UKZN Big Band Launched at Jazz Centre
The Brass Showcase/UKZN Big Band has been launched at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music
The band is directed by Lecturer, Mr Burton Naidoo, and includes top jazz students from the Music Discipline in the School of Arts.
Director for the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music and Jazz Lecturer, Mr Neil Gonsalves, said: ‘The Music Discipline at UKZN is particularly excited to be in a position to once again field a Big Band after an absence of three or four years because of an insufficient number of horn players in the jazz programme. We are hopeful that the resurgence in numbers we have enjoyed is a sign of things to come, and we thank the young musicians from the Durban Music School for their participation.’
First year BA Music student, Ms Simone van Niekerk, described being a part of the Band as ‘a great way to connect with other musicians, while alto saxophonist Mr Phumlani Mtiti, who is completing his final year at UKZN, said the ‘UKZN Big Band allows students to showcase their talents to the masses, making them better performers and artists’.
The UKZN Big Band repertoire includes standards such as Moten Swing, Take the A train, Fly Me to the Moon, Harlem Air Shaft and the South African classics, Mra and Kwela Kong. The set at the Jazz Centre also featured the big band arrangements of On Green Dolphin Street and Caravan by BMus composition majors, Nicholas Chinnamunian and Riley Giandhari respectively.
The other band members are pianists Abigail Giddings and Mandy Cobbing; bassist Llewelyn Chetty; drummer Riley Giandhari; trumpeters Siyanda Zulu, Sanele Qwabe, Phuti Mofokeng, and Talente Mhlongo; guitarist Kaylin Naidoo; clarinettist Snothile Mkhize; alto saxophonists Nwabisa Kheswa, Simone van Niekerk, Tim Lewis and Phumlani Mtiti; tenor saxophonist Bonginkosi Mkhize; trombonists Thembinkosi Khumalo and Mokgethisi Nkotsi; flautist Tseleng Makhatla; and special guests Professor Salim Washington and Professor Mike Rossi of UCT’s College of Music on tenor saxophones; Mr George Mari on trumpet, and vocalist Debbie Mari.