Juniors told to jazz it up

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Queenstown’s JazzFest is a great leg-up for youngsters – just ask last year’s Emerging Talent winner Saelyn Guyton. 

After sealing the competition, the 25-year-old Invercargill singer went on to triumph at the coveted Gold Guitar country music awards, a national event held in Gore every June. 

Guyton won the New Zealand composition, country rock, and female vocal solo awards – in addition to forming half the winning duo Sae and Haz. 

Saelyn returns to JazzFest as a fully-fledged performer this time and she reckons the Jumpstart talent contests, for 12 to 25 year olds, are a must. 

“After winning in Queenstown I went on to have a fantastic year and I’d recommend entering at JazzFest to anyone who shows promise,” Guyton says. 

“To actually get up and sing in front of an audience and not just a panel of judges is great for your confidence.” 

This year, both the Youth and Emerging Talent finalists will take to the Jazz Village stage to not only perform but to vie for the titles of best solo vocalist, best solo instrumental and best band. 

Morning heats take place on Saturday, October 23, at the Memorial Hall with a concert at the Village Green in the afternoon. There’s also a grand finale and performances at the Village Green the next day.