Feb 28, 2013 – Australind High School, Bunbury, WA

What better way to kick off the new year than to head to the west coast of Australia, and help Australind High School launch their new jazz program.

Australind is a state high school in Bunbury, WA, about 90mins from Perth. John has been to visit a couple of times in the past, and for the last couple of years, has been advising them on how to start a dedicated jazz stream into their school curriculum. With Andrew Mackay-Simm leading the way, they have auditioned about 20 year 8 students to be the first year through the program, and John spent a couple of hours with them discovering the joys of improvisation. With the help of his good mate, Perth sax man, Paul “Pax” Andrews, it was a noisy and productive afternoon.

In the evening, we all headed to the Bunbury Entertainment Centre where several bands performed, including past students, current teachers, and special guests. John did a demonstration improvisation workshop and asked for students to volunteer to come on stage. Within seconds, the stage was swamped with eager students willing to have a go! John, Pax and I did a guest spot with the swingin’ teacher’s band, and the night was capped off with a few tunes from Jamie Ohlers and friends from WAAPA.

It was a great day, a fun evening, and we look forward to seeing how this jazz program will develop in the coming years.

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