Young achievers celebrated

Artscape will celebrate the 13th annual Youth Jazz Festival on Saturday 18 June. PHOTO: Supplied
Artscape will celebrate the 13th annual Youth Jazz Festival on Saturday 18 June. PHOTO: Supplied

Artscape will be celebrating young achievers, mentors and educators in the Jazz industry when they host their 13th annual Youth Jazz Festival on Saturday 18 June.

This year’s festival will see 16 young soloists perform alongside their mentors and local jazz legends Amanda Tiffin (vocals), Camillo Lombard (piano), Frank Paco (drums), Wesley Rustin (bass) and Marc De Kock (saxophone).

The five musicians spend 10 weeks working with their soloists in a mentorship programme in preparation for the concert directed by Amanda Tiffin, the head of Jazz Singing at the University of Cape Town’s College of Music.

Since its inception in 2003, the Artscape Youth Jazz Festival, one of the theatre’s flagship projects, has grown exponentially; allowing the festival to accommodate not only huge interest in the programme, but also the highly talented young jazz musicians South Africa has to offer.

Artscape is committed to education and the main focus of their Jazz Festival in skills development within the Jazz genre and investing in the cultural democratization of South Africa.

“Artscape Theatre Centre, amongst other things, prides itself for creating platforms especially for young people to showcase their respective talents,” says Thoko Ntshinga, director of Artscape’s Audience Development and Education (ADE) department.

“What is great about this Youth Jazz Festival is to witness young people collaborate, interact, integrate and network between themselves. We feel there is no better example of democracy than a jazz ensemble where not only the musicians express themselves but also other music lovers.”

The Youth Jazz Festival forms part of Artscape’s Youth Month Programme which honours the brave youth involved in the 1976 Soweto Uprising. With this in mind, the programme for the Jazz Festival will be made up of only South African compositions. This year 50 % of the proceeds will be donated to the Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre.

“The focus for the 2016 Youth Jazz Festival will be to honour the Youth of 1976 and the role they played in steering the direction of our country to where we are today,” explains Artscape CEO Marlene le Roux.

She says the theatre strives to remember those that went before and paved the way for a better future that they did not necessarily get a chance to see. “Music has played a significant role in the fight for freedom and so the South African music legacy should be highlighted.”

The soloists performing at this year’s Youth Jazz Festival are Etuk Ubong , Emma de Goede, Thembelihle Dunjana, Elizabeth Gaylord, Shakeel Cullis, Evan Froud, Georgia Jones, Lumanyano Mzi, Phathiswa Magangane, Liam Webb, Peter-John Titus, Dillon April, Marco Maritz, Robert van der Merwe, Sean Sansby and Lyle Syster. Tickets for the Artscape Youth Jazz Festival 2016 cost R100 and are available from Computicket or Artscape’s Dial-a-Seat on 021 421 7695. For more information about the festival or other events coming up at Artscape Theatre, visit their website at www.artscape.co.za.

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