Tag Archives: south african jazz

Jazz trumpeter Darren English imagines hope in debut album “Imagine Nation”, with tributes to Nelson Mandela

Capetownian trumpeter, Darren English, kicks off his debut album by Hot Shoe Records (2016) with an original, “Imagine Nation”, a call to youth to make a better day! The first of a three part suite, it’s a melodic song mostly in the minor keys, and shows Darren’s wide range of tones on his trumpet.

imagine-nation-by-darren-english

Nostalgically, I still  ‘imagine’ those Monday night jazz jam sessions at Cape Town’s Swingers when 15 year old Darren, wearing his Beatles hairdo, and always accompanied by his indefatigably supportive father, Trevor,  would silence the packed crowd by his trumpet wizardry. We knew we had another South African catch of a musician who would go places. Indeed he has, 11 years later, cutting this debut album, after having finished his Master’s degree at Georgia State University in Atlanta where he continues to teach jazz studies and perform with various groups in USA. Hence, my affectionate ‘Darren’ reference.

“Body and Soul” presents a rather interesting start with a duo between a bowed double bass and Darren’s muted trumpet. It seems he has deliberately made his trumpet sound flat, confident, no frills technique, no vibratos. A simple rendition of an ole classic.

Smooth runs characterize Darren’s offerings as he faultlessly scales his instrument’s prowess with dignity and pureness. You’d think he’s been playing for decades!

The faster paced “Bebop”, a Dizzy Gillespie classic, displays a fluid trumpet with clean runs and boppish attitude. Drums and bass click away, heralding Darren’s pace, with a lovely solo by bassist Billy Thorton. The even faster paced “What a Little Moonlight Can Do’ introduces Grammy song lark, Atlanta-based Carmen Bradford, who shows off her impressive credentials behind her bebop vocals. I hesitate to compare such uniqueness with other greats, but I must say, her scat, tonation, and jazzy pitch brings about memories of Carmen McRae and Nancy Wilson for me. Her mood control in “Skylark” excelled.

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The album mellows its pace with a moving and emotional presentation of Nelson Mandela’s wise words from radio interviews, as he brought South Africa’s democracy forward, with advice. ‘Pledge for Peace’, a second Darren original as part of the ‘Imagine Nation’ theme, supports imagining a nation leading a peaceful parade towards responsible freedoms. This song carefully mixes interviews with interplays between trumpet and tenor sax, all which fill the sound space with sunshine and hope, but with caution.

Midway in the album is the third song of the ‘Imagine Nation’ theme, “The Birth” which appropriately describes Darren’s longing for a new nation free of the apartheid past. A long piece, almost 12 minutes, it contains impressive trumpet runs, syncopation with rhythmic gaps of sound, off beats, behind beats, etc. Greg Tardy’s tenor sax is electric. This piece is full of conversation, dipping a lot into fast bebop, then softer slower ballad moods punctuated with horn dialogues….signifying no births are ‘easy’ or smooth. A very ambitious original.

Kenny Banks, Jr’s piano in the Frank Loesser song, “I’ve Never Been in Love Before”, provides classic bebop thrills along side Darren’s muted and even accompaniment . This duo piece is a real hit in the album!

“Bullet in the Gunn”, another original and a tribute to another trumpet mentor, Russsell Gunn, features blistering trade-offs between Darren’s trumpet and the wailing sax of Greg Tardy in occasionally frantic conversations.

The last track, “Cherokee”, presents fast runs by each musician, feasting on and sparring with each other’s energies, but they tended to blend into one men-otanous sound piece for me. I’m not one for blaring horns, but I felt these frantic snorts turned a reputable classic into a blah blah race run. On the other hand, having heard Joe Gransden’s trumpet at jazz jams in Atlanta several years ago, which the younger Darren also attended, it is obvious that Gransden’s style and wit has firmly rubbed off onto Darren’s technique. The two men simply gel and Darren knows it, and is proud to have such a mentor.

Darren-English-Harley-sepia

Darren English remains a formidable ‘young gun’ far beyond just South Africa’s jazz scene, and has been blessed with craft and skills to carry him holistically into a successful future. I am also very proud to say that Darren’s success carries with it a notable humility, yet adventure, in learning to be better. Just better! Watch his space!

