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Sunday, December 8, 2019


The Story of South African Jazz, the second volume of the three-part book series about musicians talking about musicians, eras, and influences, was launched at the Rivertown Contemporary Art Gallery with a free live performance from South African Jazz Pioneers and Next Generation.

The launch was a multi-media event produced in collaboration between The Story of South African Jazz, self-published by Durban-born jazz journalist and trumpeter, Struan Douglas through and Dumi Ginindza, founder of Jazz Xpressions.

(Left: Lefina Latha one of Durban's greatest female jazz singers at the Bat Centre 1996. Photo by © Struan Douglas published in “Story Of SA Jazz Volume 1”)

The Story of South African Jazz is an important addition to the existing research, resources and stories that have emerged from all over the region of Southern Africa. This three-volume series is a book, research and oral history project to document the beautiful story of South African jazz in an open, inclusive, flourishing and accessible way. Volume one was launched in 2015 and volume two will be launched in Durban and Johannesburg in December,” reports ArtAfrica.

“From Mbaqanga to uMkhumbane, through venues and initiatives such as the University of UKZN Jazz Department, Stable Theatre and Rainbow Restaurant, and through the efforts of master musicians, entertainers, producers, venue-owners and facilitators, jazz is richly nurtured and enjoyed in the city of Durban, eThekwini,” says Douglas.

(Right: Dilon Djindji Mapuoto. Performance at Marrabenta Festival 2019. Photo by © Struan Douglas published in “Story Of SA Jazz Volume 2”)

The latest release of The Story of South African Jazz, Volume Two is set in 2018 and features in-depth interviews with Living Legends Barney Rachabane, Charlie Sayers, Peter Magubane, Tete Mbambisa and Madala Kunene, and looks at the rich musical heritage from Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth and East London.

The Story of South African Jazz is first and foremost a textbook for music education. The vision is to provide a foundation for the recognition of local jazz as a unique and inclusive urban expression from this area of the world.

Volume One explained that The Story of South African Jazz is open at both ends: Interviews with musicians, enthusiasts and entertainers, combined with running commentary of lives lived and learned through the lens of heart centred South African jazz musical vibrations: The Story of South African Jazz is a never-ending story harking upon the golden age of the 50s, District six, Sophiatown and uMkhumbane, and the exiles and inxiles of the 60s onwards.

For more information, contact: Struan Douglas on 072 956 8134 or visit