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Friday, November 15, 2013


The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music is proud to present the Leap of Faith CD, which is a product of the successful and ongoing exchange between the Jazz sections within Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Arts and the UKZN School of the Arts Music discipline.

The CD was debuted on the African continent on September 13, 2013, when UKZN's Centre for Jazz and Popular Music hosted the South African Association for Jazz Educators Festival. Attendance included international and national musicians, music educators, students and prospective students, parents, music industry representatives, and senior University management. The exchange ensemble, called The UKZN Jazz Legacy Ensemble, reunited and performed at the launch.

The CD sales were launched at CDBaby that same September 13. The public CD Release Celebration of the disc in Richmond, Virginia, USA was on October 10 at the VCU Fall Jazz Festival.

The VCU Africa Combo is: Chris Ryan (guitar), Victor Haskins (trumpet), Trey Sorrells (alto sax), Brendan Schnabel (tenor sax), Justin Esposito (bass), and C J  Wolfe (drums). They are directed by Prof. Antonio Garcia (trombone)

The UKZN Legacy band consists of Sebastian Goldswain (guitar), Lungelo Ngcobo (UKZN), Sakhile Simani (trumpet), Sphelelo Mazibuko (drums), Ildo Nandja (bass), and Linda Sikhakhane (tenor sax), directed by Neil Gonsalves

The October issue of Down Beat magazine featured a one-page article on the VCU/UKZN jazz partnership titled "VCU Jazz Students, Faculty Members Connect with South African Counterparts from UKZN". The article was co-authored by Antonio Garcia and Neil Gonsalves .

The link to blog containing travelogues, photos, and student reflections from all four trips, as well as information about the Leap of Faith CD is:

The ten track Leap of Faith CD is on sale at R100 at The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music. It features commissioned works by students and faculty from both universities:
From KZN: Stephan le Roux, Dr Sazi Dlamini, Sakhile Simani, Neil Gonsalves (director) and special guest Madala Kunene
From VCU: Victor Haskin, Chris Ryan, Prof Antonio Garcia and special guest Plunky Branch.

For more information call Thulile Zama on 031 260 3385 or email