See my December 2014 blurb: http://www.alljazzradio.co.za/2014/12/04/carol-martin-chat-with-cape-jazz-trumpeter-darren-english/
The album features: Darren English (tpt); Kenny Banks Jr. (pno); Billy Thornton (bs); Chris Burroughs (dms) + Carmen Bradford (vcl); Greg Tardy (tenor sax); Russell Gunn (tpt); Joe Gransden (tpt).

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“Love Letter to Cape Town” draws out the indigenous bloodheart of Tony Cedras, a CD Review

This album, full of harmonies, draws us into a world not of fantasy or fancy lyrics, but of soundscapes echoing the joyous resonations of originality from the ancient language of a First Peoples, the Khoisan.

The indigenous bloodheart of multi-instrumentalist Tony Cedras, born in CapeTown in 1952, an early mover in the Cape jazz scene, then long exiled overseas and active in the anti-apartheid activities, is also known for his arrangements with the early band of Paul Simon. Cedras announces his return to his Cape homeland in this beautifully organized album recorded in Cape Town at Milestone studios and published in 2015 by Zurich Sessions Featured Artists.

Tony Cedras on accordion at Straight No Chaser, CapeTown

Tony Cedras on accordion at Straight No Chaser, CapeTown

A block buster array of musicians matching the spirit of this Khoisan soul make up this exceptional album. The promo video on his website doesn’t show Cedras playing accordion for some reason, but gives a good feel about the other musicians that make up this album. Deeply anchored in his heart is the preservation and recognition of the Aboriginal Khoisan peoples of Southern Africa, and his album certainly raises awareness of their dwindling, yet vibrant, heritage and culture.

Appropriately, his ancestral soil is felt in the opening track, //Hui !Goeb, with Cedras’ flugelhorn and Khoisan chanted clicks presenting soundscapes of the Ancient Nation’s Sacred Sites “where rainclouds gather”. Cedras says,
“As a descendant of an Ancient Nation, I am inspired by the significance of our Sacred Sites and it is central to my creativity.”

The next track, ‘Genesis’, offers a melodic tour through our original peoples of Africa, from South Africa to Tanzania to Zambia and beyond. Typical South African beats with congas are heard, absorbed with horn harmonies. Three energetic strumming guitars of Cedras, Errol Dyers on acoustic, and the notable Steve Newman on Soprano, along with backing vocals, explain Cedras’ life journey: “My life’s journey is one that exposed me to a myriad of cultures; I have always been curious about individual life stories and relocation. Irrespective of the motivation of movement, it brings about a new beginning that ultimately defines who we are.”

Probably the most beautiful, but not a Cedras original, song on this album is his unique arrangement of ‘Yakal Nkomo’ of the late great saxophonist, Winston Ngozi Mankunku, with rhythmic mbaqanga beats dancing nicely out of Cedras’ accordion. Cedras also plays guitars, keyboards, drums, and synth bass in this rendition, the latter which skilfully produce the off-colour sound of protesting bellowing bulls. Cedras says

“Reflecting on my musical career is to acknowledge those who inspired me. This was a favourite composition of the late Mankunku, a legendary tenor saxophone player whom I met in the early 70’s. He had an encouraging spirit and was an inspiration to my musical career.”

Tony Cedras at Straight No Chaser

Tony Cedras at Straight No Chaser

‘Horizons’ was written by Cedras in Botswana and recorded during his 1989 Graceland Tour with Paul Simon. It’s a song about Africa’s gift to world humanity, rapidly strummed on the guitars of Cedras and Dyers, with entrancing backing vocals.

Other songs convincingly present the sounds and feel of journeying through Africa dragging South African origins along, from Elsie’s River outside of Cape Town to a Congolese ballad sung crisply by Freshly Ground vocalist, Zolani Mahola, and back to South African folkish strings of Rayelle Goodman’s violin and Cedras’ guitar in ‘Autshumao Suite,’ a stunningly joyful upbeat piece. Cedras songs move between a very danceable masqanda beat of ‘Black Brown Cheri White’ to Mahola’s crystal clear ballad voice in the churchy ‘Mother Song’.

The album ends with a melodic middle eastern flair, ‘Journey to Alkebulan’, thanks to Rustin’s double bass stringing. It seemed a bit dour after the previous joyful uplifting songs, but the album’s presentations resonate long after the headphones come off.

