UKZN Music Discipline Celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month
As part of the Music Discipline’s celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) in April, Music Lecturer Mr Neil Gonsalves took a few of his jazz students to Lotus FM to participate in a radio interview and a live performance.
And on International Jazz Day - April 30th - the Discipline hosted South African UK-based jazz vocalist, Ms Estelle Kockot, in the company of bass maestro Herbie Tsoaeli, and UKZN alumnus drummer extraordinaire Kevin Gibson.
‘Every month is Jazz Appreciation Month within the Music discipline because our jazz students are immersed in music all the time. The concept of a dedicated month to jazz appreciation is only starting to gain footing in South Africa, and besides those students who were actively involved in JAM events, I suspect that JAM was largely a non-event for most of our students.
‘JAM does however represent an opportunity to promote jazz and jazz education to a broader audience and to celebrate the wonderful tradition of jazz as an international language that reminds people of our shared humanity,’ said Gonsalves.
UKZN’s Centre for Jazz and Popular Music (CJPM) served as a conduit for musicians, music educators and music industry people from all over the world to interact with music students and staff at UKZN.
‘Besides serving as an on-campus music venue, the Centre facilitates all manner of extra-curricular music activity for our students that is an essential part of a tradition and education.’
Gonsalves also believes that jazz needs more air play on local radio stations. ‘More fundamentally though, music education as part of a rigorous arts education needs to return to our primary and secondary schools to shape reflective and responsible citizens. And jazz, in as much as it represents a way of playing, improvising and interacting with the world, should form part of any thorough music education.’
Asked about next year’s JAM programme, Gonsalves said, ‘It’s exciting to see more interest and inquiries around JAM from sectors of our communities that are not among our regular jazz patrons. Besides fielding these enquiries, JAM represents an opportunity for the CJPM to undertake various jazz and jazz education activities this year and in April next year. Watch this space!’
- Melissa Mungroo