Ike Phaahla and partners work to preserve SA jazz musicians’ legacy

2014-01-28 15:47

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Collaboration Concepts, headed by veteran jazz broadcaster Ike Phaahla, and the National Lotteries Board have partnered to honour jazz musicians through the “documentation of their music and lives”.

Speaking to the media at the SABC studios today, Phaahla said: “Ten years ago, I started research on documentaries of jazz musicians. There is a lot written about the history and the evolution of jazz, but not about individual artists.”

He said individual biographies of South African musicians were not substantial and created a problem of a lack of in-depth information about South African musicians. “Unfortunately, there are those who have passed before I could realise the dream of documenting their music and lives.”

He mentioned the likes of Ernest Motlhe, Winston Mankunku Ngozi, Bheki Mseleku and Professor Hotep Idris Galeta.

Phaahla also said the project would help schools, universities and music colleges to make the information readily available at no extra cost.

“Our jazz musicians are supported more outside the country than within South Africa. This project seeks to acknowledge and honour and appreciate their contribution to the landscape of South African jazz.”

Once the material is collected, it will be distributed to reference libraries at institutions of higher learning, and also made available at the SABC libraries.

The first beneficiary of this project is jazz musician Feya Faku, who will perform during a live recording at the SABC studios on February 28 and March 1.

Faku, who was also in attendance, thanked the National Lotteries Board for coming on board. “I put all my being in making music, and I am humbled by the experience of having this project completed. Many of my departed heroes were never given this opportunity.”

The project will take on the form of a recorded documentary of a featured artist, followed by a book of the artist’s musical arrangements and a CD and DVD of a live recording.

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