If there was ever an album to pick up your spirits and move on, this is it! Transformative. This is not background music. You sing and hum along, and can’t keep yourself from dancing! Soundcloud sources mention genres of his album as ‘African jazz, jazz, klopse, goema’. It fits into no category – I could venture to say the album is ‘traditional but contemporary South African folk’. Or better still, just plain ‘music’ that draws out the emotions, hopes and dreams!

To Learn more about the South Africans performing on the album, go to Cedras’ website: http://www.zurichsessions.com/featured-artists/tony-cedras/. The Zurich Sessions is a musical get-together of some of the finest international and Swiss musicians and promotes collaboration with others.

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Ancestral Heartbeats Code the Music, an interview with award winner pianist Nduduzo Makhathini.

“The greatest moments are when you can’t tell the difference between the piano, or the bass, or the drum, but rather when there’s one wave of sound…… This is consciousness, becoming one with the environment.”

I felt somehow connected with ancestral energies as I drove this youthful bearded jazz pianist to CapeTown’s airport after his weekend gigs with trumpeter, Feya Faku, and local musicians. His performance with Faku’s album launch, “Le Ngoma”, at CapeTown’s popular Straight No Chaser jazz club was a subdued low key presentation of his wider talents. Johannesburg-based Nduduzo Makhathini, originally from Kwa Zulu Natal, is still on a high from being granted Standard Bank Young Artist 2015 award in the Jazz category. I asked him about his philosophy, messages, and what he meant by ‘identity politics’ which he has adopted.

NM: Mine is spiritual, wedded with cultural. I was introduced to music in its religious mode, and later to the business side of music. I grew up as a Christian, going to churches, etc. but I don’t subscribe to any of them. Music moved me into a more spiritual groove. In my youth, I would visit up to four churches on a Sunday just for the music. I loved the gospel messages and sounds. I would leave when the sermons started!

CM: Who else has influenced you besides Zim and Bheki Mseleku?
NM: My mom is my greatest inspiration, and my first piano teacher. I also grew up with the traditional isicathamiya ensembles, or male acopella, like Black Mambazo. I love harmonies which is why this singing drew me to the piano where I can make harmonies myself. I also love harmony in life, which is why I became so close to Bheki who focused on harmonizing things in life. Andre Petersen is also one of my favourites as he expresses inspiration also with Mseleku.

CM: Your three kids are also part of your music journey, aren’t they?
NM: Wow, I have three kids. What a responsibility now! What can I put out there for them? What is left for me by my forefathers, and for them? So my album, “Sketches of Tomorrow” is for my kids. I fused the Western with the traditional African since I have to deal with both cultures, which meet on this album. And they do too.

2015 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz- Nduduzo Makhathini. Credit: Adam McConnachie

2015 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz- Nduduzo Makhathini. Credit: Adam McConnachie

CM: You talk about healing others. What about healing yourself?
NM: I always feel that the music I play has a message sent through me. Sometimes I don’t understand these messages. So healing goes through me, my system. It tries to heal the space that we’re in, our environment where everyone operates. There are different forms of healing, but I concentrate on the traditional kind in my Zulu culture. I want my family to learn that each and every individual has a role to play on earth, and we need to find out what that is. That’s my ‘politics’, that everyone, equally, has a contribution to offer. We are passing the shacks now [along Cape Town’s N2 highway on route to airport]. Without those people here, this process of honouring each other cannot be complete unless we continue the legacy. That’s why I care for everyone, the kids and people on the streets, and even the more fortunate in the suburbs. These people in shacks barely have the basics for living. My music speaks to them more because these people need healing.

My grandmother was a healer who would have water and pray on it. I asked people to bring water to my gigs, and just have it there in their possession. My music, I believe, then allows the water to capture the healing, and this water has the power of coding certain messages. Mbeki and I used to go to these temples and learn how the spiritual energies were moved by earth elements, and I learned from this. Together, we explored healing as a gift through the language of ingoma or our musicianship.

CM: Regarding your still-to-be launched album, “Listening to the Ground”, I’m curious why you have pulled in the Swedish tenor saxophonist, Karl Martin Almquist, one of my very favourites from northern Europe?
NM: I found him on YouTube, had never met him, but loved his sound. I sent him an email a few years ago, and invited him to join in my latest album. He said, Yes!

