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Monday, July 21, 2014


The Centre for Jazz & Popular Music at the University of UKZN will present the Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra (LYJRO) on July 23.

The young band from England has been in existence since 1991. LYJRO's aim is to offer young people of Leeds the opportunity to experience through performance, the spectrum of jazz-related styles ranging from swing to hip hop and funk.

Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra recently held a sponsored play-a-thon fundraiser at Leeds Civic Hall to help pay for the orchestra’s Durban project. Around £16,000 has been raised by members in the past three years to visit primary schools and arts centres in the country and help with music education. The fundraising will also help to buy musical instruments and pay for music teachers. LYJRO has already been on two tours to South Africa but has returned to Durban again this year.

“During the visit, the orchestra will have the chance to do concerts with local musicians, deliver music workshops for school children and see how their fundraising has helped the locals, says Carmel Smickersgill, 17, a guitarist in the band. “I’m very excited to be going out to Durban because nowhere else really gives you the chance to do something like that. The benefits of bringing music to a community is unimaginable. It just makes people get on better. People there are a lot more open about dancing and singing along to the music over there and I like that.”

The band leader, Brendan Duffy, said: “When we go out [to Durban] we hope to bring everyone together and have a big concert.” Speaking about the youngsters’ sponsored play-a-thon, he added: “They have given up their day to come here and raise money.”

Catch the Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music on July 23. Doors open at 17h30 and music starts at 18h00. Entry R40 (R20 pensioners and R15 students).

The Centre for Jazz is situated at Level 2, Shepstone Building at UKZN Howard College Campus. More information from Thuli on 031 260 3385 or email for more details