25 September 2013 Volume :1 Issue :3

UKZN and all that Jazz!

UKZN and all that Jazz!
UKZN Music students and high school learners at the SAJE Jazz Festival.

The School of Arts at UKZN’s Centre for Jazz and Popular music hosted the South African Association for Jazz Education (SAJE) festival.

The three-day event featured free workshops, CD launches, music collaborations and concerts which were open to the public and were attended by several local schools and teachers.

Speaking at the event Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter, said: ‘UKZN supports the mission of the SAJE which is to assure the growth of jazz in South Africa and the development of jazz and jazz education across the country.’

Potgieter added that the mission statement of the SAJE "fits like the proverbial hand in a glove with the vision of UKZN".

UKZN music students were ecstatic to be given the opportunity to attend the festival and the free Jazz workshops which included practical ideas about how to develop jazz in schools, and how to include it in the school music curriculum.

Vocal workshops presented by Amanda Tiffin (UCT) and Deborah Tanguy (France) taught students what to prepare for at vocal jazz auditions at tertiary institutions; while Nicky Schrire’s workshop focused on “breaking out of one’s comfort zone/taking musical risks”.

The Russ Miller (USA) workshop looked at developing ensemble focus, concept and musical-improvisational interaction, plus stylistic performance practice concepts with combos, pianists and vocalists.

UKZN Music students Mr Kwena Ramahuta, Ms Ayanda Thango and Mr Sebastian Goldswain said UKZN Music staff were very supportive and had encouraged them to attend the Jazz festival and to make the most of it.

‘This festival is really great because we are being exposed to world class musicians and we’re getting to listen to the different types of music and to learn from them,’ said Ramahuta.

‘This festival is also showcasing the talent of the music students. The lecturers have been very accommodating and they have integrated all that the festival offers into our normal lecture schedules,’ said Goldswain.

-          Melissa Mungroo

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