CM: Tell me about your album, “Listening to the Ground”.
NM: This is for my ancestors. It’s about the African soil, and African environment, which has so much energy and sounds in it. How deep is the African ground, and how deep is the African soul? In spite of slavery, African people continue to smile, continue to have hope, and till the soil.

CM: Your music you say comes from an ‘external’ force. If you mean a higher Spirit (let’s call it ‘God’), then why can’t this powerful force be ‘internal’ as well? Your project seems to have integral components working together.
NM: Yes, right. I see God as a holistic view of consciousness. It means ‘God’ is a complete picture, both internal and external. The deeper you get into the internal mode of self, the more you can go outside yourself. Like those who had ‘out of body’ experience….. they went so deep inside themselves that they could actually come out of that experience.

SBYA 2015 - jazz. Nduduzo Makhathini

SBYA 2015 – jazz. Nduduzo Makhathini

CM: You’d make a good Buddhist!
NM: Oh, hah hah! I read and listen alot to Osho? On Sundays, with my family in our house, we listen to Osho teachings and alot of music, and learn and discuss. Osho leaves things open for us to look for conclusion. For instance, he observes the cycle of water with this story: There was a stream that flowed for so many years, but then runs into a desert. Osho then panicks wondering how he’s going to find water in this dry desert. But he had another thought: If I become one with the desert and dissolve in it, then I’ll be OK. It then began to rain in a different place and saved his desert. His message was that sometimes, we must dissolve and not take ourselves so seriously. And this is what the exercise of music teaches. I can just let go and not become so absorbed in my individuality. The greatest moments are when you can’t tell the difference between the piano, or the bass, or the drum, but rather when there’s one wave of sound…… This is consciousness, becoming one with the environment.

CM: Are you interested in teaching about this consciousness, environmental holistic healing, and ways to save us all!
NM: It’s always there indirectly. The music is our greatest teaching. My music is universal, always a means to a destiny. Music has a power, something deeper, for people to reach for. I’ve been writing alot, in social media, about what inspires my music. Many people who resonate with my music and its ingoma (musical healing) are not necessarily jazz lovers.

CM: You’re on a journey….particularly with your family. With your mom….And your wife?
NM: My Mom’s very special, supports me 100%, even though she doesn’t have my belief systems. My wife, Nomagugu, is on all my albums. She’s one of my favourite singers. I’ve got my daughter on ‘Mother Tongue’. The three children and my wife finish the last track on “Sketches of Tomorrow”, with my children ending the song: “Oh Nothing; Oh Nothing Again”. I thought what a beautiful message as it came from them listening to the woes about Zimbabwe daughters there, about “Africa’s daughters are without names,” with a loss of identity. So I think it’s amazing how kids can spark this energy in the music we play in the house. In terms of healing the space, the kids and my wife heal that house space which becomes charged with so much energy.

CM: What an experience for the kids! You talked about your Sunday gigs just for the three of them.
Do you record your family sessions?
NM: Oh Oh. No. What an idea! I should record them, you know. We would talk about the gigs, about what is God and existence, and about what they feel in the music, and how the music connects to God, etc. Other kids would tell them about their church experience, but my kids would tell their friends about the music: “Our Dad does gigs for us!” and explain what we played at home that morning.

CM: So your journey continues….
NM: Like Bheki Mseleku who said he never knew how or where to finish a tune, it just kept going and going, with no real ending…… So I think I love the same kind of thing, where music never ends. Durban is a center for guitar harmonies, too, which I love. My father played guitar, so I have been inspired by those traditional sounds . I portray this in the song,“From an Old Bag of Umkhumbane”. I recently discovered that my paternal grandfather came from this town of Umkhumbane which, like Sophiatown, became a melting pot for jazz and music. There was a whole tradition of guitar culture. This is why I like to explore how to express this guitar on the piano.

I’ll be doing my masters at Stellenbosch University through York University partnership. I’ll focus on oral tradition and jazz, and how music has been taught without written music. Similarly, how stories in a song have been orally presented, not written. Written scores present different interpretations, like Winston’s Yakhal’ Inkomo which he authored in a different time. Likewise, I’m dealing with certain things now, but how do I make that song relevant and how do we push this music forward for it to make sense with the generations to come which don’t know much about the history of South Africa? But in this music, certain things can be coded and documented, of history and music.

