THE first time I heard 14-year-old Jazz Coogan sing and play her original material, a quirky pop song, I was gob-smacked.
The second time, when she performed a complex, melodic rap, accompanied by just her and funky strums on her second-hand guitar; I was ready to get a second mortgage on my house to pay for the recording of her first album.
I guessed her super supportive parents were thinking the same thing.
Justin and Julie Coogan noticed early on that their daughter was born to sing.
At the age of three Jazz auditioned to sing in a band similar to Hi-5 and was selected - the youngest member in the group by far.
The band's location on the Gold Coast put an end to that after a year of travelling up and down from Gympie.
Since then, Jazz's talent has developed incredibly.
With her second-hand electric/acoustic guitar and amplifier she started writing and performing her own songs, finding a style of her own, and the result is a product of international standards.
Jazz will show the world at this year's World Championships of Performing Arts in Hollywood when she represents Australia in five vocal categories, including self-accompanied.
Besides having the obvious "x-factor", a beautiful tone of voice and a rhythm on guitar that matches her funky original style, Jazz has perfect pitch when performing live.
Since her selection she has developed an engaging website to field the many inquiries coming in and opportunities to perform.
Fundraising for the trip to Los Angeles has begun and locals can expect to see Jazz pop up behind the microphone at random gigs around the Gympie region and on the Sunshine Coast.
To get her to Hollywood, her parents will take her anywhere within reason.
Julie said the family would soon be holding fundraising events on the City Centre Stage in Mary St on Saturday's.
They are not asking for hand-outs. Jazz has the goods and is keen to "sing for her supper", so to speak.
They'll be cooking up a fundraising sausage sizzle and passing the hat around, while Jazz will entertain and encourage her musician friends to join her on stage for impromptu jam sets.
Jazz is also willing to perform at corporate events or play at businesses for donations.
Her first sponsor was Mooloolaba Music Centre which donated a microphone and stand.
Before that, she went without.
No doubt this is how she learned to project her voice.
The music store owner also showed Jazz how to work the amplifier that she didn't know how to use, so it has only been in the last few weeks that Jazz has had any real equipment to work with to do a live show.
Tom Grady is another business that is backing Jazz by donating cash to help cover costs of Jazz's Australian team uniform and travel.
In return, she sang a few numbers for staff.
While nothing has been confirmed, Jazz is looking at AICM's Bomb Shelter studio to record an unplugged version of her original songs.
Go to jazzcoogan.com for more information.
* LIGHT, BRIGHT and AIRY (rendered block) home, located in a QUIET CENTRAL LOCATION in the hinterland for your convenience. (school, work, beach or access to the...
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