South African Jazz: Connecting the Tradition

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Across the globe, April is recognised as Jazz Appreciation Month. Fondly known as JAM, the month is used to celebrate the heritage of jazz. In light of this local jazz institutions are partnering to present a one-day, free to attend, online festival. (Supplied)
Across the globe, April is recognised as Jazz Appreciation Month. Fondly known as JAM, the month is used to celebrate the heritage of jazz. In light of this local jazz institutions are partnering to present a one-day, free to attend, online festival. (Supplied)

Across the globe, April is recognised as Jazz Appreciation Month. Fondly known as JAM, the month is used to celebrate the heritage of jazz. 

In light of this, the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and Arts & Culture at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) are collaborating with the South African Association of Jazz Education as well as the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music at UKZN to present a one-day, free to attend, online festival. 

The free one-day online mini-festival will feature both performances and lectures as well as a public participation programme that asks, “Does Jazz Matter?”. The festivals webinars will be moderated by Brenda Sisane, Sam Mathe and Atiyyah Khan. 

Brenda Sisane will present a showcase of performance by young South African jazz musicians and will moderate a discussion with them about the future of South African jazz. Atiyyah Khan will speak to jazz festival promoters and venue operators about the impact of Covid-19 and the recovery plans for the sector. Sam Mathe will moderate a discussion about the legacy of Todd Matshikiza. 

Speaking about the event, the head of arts and culture at the University of Johannesburg, Pieter Jacobs had the following to say: 

“Now, more than ever, it is important for role players in the arts and culture industry to collaborate and combine efforts and resources to maximise the impact of our projects on both the industry and the communities we serve. We are thrilled to be partnering on the presentation of this one-day educational jazz celebration and to be marking Jazz Appreciation Month in such a meaningful way.”

The full programme which features musicians, jazz writers and academic scholars will be published closer to the festival date. The Festival will be freely live-streamed on the social media platforms of all the partners.

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