CM: The coding of music……

At this point, Nduduzo had only half hour to check in for his flight. Our chat could have continued forever….. It will.

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Daily Schedule and Programme – Sunday 6 July

2014 STD Bank National Jazz Festival Own It

Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival 2014

9.00

BAND PRACTICES Band venues as for Friday

Mark Fransman, Mike Campbell, Marc de Kock, Terrence Scarr, John Davies, Ronel Nagfaal/Kelly Bell, Debbie Everard, Shaun Johannes, Brian Thusi, Duncan Combe

Room 6 Vocals

Vocal Centre All vocalists – general warm-ups/technique – Monique Hellenberg, Babalwa Mpulu

Room 7 Rhythm section: Finding your space in the rhythm section

Gorm Helfjord, Adam Glasser, Shane Cooper, Lloyd Martin

NSBB Room Sectional rehearsals with NSBB

Gary Keller, Marcus Wyatt, Bertil Strandberg, Mike del Ferro, Jeff Siegel

Auditorium Sound check

Pekka Pylkkänen, Nick Smart, Kyle Shepherd, Ronan Guilfoyle, Kesivan Naidoo

10.00 Hall Rehearsal

Frode Nymo, Børge-Are Halvorsen, Atle Nymo, Shannon Mowday, Marius Haltli, Frank Brodahl, Hildegunn Øiseth, Even Kruse Skatrud, Helge Sunde, Erik Johannessen, Jens Thoresen, Olga Konkova, Frode Berg, Håkon Mjåset Johansen

10.30 ELECTIVES Auditorium Internal gig/workshop

Ernst Reijseger Vocal Centre Vocal lesson – Monique Hellenberg, Katchie Cartwright

Music 2 How improvisation influences the jazz composer

Melissa van der Spuy

Music 27 Microphones

Evert de Munnik

Old 4 Programming Beats

Alistair Andrews

Old 7 Improvisation workshop (B)

Kelly Bell

Room 1 Percussion

Tlale Makhene

Room 3 National Schools B Band

John Davies

Room 4 Bass workshop

Concord Nkabinde

Room 5 Improvisation workshop (B)

George Werner

Room 7 Rehearsal

Karlheinz Miklin, Bänz Oester, Kesivan Naidoo

Room 8 Sax workshop

Morten Halle

Room 9 Improvisation workshop (I/A)

Dan Shout

Room 10 Improve your Rhythm Reading Skills

Terrence Scarr

Room 11 Trumpet workshop

Feya Faku

Room 12 Rehearsal

Nick Smart, Tutu Puoane, Pekka Pylkkänen, Marc de Kock, Gary Keller, Mike Rossi, Justin Bellairs, Sydney Mavundla, Lee Thomson, Sakhile Simani, Bertil Strandberg, Justin Sasman, Kyle du Preez, Nick Green, Mageshen Naidoo, Ewout Pierreux, Rich Syracuse, Jeff Siegel

12.00 PERFORMANCE Auditorium

School/Youth bands III Lasses Lakejer, UCT Big Band

12.00 ELECTIVES Hall Sound check

Frode Nymo, Børge-Are Halvorsen, Atle Nymo, Shannon Mowday, Marius Haltli, Frank Brodahl, Hildegunn Øiseth, Even Kruse Skatrud, Helge Sunde, Erik Johannessen, Jens Thoresen, Olga Konkova, Frode Berg, Håkon Mjåset Johansen Vocal Centre Vocal lesson – Melanie Scholtz, Babalwa Mpulu

Music 2 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz 2014

Kyle Shepherd

Old 4 Programming Beats

Alistair Andrews

Old 6 My music

Maria Schneider

Old 7 Improvisation workshop (B)

Duncan Combe

Room 1 Improvisation workshop (I/A)

Mola Sylla, Shane Cooper, Mike del Ferro

Room 3 National Schools B Band

Dimos Dimitriadis

Room 4 Rhythm

Ronan Guilfoyle

Room 5 Improvisation workshop (I/A)

