Gwen Ansell is a freelance music writer and music industry researcher, and author of the cultural history, Soweto Blues: jazz politics and popular music in South Africa. She is a former Louis Armstrong visiting professor at the Center for Jazz Studies, Columbia University, and currently a research associate of the Gordon Institute for Business Science (GIBS), University of Pretoria, with whose faculty she has co-researched and co-published on the creative and cultural industries, in particular the innovation and business practices of South African jazz musicians. Her music journalism has appeared in multiple publications, including The Conversation, and she blogs at sisgwenjazz.wordpress.com
Melanie Scholtz is a South African born, multi award winning jazz singer and composer. Playing piano since the age of 5, she went on to study classical singing at the Eoan Group before completing an Opera Diploma Cum Laude at the University of Cape Town in 2000. Melanie has released 5 albums under her own name thus far as well as collaborating with many South African and international jazz artists. In 2010, Melanie was named the Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz and In 2012, Melanie won all three prizes in the prestigious Jazz Revelations competition as part of the Jazz a Juan Festival held in Nice, France. Melanie has performed all over the world including her native country, South Africa, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Germany , France, Norway and Sweden. www.melaniescholtz.com
American born, Mike Rossi is Professor in Jazz and Woodwinds at the SA College of Music, University of Cape Town. His achievements include numerous recordings, and international stage appearances as leader, soloist, and sideman with Tony Bennett, Dave Liebman, Winston Mankunku Ngozi, George Russell, Clark Terry, Alessio Menconi and Darius Brubeck amongst others. He is an exceptional saxophone and woodwind player, and an artist for Rampone & Cazzani Handmade Italian saxophones. He has performed around the globe in small and large ensembles and gives workshops on South African jazz worldwide. As a composer and performer he has appeared on numerous jazz and classical recordings, and has written a series of method books on jazz improvisation, with translations in other languages, along with many compositions, all published by Advance Music and Schott Music. His sextet The Mike Rossi Project has performed at the JazzKif International Jazz Festival (DRC), Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Joy of Jazz Festival, Grahamstown Jazz Festival, in Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria, East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town and has won two Concerts SA Music Mobility awards. He served as SAJE President from 2008 to 2016. www.mikerossijazz.com
South African guitarist, composer and educator, Mageshen Naidoo hails from the township of Chatsworth in Kwazulu Natal. He has performed in the USA, London, Scotland, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Mexico, Denmark and all over South Africa. As a US Fulbright Student, Mageshen graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree (Performance) from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He also holds a MM degree (Studio/Jazz Guitar Performance) from USC, a MMus Degree (Performance & Jazz Composition), cum laude and a BMus degree (Jazz Studies) from the University of Natal. At USC, he studied guitar with the legendary Joe Diorio and master classes with Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Mike Stern, Paul Jackson Jr and Kurt Rosenwinkel. Naidoo is the current President of the South African Association for Jazz Education (SAJE) and continues to serve many educational and professional music organizations, including SAMRO. He is currently Associate Professor and Director for Jazz Studies in the Department of Music at the University of Pretoria.
Veit Arlt, PhD is the executive director of the Centre for African Studies at the University of Basel (founded in 1460) and a historian by training.
Besides that, he works closely with the bird's eye jazz club, the Jazzcampus and the Musikerwohnhaus Basel, in organising concerts and residencies of South African jazz musicians.
