our jazz students put into their performances," he says.


Best Original Composition – Lucas Kewell

Best Original Arrangement – Hirimaia Eketone

Most Outstanding Bassist – Tyler Diprose

Most Outstanding Pianist – Lucas Kewell

Most Outstanding Musician – Hirimaia Eketone

Best Combo – Avondale Quartet – Tyler Diprose, Toby Barrett, Delores Lesatele, Lucas Kewell

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