Gorm Helfjord, Ganesh Geymeier

Room 6 Circle songs

Monique Hellenberg

Room 8 Freedom in the Groove

Jonno Sweetman

Room 9 Rehearsal

Katchie Cartwright, Burton Naidoo, Shaun Johannes, Lloyd Martin Room

10 Trombone workshop

Kelly Bell

Room 11 Trumpet workshop

Marcus Wyatt

13.30 Hall Sound check

Maria Schneider, Frode Nymo, Børge-Are Halvorsen, Dan Shout, Atle Nymo, Morten Halle, Shannon Mowday, Marius Haltli, Frank Brodahl, Hildegunn Øiseth, Marcus Wyatt, Even Kruse Skatrud, Helge Sunde, Erik Johannessen, John Davies, Melissa van der Spuy, Jens Thoresen, Olga Konkova, Frode Berg, Håkon Mjåset Johansen

14.00 ELECTIVES Auditorium Internal gig/workshop

Katchie Cartwright, Burton Naidoo, Shaun Johannes, Lloyd Martin Vocal Centre West African vocals – Mola Sylla Music

2 Piano workshop

Bokani Dyer

Music 27 Teacher/university meeting

All teachers + university lecturers

Old 4 Make Midi files sound good

Alistair Andrews

Old 6 Jazz harmonica

Adam Glasser

Old 7 Improvisation workshop (B)

George Werner

Room 1 Improvisation workshop (I/A)

Kyle Shepherd

Room 3 Drum workshop

Kesivan Naidoo

Room 4 Improvisation workshop (B)

Daniel de Wet

Room 5 Improvisation workshop (I/A)

Ronan Guilfoyle, Afrika Mkhize

Room 6 Small group

Monique Hellenberg, Leoni Armour

Room 7 Rehearsal

Feya Faku, Dimos Dimitriadis, Nduduzo Makhathini, Romy Brauteseth, Ayanda Sikade

Room 8 Sax workshop

Ganesh Geymeier

Room 10 Playing in a trombone section: sound and articulation

Louise Zschage Room 11 Youth/Schools B Ensemble

Brian Thusi

Room 12 Improvisation workshop (I/A)

Shane Cooper, Harmen Fraanje

15.00 Hall Sound check

Nick Smart, Tutu Puoane, Pekka Pylkkänen, Marc de Kock, Gary Keller, Mike Rossi, Justin Bellairs, Sydney Mavundla, Lee Thomson, Sakhile Simani, Bertil Strandberg, Justin Sasman, Kyle du Preez, Nick Green, Mageshen Naidoo, Ewout Pierreux, Rich Syracuse, Jeff Siegel

15.15 Auditorium Internal performance Vocals

Youth/Schools B Ensemble (Brian Thusi), National Schools B Band (Marc de Kock), NSBB (Mike Campbell), NYJB (Mark Fransman)

17.00 PERFORMANCE Hall

SA Tribute Big Band Nick Smart, Tutu Puoane, Pekka Pylkkänen, Marc de Kock, Gary Keller, Mike Rossi, Justin Bellairs, Sydney Mavundla, Lee Thomson, Sakhile Simani, Bertil Strandberg, Justin Sasman, Kyle du Preez, Nick Green, Mageshen Naidoo, Ewout Pierreux, Rich Syracuse, Jeff Siegel

17.30 Auditorium Sound check

Karlheinz Miklin, Bänz Oester, Kesivan Naidoo

19.00 PERFORMANCE

Auditorium Karlheinz Miklin Trio Karlheinz Miklin, Bänz Oester, Kesivan Naidoo

19.30 PERFORMANCE

Hall Maria Schneider Maria Schneider, Frode Nymo, Børge-Are Halvorsen, Dan Shout, Atle Nymo, Morten Halle, Shannon Mowday, Marius Haltli, Frank Brodahl, Hildegunn Øiseth, Marcus Wyatt, Even Kruse Skatrud, Helge Sunde, Erik Johannessen, John Davies, Melissa van der Spuy, Jens Thoresen, Olga Konkova, Frode Berg, Håkon Mjåset Johansen

20.00 Café Sound check

Feya Faku, Dimos Dimitriadis, Nduduzo Makhathini, Romy Brauteseth, Ayanda Sikade

20.30 Old 7 Student jam session

Shaun Johannes

21.30 PERFORMANCE

Auditorium Pekka Pylkkänen Pekka Pylkkänen, Nick Smart, Kyle Shepherd, Ronan Guilfoyle, Kesivan Naidoo

21.30 PERFORMANCE

Cafe Feya Faku Feya Faku, Dimos Dimitriadis, Nduduzo Makhathini, Romy Brauteseth, Ayanda Sikade

