NMMU jazzing up Baai concerts

I INTEND to utilise this space to occasionally profile local jazz musicians and bands. In what isn’t intended to be (but might be considered as) a shameless act of self-promotion, this is a good opportunity to tell you more about me.

I have been a professional musician, composer and educator for 20 years, my instrument is piano and I began my musical education in Durban with classical music training.

A radical shift in direction led to a masters degree in jazz studies with Professor Darius Brubeck at the University of Kwazulu-Natal which was the first African university to offer courses that allowed for a degree in jazz.

I have worked in a variety of musical contexts – both locally and overseas – including in jazz and popular music projects, jazz/classical fusions, dance productions, cruise ship engagements, cabarets and tribute shows.

Memorable moments in my extensive career include having won the Old Mutual Jazz Encounters competition in 2002 and performances at several major festivals including the National Arts Festival, Awesome Africa and Splashy Fen.

I have been based in Port Elizabeth since 2010 and, in addition to my lecturing post in jazz studies at NMMU, I regularly perform with a range of local musicians, most notably with my trio which also features Andrew Warneke on bass guitar and Devon van Rooyen on drums.

We recently recorded an album of my original compositions entitled By the Baai which we will be launching in a public concert at the NMMU South Campus auditorium at 7.30pm on Wednesday February 27. I will also be doing a solo lunch-hour concert at 1pm in the same venue on Wednesday March 6, when I will perform works by jazz pianists that have inspired me including, amongst others, Dave Brubeck’s Blue Rondo a la Turk , Chick Corea’s Spain and several compositions by Bill Evans. Phone Nicky Bosman on (041) 504-4235 for further details pertaining to these and other concerts; NMMU music department has a full calendar of public musical events for this year and if you would like to be placed on the department’s mailing list you can e-mail music@nmmu.ac.za.

Although it’s some months ahead, September 11 is another date you should diarise. The music department will collaborate with the NMMU arts and culture department to produce Isisusa which promises to be a premier jazz event featuring a nationally renowned artist in concert with local jazz bands, including the NMMU Big Band.

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