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Thursday, April 22, 2021


(13h00 Todd Matshikiza Centenary)

The Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and Arts & Culture at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) will join hands this month with the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music at UKZN and the South African Association for Jazz Education to present a one-day free to attend online mini-festival on Tuesday April 27 to mark Jazz Appreciation Month.

Jazz Appreciation Month (fondly known as “JAM”) is a global event held in April every year to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz. JAM is intended to stimulate and encourage people of all ages to participate in jazz – to study the music, attend concerts, listen to jazz on radio and recordings, read books about jazz, and more.

(15h00: King Kong 60 years later)

“This first collaboration came about as a result of one idea and one Zoom meeting – cultural activists and administrators getting things done! And so, we are now able to present South African Jazz : Connecting the Tradition, a one-day online celebration of South African Jazz Education during Jazz Appreciation Month,” says Di Rossi speaking on behalf of the South African Association for Jazz Education (SAJE).

The free one-day online mini-festival will feature both performances and lectures as well as a public participation programme that begs the question, “Does Jazz Matter?” This pertinent question would have been the theme of the 15th SAJE Jazz Conference in August, 2021. The conference had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 national lockdowns. The conference has since been reconfigured into a series of smaller events over the course of the year featuring collaborations and digital events.

(17h00: Analysis: Covid-19: Impacts on the Jazz Festival and Gig economy)

“The Centre for Creative Arts and the Arts & Culture at the University of Johannesburg both have a track record for strong engagement with the cultural sector. We believe that this inaugural partnership between the arts centres at our two universities is vital to support the South African Association for Jazz Education and the Centre for Jazz & Contemporary Music to consider how an arts economy that has been almost decimated by the pandemic can be rebuilt,” says Ismail Mahomed, the Director for the Centre for Creative Arts.

“Now, more than ever, it is important for role players in the arts and culture industry to collaborate and combine efforts and resources to maximise the impact of our projects on both the industry and the communities we serve. We are thrilled to be partnering on the presentation of this one-day educational jazz celebration and to be marking Jazz Appreciation Month in such a meaningful way,” says Head of Arts & Culture at the University Johannesburg, Pieter Jacobs.

(19h00: Dreaming and Believing: New South African Voices in Jazz)

The two university centres are at the forefront of creating platforms for scholarly engagement and showcasing good quality performances. The collaboration between the two centres and their jazz partners aims to raise the profile of South African Jazz through a series of webinars, performances and a public engagement initiative. The mini festival will feature webinars moderated by media personalities Brenda Sisane, Sam Mathe and Atiyyah Khan.

Brenda Sisane will present a showcase of performance by young South African jazz musicians and will moderate a discussion with them about the future of South African jazz. Atiyyah Khan will speak to jazz festival promoters and venue operators about the impact of Covid-19 and the recovery plans for the sector. Sam Mathe will moderate a discussion about the legacy of Todd Matshikiza.

To attend the online mini-festival on April 27, 2021, RSVP

For more information contact Thulile Zama, Concert and Jazzcentre Coordinator on 031 260 3385 or email: