Drums hit right note with Bay ‘Jazzman’, 71

Yoliswa Sobuwa

A NEW Brighton saxophone player was amazed yesterday when he received the gift of a full drum kit from the provincial Arts and Culture Department and the Port Elizabeth Opera House.

Dudley Tito, who is the only surviving member of the Legendary Soul Jazzman, is one of the artists who will benefit from a drive by the department and the Opera House to ensure local artists are trained and able to make a sustainable living.

“This came as a surprise to me. This is an instrument that I need for my music workshops at my home in New Brighton. I am teaching youngsters about musical instruments, something they enjoy,” the 71-year- old said.

Tito joined the Legendary Soul Jazzman in the ’60s, and the band performed all over South Africa.

“We were loved by a lot of people. Music has been in my veins from a very young age. I remember I used to go to the Hoza Centre in New Brighton to watch jazz shows. I still perform at events with up-and-coming musicians.”

Tito said for musicians to last in the industry, they needed to have respect and be disciplined.

“A lot has changed, but perseverance is the mother of success. When things are not going your way, giving up is not an option,” he said.

Opera House music producer Tobela Fifi said the industry was growing and needed to be nurtured. “It is a lucrative industry. We want to make sure we keep our artists in this province.” Ntombekhaya Makaza, representing Arts and Culture MEC Xoliswa Tom, said the department was passionate about ensuring Eastern Cape artists had opportunities to grow. “It is good that Tito is passing his skills to the young ones, so his legacy lives on.”

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