The exciting line-up for the 17th rendition of this annual favourite, includes the Sekunjalo Edujazz Big Band, The Foster Kids and The Dynamic Voices featuring The Voice SA finalist Robin Pieters, Idols contestant Elwira Standili, internationally acclaimed crooner Jarrad Ricketts, and singer, songwriter and music producer Lana Crowster, who also appeared on The Voice SA and won the inaugural espYoungLegends competition in 2016.
They will be accompanied by legendary bass guitarist Sammy Webber who will bring his special blend of bass slaps, funk flair and authenticity to this star-studded event.
In 2001, music teacher Donovan Witten had a vision to bring jazz music back into Cape Flats schools, after the education department made the decision that art and music no longer had a place in our children’s education.
He shared his vision with Dr Iqbal Survé who was instantly on board and soon saw the establishment of the Sekunjalo Edujazz Project.
The core of Sekunjalo Edujazz is to fund bursaries at disadvantaged schools while promoting music development. Since its launch, the project has sparked a great following - not only from members of the public who enjoy witnessing South Africa’s musical future, but from the artists themselves who recognise the importance of sharing their knowledge and expertise with aspiring entertainers.
The Edujazz Big Band for 2017 will be under the direction of Andrew Ford. Andrew has achieved international acclaim and received awards for music and post production from Cannes Lions, London International Advertising Awards, the New York Festivals and of course our own, South African Loerie Awards. As an arranger, he is constantly in demand by Big Bands and has conducted various
orchestras including The Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. Under his direction, the Edujazz Big Band performed at the recent Cape Town International Jazz Festival and will now be showcasing their flair with audiences in July.
In addition to providing a platform for showcasing musical talent, the Sekunjalo Edujazz Concert also serves as a vital fundraising artery for educational bursaries in support of Cape Town’s young musical talent.
Cherie Hendricks, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Director at African Equity Empowerment Investments Limited (a Sekunjalo Group Company), and a key supporter of the initiative, remarked: “This annual concert has grown in influence and importance over the years, and is therefore a vital conduit for future success.
“We realise that we would not be able to do this without the wonderful support of the music loving audiences to whom our bands play and would like to thank everyone for their continued encouragement of this initiative and for their financial support through the purchasing of tickets that affords deserving students the access they need to better their craft.”
Rooted in the broad jazz genre that has been the underlying musical storytelling of South Africa’s historical journey, the Edujazz project has played host to music groups such as The Little Giants, Belhar Music Collective, Athlone Music Academy, Alexander Sinton High Jazz Band, Heathfield High Jazz Band, Zerilda Park Primary Band, Muizenberg High Jazz Band, Delft Jazz Band, UWC Wind
Orchestra and Ifidyoli String Ensemble have all participated in the project. These youth bands have had the opportunity to work with established musicians including the likes of Tucan Tucan, Virtual Jazz Reality, Jimmy Nevis, MiCasa, Beatenberg and The Darryl Andrews Jazz Band.
Jazz musicians such as Alvyn Dyers, Andre Petersen, Ivan Bell, Camillo Lombard, Amanda Tiffin,
George Werner, and Shannon Mowday who have also been sourced as mentors to the project.
Music Educators including Frank Paco, Ronel Nagfal, Henriette Weber and Terence Scarr have conducted workshops to further foster the music skills of these young musicians.
Notable musicians who were showcased in their early years at the annual Sekunjalo Edujazz Concert, and who have gone on to perform to local and international acclaim include the likes of; Kyle Shepherd, Darren English, Claude Cozens, Dylan Tabishar, Leanne Fortuin, Don Vino Prins, Lana Crowster, Jamie Faull and S’pha Mdlalose.