Andrew Hoole is a composer, saxophonist and co-founder of Sound Foundry music studios. Since graduating with a Masters in Composition from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2013, he has gone on to lecture music technology and composition at the South African College of Music and AFDA. He orchestrated the music for Triggerfish Animation’s Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba and also creates music for television commercials, video games and other forms of media at his Cape Town based studio. http://www.soundfoundry.co.za/
Ernestine Deane is a cross-over artist incorporating jazz, soul, goema, funk, hip-hop into a unique style that has a distinctly Cape identity, as well as a worldliness that transcends borders and genres. She is an urban African voice sharing ancient African stories, known for her distinctive and incredibly powerful emotive vocals, laid over chilled, uplifting grooves. Her homecoming to SA, after some years spent living and performing in Europe, has seen her welcomed with open arms by her fans here, with sold out concerts at Cafe Roux, Cape Town Fringe and the iStudios Lapa. Ernestine is a mesmerizing live act and has performed at festivals including the Haarlem Jazz festival, Oppikoppi, Womad, Pukkelpop, Rocking the Daisies the and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Ernestine is now working with an all woman band on her new material, with her latest single, Flow, produced by Gabi le Roux (known for his work with Mandoza and other top SA artists), released in late 2017. The band includes: Terryl Bell on drums, Tiana Marwanqana on bass, Nobuhle Mazinyane on keys, Carly Nauta on violin and Ernestine Deane on vocals. www.ernestinedeane.com
Johannes Gerber Handmade Saxophone Mouthpieces Johannes Gerber is known to make some of the finest mouthpieces available, combining modern technology and traditional hand finishing methods. Johannes Gerber offers 9 mouthpiece models for soprano, alto and tenor saxophones. They are made one at a time, finished by hand and inspected at microscopic level – each mouthpiece’s measurements are documented in a database matched to its unique serial number. Several highly regarded South African and International saxophonists are playing Johannes Gerber mouthpieces. South Africa: Dan Shout, Justin Bellairs, Marc de Kock, Evan Froud, Sisonke Xonti. International: Chris Collins (saxophonist in the Phil Collins big band), Daniel Ian Smith (Professor at Berklee College of Music), Marshall McDonald (Count Basie Orchestra), Tucker Antell (Boston, USA), Dave O’Higgins (London), Johan Horlen (Lead alto WDR Big Band, Germany) and many more. http://www.johannesgerber.com/
Every generation has its own leading lights. For the current generation of South African young jazz musicians, pianist, and composer, Nduduzo Makhathini stands as a key torchbearer. It’s useful to note the refreshing virtuosity with which the 34 years old jazzman articulates a decidedly spiritual vision of the world with the piano, and his compositional clarity. Makhathini plays with a bright lyricism and a full sound pallet that gives him a markedly wide melodic vocabulary. His music is as open as it is invigorating. Makhathini commands the sort of remarkable talent and thematic focus that posits him among an illustrious pantheon of forbears. The late jazz pianist, Bheki Mseleku comes to mind as a musical stylist and visionary who sets a lofty precedence. Their music shares a comparative searching sensibility along with a keen spiritual focus. So far, Makhathini has released six albums as a band leader. This rapidly growing catalogue was made in part possible by a creative and life partnership he shares withhis wife, Omagugu who he describes as “my anchor and partner.” Makhathini is active as an educator too. He is head of the music department at Fort Hare University in the Eastern Cape. He recently received a master’s degree from Stellenbosch University. As an awardwinning player, Makhathini is ever in demand as a headline act on the international jazz festival circuit. He recently headlined National Arts Festival, Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Essence Festival both in New Orleans and South Africa, International Jazz Extravaganza in Durban, SA. http://www.nduduzomakhathini.co.za/
Amanda Tiffinis a leader in the field of jazz singing in South Africa. She offers a unique combination of skills, both in performance and corresponding workshops. She graduated from the University of Cape Town in 1999 with a Masters Degree in jazz composition and vocal performance. She has gone on to become one of Cape Town’s most loved vocalist-pianists, a respected musical director-arranger, orchestrator and composer. Amanda has performed at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and has also been featured several times on the annual Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival in Grahamstown. Amanda is the Head of Jazz Singing at the SA College of Music, University of Cape Town. http://www.amandatiffin.com
Sibusiso "Mash" Mashiloane is a prolific artist whose academic credentials speak volumes on the kind of discipline and passion he has for music. After getting his master’s degree in Jazz Performance and graduating Cum Laude from the University of KwaZulu Natal, he is now on his way to become an integral performer within the South African and international jazz scene. His debut album Amanz’ Olwandle (released in December 2016) was awarded best Contemporary Jazz Album (decided by a jury) and Best Jazz Album (voted for by the public) at the first ever Mzantsi Jazz Awards, which aim to recognize excellence in jazz music in South Africa. His second album “Rotha – A Tribute to Mama” (2017) is very close to Sibusiso’s heart, it was recorded on the day his mother passed away and has compositions that were written in 2003 at beginning of his career as a musician. Mashiloane’s album is an acoustic traditional jazz album that radiates South African heritage sound and universal jazz influences. He describes this album as mostly sharing Coltrane’s harmonic movements with African influences within the melody and most notably references to South African tribal and spiritual sounds. With his catchy, self-written compositions that always aim to blur the line between jazz and other genres Sibusiso “Mash” Mashiloane is quick in winning the hearts and minds of a large public. http://www.sibumash.com/
2017 Standard Bank Young Artist of The Year for Jazz, Benjamin Jephta, has already made a name for himself as one of South Africa’s premier double bass and electric bass players. Jephta is a Metro FM Award and SAMA nominee, and the winner of the SAMRO Wawela Music Awards for ‘Best Male Artist’ and ‘Songwriter of the Year’.