22.00 PERFORMANCE

Hall Ensemble Denada Frode Nymo, Børge-Are Halvorsen, Atle Nymo, Shannon Mowday, Marius Haltli, Frank Brodahl, Hildegunn Øiseth, Even Kruse Skatrud, Helge Sunde, Erik Johannessen, Jens Thoresen, Olga Konkova, Frode Berg, Håkon Mjåset Johansen, Peter Baden

23.30 Cafe Jazz Jam

Lee Thomson

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Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival – Grahamstown 2014

2014 Standard Bank D Bank Nat Youth Jazz Fest

2014 Standard Bank D Bank Nat Youth Jazz Fest

Daily Schedule

Wednesday 2 July

17.00 PERFORMANCE Hall Standard Bank National Schools’ Big Band – Mike Campbell

17.30 Auditorium Sound check – Melanie Scholtz, Monique Hellenberg, Katchie Cartwright, Leoni Armour, Babalwa Mpulu, Brian Thusi, Keith Tabisher, Burton Naidoo, Shaun Johannes, Marlon Witbooi + vocals

19.00 PERFORMANCE Auditorium Youth Jazz Choirs + Vocal soloists Melanie Scholtz, Monique Hellenberg, Katchie Cartwright, Leoni Armour, Babalwa Mpulu, Brian Thusi, Keith Tabisher, Burton Naidoo, Shaun Johannes, Marlon Witbooi + vocals

19.30 PERFORMANCE Hall SA Tribute Big Band Nick Smart, Tutu Puoane, Pekka Pylkkänen, Marc de Kock, Gary Keller, Mike Rossi, Justin Bellairs, Sydney Mavundla, Lee Thomson, Sakhile Simani, Bertil Strandberg, Justin Sasman, Kyle du Preez, Nick Green, Mageshen Naidoo, Ewout Pierreux, Rich Syracuse, Jeff Siegel

21.00 Hall Final meeting of NYJF

22.00 PERFORMANCE Hall Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band – Mark Fransman

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Jonas Gwangwa – Trombonist, Composer and Bandleader

Jonas Gwangwa - Trombonist, Composer and Bandleader

Jonas Gwangwa – Trombonist, Composer and Bandleader

Jonas Gwangwa (born: Jonas Mosa Gwangwa) has played an influential role in the evolution of South African jazz. A member, along with jazz pianist Abudllah Ibrahim (then, known as Dollar Brand), of the Jazz Epistles, the first Black South African to release an album, Gwangwa has gone on to become an award-winning composer.

In addition to composing the scores of such films as Cry Freedom, Generations and Othello, Gwangwa composed the theme music of South Africa’s Olympic bid in 1997. Gwangwa was one of many talented musicians mentored by South African alto saxophonist Kippie Moeketsi in the early-1950s. Following the disbanding of the Jazz Epistles in 1959, Gwangwa continued to make his presence known amongst South Africa’s jazz enthusiasts. His fame spread to the United States in the mid-1960s.

In 1965, Gwangwa was featured in a “Sound Of Africa” concert at Carnegie Hall, sharing the stage with Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Letta Mbulu. Two years later, he returned trio the United States to participate in a national tour, “The Main Event”, featuring Masekela and Herb Alpert. Despite his hefty reputation, Gwangwa remained a victim of apartheid. When the South African government passed laws making it illegal for Blacks to congregate, in the early 1970s, Gwangwa left his homeland. After touring Europe in a musical production of King Kong, he continued on to the United States, where he attended the Manhattan School of Music in New York.

With the encouragement and patronage of Harry Belafonte, Gwangwa was able to, successfully break through to American audiences. Continuing to break new ground as a composer and arranger, Gwangwa served ten years as musical director of the ANC cultural ensemble tour, “Amandla”. In 1987 and 1988, he collaborated with George Fenton to compose the score for the Richard Attenborough film, Cry Freedom. In addition to being nominated for Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe awards, the film received Ivor Bovello and Black Emmy awards. Gwangwa returned to South Africa in 1991. – By Craig Harris of the All Music Group

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NATASHA ROTH – Vocalist, Bandleader, Composer, Teacher

NATASHA ROTH - Vocalist, Bandleader, Composer, Teacher

NATASHA ROTH – Vocalist, Bandleader, Composer, Teacher

Natascha is a jazz singer who has contributed so much to the South African Jazz scene and has performed all over South Africa including many years teaching at the University of Cape Town, where she has helped to produce some of South Africa’s leading voices in Jazz.

