VIPs off to jazz great’s funeral

2015-01-10 00:00

JAZZ music maestro Pat Matshikiza is being laid to rest in his home town of Queenstown in the Eastern Cape today.

The death of the prolific pianist and composer, on December 29 at the age of 76, shocked the South African jazz fraternity. Matshikiza died two days after the burial of his wife, Bridgette, who he lived with in Umlazi township in Durban.

KZN MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha said a group of local artists will descend on Queenstown to pay their last respects to the legendary pianist. She said the veteran will be remembered for his role in ushering in township jazz with hits such as Tshona and Sikiza Matshikiza.

She said: “The province and the country as a whole has lost a musical genius who paved the way for many artists in this genre.”

National Department of Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation spokesperson Sandile Memela said Matshikiza will be remembered as one of the earliest and greatest exponents of African jazz with a distinctive urban township vibe. Memela said: “His resilience saw him integrate into the hotel scene where he was acknowledged and recognised by fellow artists and patrons for his skill and talent.”

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