With Benjamin Jephta Elektrik, Jephta fuses his love for jazz with hip hop, electronic, and rock music; reflecting the influence of popular culture on young people in the 21st century. https://www.benjaminjephta.com/
Jazz Trumpeter and composer Mandisi Dyantyis has traveled extensively around the world as Musical Director of multi award winning Operatic Theatre company Isango Ensemble (formerly known as Portobello). He has recently turned his focus back to his first love, JAZZ. A graduate of the UCT Jazz School, Mandisi recently returned to the institution as a part time lecturer in Jazz Masterclass, Ensemble and History. He continues to occupy his position as MD of Isango. http://site.isangoensemble.org.za
Siphokazi Ngxokolo is a jazz vocal music student from the University of Fort Hare in East London. She is currently in her fourth year studying towards a BMus degree majoring in jazz voice. She is influenced by Jazz and African music. This results in a sultry, jazzy, African voice. She has shown immense interest in bringing music awareness to surrounding communal schools. She has also been exposed to being a music educator at Stirling Primary, facilitated workshops and adjudicated at the Eastern Cape Arts and Culture Provincial Schools Cultural Festival. She has also been part of the Eastern Cape Indigenous Ensemble which primarily focuses on the indigenous ethnic music of the Eastern Cape. She has worked with many musicians including Feya Faku, Dominic Egli, Sakhile Simani and Lulama Gaulana. She has been greatly influenced and groomed by music educators like Prof Zoliswa Twani, Nduduzo Makhathini and Omagugu Makhathini.
The ALVIN DYERS TRIO
Alvin Dyers (guitar) Valentino Europa (bass) Roy Davids (drums)
Alvin Dyers - Guitarist Jazz guitarist and educator, Alvin Dyers was born in Harfield Village (Cape Town) in 1953. He started playing guitar from the age of seven. He formed his first band called Sacred Legion with his equally talented brother, Errol Dyers. He also formed part of the group musicians that played in Pacific Express in the ‘80s. Some of the musicians he has played with include other legends, for example Winston Mankunku, Ezra Ngcukana, Johnny Fourie and many more. He is currently a jazz guitar teacher at the University of Cape Town where he continues to nurture and inspire another generation of jazz musicians in the province.
Roy Davids – Drummer Drums & Percussion specialist by day and musician by night. Roy Davids, born 1966, grew up in Heathfield (Cape Town) and started his drumming career at the age of 17. He spent much of his free time listening and watching drummers and musos playing at clubs on the Cape Flats namely: Club Montreal, Villa Revue, Club Galaxy etc… He later started playing in ballroom bands or “langarm bands” as we say on the local scene. Alvin Dyers, Tony Schilder, Winston Mankunku, Benedict De Maar , whom he still has the pleasure of working with,….. drummers: Denver Furness, Ivan Bell,Cecil Ricca Monty Weber…
Valentino Europa - Bassist Valentino was born in 1977. During the day he works as a sales associate at a leading music outlet, specializing in guitars and all bass guitars. He is an accomplished sought after musician for both studio work and live performances. He has toured the country and is known for his versatility across all genres of music. Valentino has accompanied many artists - local and international. Artists include Andrew Young, Kyle Shepherd, The Cape Town Jazz Orchestra under the leadership of renowned pianist and composer, Abdullah Ibrahim, to name a few.
Friday 27 April: 2.15pm Gender & Jazz: The challenges facing women in the music industry today Chair: Amanda Tiffin (vocalist, composer, arranger, educator, head of jazz singing at UCT) Panelists: Melanie Scholtz (vocalist, composer, educator) Lana Crowster (vocalist, educator) Ernestine Deane (vocalist) Kelly Bell (trombonist, educator) Babalwa Mentjies (vocalist, educator)
Friday 27 April: 3.30pm Technologies and the ‘Hoods’: Spreading, Conserving, and Archiving South African jazz locally and abroad Chair: Dr Carol Martin Panelists: Luvuyo Kakaza and Koko Nkalashe from Jazz in the Native Yards Paul Kahanovitz from SLOW LIFE/Olympia Bakery, Kalk Bay Leonardo Fortuin from i-studios at The Lapa, Joostenberg Vlakte
Jazz without Borders: SA/ITALIA Band Saturday 28 April: 4.15pm South Africa: Sean Sanby - bass, Marco Maritz - trumpet, Lilavan Gangen - drums Italia: Enrica La Penna - vocals and Luca Chiari - guitar