Recently Natascha was one of the vocalists featured at the Melodi International Jazz Festival 2007 in South Africa – together with the legendary Zulu Vocal Trio Mahotella Queens, 4 times SAMA award winner Simphiwe Dana and R&B star Lira as well as Cuban piano player Ramon Valle and jazz legend Pharao Sanders. In the USA Natascha has performed alongside the great jazz singer Jeanie Bryson, daughter of the late Dizzy Gillespie.

Natascha is the daughter of well-known German political journalist Thomas Roth, former bureau chief of German TV Johannesburg, later head of ARD Haupstadt Studio Berlin and currently chief correspondent for German Television in Moscow.

Growing up in Germany as a teenager Natascha was discovered by director Stephan Barbarino and featured in his production for the Staatstheater Stuttgart of Brecht’s “Baal”, performing alongside great actors such as Andrea Sawatzki and Johannes Silberschneider.

Later Natascha studied musical theatre at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna (AU) and completed a masters degree in Jazz Vocals at the University of Graz (AU) with Jazz singers Mark Murphy, Andy Bey, Jay Clayton, Sheila Jordan and Michele Hendricks.

A WORLD OF SONG

Natascha is truly a world musician, singing in many different languages from Brazilian Portuguese, English and various European languages to the languages of Africa like Xhosa, Zulu, Pedi and Swahili.

Africa has been Natascha’s home for many years and she draws inspiration from the wealth of vocal tradition that emanates from the diverse cultures that exist on this continent.

Natascha, like her music, is not restricted by borders and travels regularly to different parts of the world to perform and to share her experience. The result being a unique way of combining different traditions of music and her global repertoire of songs.

Natascha has remained an individualist with a deep emotional connection to her material, which translates to a joyous and sincere live performance experience.

“The (Cd “Everything I love”)…is startling in its musical precision and complexity, while their musical sensitivity epitomizes the beauty of the jazz duo” (Program Standard Bank Jazz Festival, RSA 2007).

“…light and swinging her incredibly flexible voice…softly she lures the audience into the song…then her voice drops to unexpected lows and depth” (Koehler, HN-Stimme_04.12.04)

” …with all her professionalism, her singing is relaxed…she masters the scat of an Ella Fitzgerald effortlessly…a lot of feeling for tradition”. (Günther Currle, Göppingen_GP-Kult03).

“It’s All About sharing the Passion”

“South Africa has a seemingly endless resource of incredible vocal talent! If you are passionate about the human voice, like I am, it is very special to be surrounded by so much talent and beauty!”(N.R.)

For many years Natascha has been involved in sharing her passion for voice with other singers: “Helping young vocalists to develop their individual musicianship and watching them grow into skilled performers has been enormously exciting.”

Teaching at Universities in South Africa and Europe as well as at various national and international jazz workshops, Natascha has helped young singers to develop individual skills and confidence.

Some of South Africa’s young and leading singers of today have mentioned Natascha as one of their mentors and inspirations.

Award Winning SA Students:
• Monique Hellenberg: Winner SAMRO Jazz Vocal 2007, National Youth Jazz Band 2007, National Youth Big Band 2004, UCT Graduate.

• Lisa Bauer: 2nd pl. SAMRO Jazz Vocal 2007, UCT Graduate.

• Mimi Ntenjwa: Standard Bank National Youth Band 2004, UCT Graduate.

• Abigail Petersen: Winner SAMRO Jazz Vocal 2003, Jazz Impressions 2003, UCT Graduate, UCT Lecturer jazz voice.

• Nonthutuselo Puoane: Semifinalist International Brussels Jazz Competition 2006. 2nd pl. SAMRO Jazz Vocal 2003, Winner Regional Old Mutual Jazz Competition,.

• Lindiwe Maxolo: Winner Regional Old Mutual African Jazz 2002, UCT Graduate.

• Zukiswa Nomtshongwana: Winner National Old Mutual African Jazz Voice 2001, UCT Graduate.

Visit her websites at http://www.myspace.com/natascharoth or
http://www.natascharoth.com/main/about_profile.htm

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