Eleven of the 14 musicians performing in the Artscape Youth Jazz Festival this Friday, 30 June, are students at UCT’s South African College of Music (SACM).
The festival has grown exponentially over the past 14 years and is the highlight of the Artscape Youth Month, which takes place between 5 June and 15 July.
“Since the Youth Jazz Festival was established in 2003, the focus of the programme has remained dedicated to providing skills development within the jazz genre. This enables young jazz musicians to take the experience forward into their careers and educate others in the process,” said Marlene le Roux, CEO of the Artscape Theatre Centre.
UCT students Naledi Masilo (vocals), Damian Kamineth (drums), Bradley Prince (guitar), Stephen de Souza (bass and double bass), Daniel van der Walt (vocals and trumpet), Georgia Jones (baritone saxophone), Evan Froud (alto sax), Thandeka Dladla (vocals), Jesse Julies (vocals), Brathew van Schalkwyk (piano) and Keagan Steenkamp (trumpet) successfully auditioned to be included in the programme.
They have since taken part in a 10-week mentorship programme, which is an essential component of the festival’s developmental goals.
In addition to refining performance technique, the mentorship programme workshops include a study of South African jazz and business management for musicians.
“The Artscape Youth Jazz Festival has become a stepping stone that provides opportunities and access to significant role players. We are indeed honoured to showcase these young musicians and promise an evening of exceptional quality jazz for all music lovers,” said Le Roux.
Musical director Amanda Tiffin, who heads jazz singing at UCT, served as a vocals mentor during the 10-week programme. She will lead a jazz ensemble of the other mentors – Shaun Johannes (bass), also of SACM, Camillo Lombard (piano), Marc de Kock (saxophone) and Frank Paco (drums) – to accompany the youth musicians at the festival.
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