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Monday, September 1, 2014


(Professor Salim Washington)

The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music will present multi-reedsman, composer, and jazz educator Professor Salim Washington on September 3.

Professor Washington first visited Durban during the summer of 2009 through the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship. He returned in 2011 at UKZN Jazzcentre, and spent six-weeks in South Africa where he hosted workshops around Soweto (funded by the United States Embassy in Pretoria).

Professor Washington has travelled extensively, playing at music festivals throughout the US and Canada, Latin America, and Europe. He has also led music workshops for the Northern Ireland Arts Council in Belfast, the Bill Evans conservatory in Paris, Harvard University, the Vermont Jazz Center, Plymouth State College, and other organisations.

He pursued music first as a trumpet player, and later as a student of classical piano. He was influenced by the musical culture of the Church of God in Christ, a Pentecostal sect in which his father was a minister.

Washington is a highly accomplished jazz artist whose instruments are the tenor saxophone, flute, and oboe. The music of Charles Mingus had a profound effect on his composing, in much the same way as Rahsaan, Trane, Pharaoh, and Dolphy had on his playing. He continues the tradition of modernists such as Lester Young, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins.

His body of work—spanning three decades, from Mozambique to Mexico—has been lauded as one of the most compelling modern voices in jazz. Dr Cornel West celebrates his work as a “new synoptic vision of what jazz can be and do. The fundamental spirit behind this music…lives on in new ways and novel sounds.”
In 2013, Washington became a full-time professor in the Music Cluster at UKZN. “This feels like home,” he reflects, “This is home. I am home.”

He plays a blues and gospel-inflected brand of post-bop jazz with his band comprising of Lihle Ngongoma (vocals), Sazi Dlamini (guitar and percussion), Sibusiso Mashiloane (piano), Leon Scharnick (tenor sax), Thabo Sikhakhane (trumpet), Thembinkosi Khumalo (trombone), Dalisu Ndlazi (bass), Bucco Xaba (drums), and Nokwanda Nala (alto sax).

Catch Washington at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music , UKZN Howard College Campus, on September 3. Doors open at 17h30 and music starts at 18h00. Entry fee R40 (R20 pensioners and R15 students). For more details contact Thuli on 031 260 3385 or email