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Thursday, September 10, 2015


(Dalisu Ndlazi. Pic courtesy of UKZN IndabaOnline)

Competition was fierce for a place in the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz band. Just eight musicians were selected for this year’s band, whittled down from a pool of 350 of South Africa’s top young artists who have been at the National Youth Jazz Festival in Grahamstown for the past six days.

Among them was bass player Dalisu Ndlazi from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). Making up the rest of the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz band this year are Thami Mahlangu tenor sax (TUT), Lorenzo Blignaut Trumpet (Delft), Marcelle Adams Trumpet (Delft), Phuti Sepuru Piano (University of Pretoria), Bradley Prince Guitar (UCT), Tshiamo Nkoane Drums (TUT) and Keorapatse Kolwane Vocals (TUT).

Bassist, and former Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz, Concorde Nkabinde, the conductor of this year’s youth jazz band remarked: “they’re a very talented young group of musicians who are both eager and serious. The heaviest thing was deciding who would make the cut. There is no other programme like this on the African continent where young musicians interact with professional musicians on the same level.”

The alumni of the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz band read like the who’s who of South African jazz and include the likes of Kesivan Naidoo, Kyle Shepherd, Tutu Pouane, Siya Makuzeni amongst others. So selection is taken very seriously.

For Standard Bank Jazz Festival Director Alan Webster, the band is a good reflection of what’s happening in jazz development around the country: “It’s at a very high standard and this festival is really a place of inspiration and a benchmark.”