Emirates and Universal Music Group have launched a talent hunt called Pursuit of Jazz. Picture: Supplied.

Emirates and Universal Music Group (UMG) has launched ‘Pursuit of Jazz’, a nationwide talent hunt for emerging jazz musicians who will carry South Africa’s rich jazz history and traditions forward.

The collaboration, a first for the airline, aims to provide a platform for ambitious home-grown talent on a global level by providing them an opportunity of recording and releasing a single and performing at the epicentre on jazz in New York, at the Winter Jazzfest, to the winner. Jazz musicians over the age of 18 are eligible to participate in the competition. Local music production company Thatch Music is spearheading the scouting process with producer and music director James F. Bassingthwaighte, drummer Marlon Witbooi and jazz virtuoso Thandi Ntuli. 

Fouad Caunhye, Regional Manager, Emirates Southern Africa, said music was a great passion for South Africans, and the jazz fraternity globally is so much richer from the contribution of South Africa’s musical legends. 

"To be a part of this musical movement and creating a platform for rising talent, is a way for Emirates to bring a uniquely South African note to the global scene," he said. 
 
Sipho Dlamini, MD, UMG, said they have created something special with Emirates. 

"We are giving budding artists an opportunity to perform in a live setting with a band and an audience on the world’s most influential jazz scene and the honour of adding South Africa’s rich and diverse eclectic sounds to jazz music.”

The competition judging panel include producer and musician Alexis Faku and Colin Kgari, Kaya FM representative together with Sipho Dlamini, MD, UMG.

The top 10 musician’s shortlisted profiles and performance will be available on Kaya FM’s website, where the general public will also have a chance to vote for their favourite musician. The favourite artist selected from the public votes, will win a trip to perform at one of the top jazz clubs in New York.