MUSIC lovers take note - the Skyjack ensemble will soon to be in Cape Town, wrapping up their national tour and launching a debut CD with three upcoming performances.
The group is an award-winning collaborative act of five jazz musicians from South Africa and Switzerland. The three local musicians are well-known, with Shane Cooper on double bass, Kyle Shepherd on piano and Kesivan Naidoo on drums - all highly respected artists with various prestigious credits to their names, including the Standard Bank Young Artist Award. This tour will be the first time Naidoo performs on home soil since completing his Masters Degree at the Berklee College of Music in Boston this year.
The Swiss musicians are some of the most sought-after jazz musicians in Switzerland - Marc Stucki on tenor saxophone, and Andreas Tschopp on trombone. Andreas is currently on a three month residency in SA, and has already collaborated with Carlo Mombelli, and Herbie Tsoaeli. Marc Stucki runs a small concert venue in Berne called the Sonarraum U64, and is a co-founder of the festival Jazzwerkstatt Bern.
Skyjack’s first shows together were on a South African tour in 2013, leading up to the National Arts Festival for Shane Cooper’s Young Artist Award showcase. Since then they have done two tours in Switzerland, and in 2015 won the prestigious BeJazz TransNational competition, bringing them back to perform at BeJazz Winterfestival in Berne.
Each musician contributes to the group as a composer, creating a wide palette of sound that draws from various cultural influences, concentrated into a modern jazz aesthetic. Skyjack recorded their debut self-titled album in Switzerland in 2015, and garnering some rave reviews along the way.
The production is layered, with story-like compositions written by all five musicians. From the Ethio-jazz inspired Tafattala, to the modern jazz journey of Anonymous In New York, it’s eclectic but with a common thread throughout. Says Cooper, “ As a band, we share a deep musical bond, and come together as often as the cross-continental trip is possible. We’re excited to bring our music back to SA for our biggest tour yet, and now with an album to share!”
Skyjack’s SA tour is supported by Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council and Concerts SA Concerts. See them on Friday, September 16 at the Reeler Theatre at Rondebosch Boys’ High School (tickets available on www.quicket.co.za), Saturday, September 17 at the Blah Blah Bar in Kloof Street and on Sunday, September 18 at Kwa Sec as part of a Jazz Heritage Festival in Gugulethu (tickets available at the door for the 17/18 Sept concerts). - Staff Writer