Washington “Comes Home” and Performs at UKZN Jazz Centre
College of Humanities Jazz Lecturer, multi-reedsman and composer, Professor Salim Washington, together with his band, recently took to the stage at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music to perform a blues and gospel-inflected brand of post-bop jazz.
His talented band is comprised of both UKZN lecturers and students: Lihle Ngongoma (vocals), Sazi Dlamini (guitar and percussion), Sibusiso Mashiloane (piano), Leon Scharnick (tenor sax), Thabo Sikhakhane (trumpet), Thembinkosi Khumalo (trombone), Dalisu Ndlazi (bass), Bucco Xaba (drums), and Nokwanda Nala (alto sax).
Washington is a highly accomplished jazz artist whose instruments are the tenor saxophone, flute and oboe. The music of Charles Mingus had a profound effect on his composing, in much the same way as Rahsaan, Trane, Pharaoh and Dolphy had on his playing. He continues the tradition of modernists such as Lester Young, Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins.
His body of work – spanning three decades from Mozambique to Mexico - has been lauded as one of the most compelling modern contributions to jazz. One of America's most provocative public intellectuals, Dr Cornel West, celebrates Salim’s work as a ‘new synoptic vision of what jazz can be and do. The fundamental spirit behind this music lives on in new ways and novel sounds.’
Washington has travelled extensively, playing at music festivals throughout the United States and Canada, Latin America, and Europe. He has also led music workshops for the Northern Ireland Arts Council in Belfast, the Bill Evans conservatory in Paris, Harvard University, the Vermont Jazz Center, Plymouth State College, and other organisations.
He first visited Durban during the summer of 2009 through the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship. He returned in 2011 at UKZN’s Jazz Centre and spent six weeks in South Africa during which time he hosted workshops around Soweto (funded by the United States Embassy in Pretoria).
In 2013, he became a full-time Professor in the Music Cluster in the College of Humanities. ‘This feels like home. This is home. I am home,’ said Washington.