German and Pearson jazz bands unite

The award-wining Pearson High School Jazz Band is hosting a German Youth band next week Picture: supplied
The award-winning Pearson High School Jazz Band is hosting a German Youth band next week Picture: supplied

The Pearson High School Jazz Band will be hosting the Curuba Jazz Band from Germany in a combined concert on Tuesday at 7pm in the NMMU South Campus Auditorium. If the university is still closed on Tuesday due to the protests, the concert will move to the Pearson High School hall in Summerstrand.

The Curuba Jazz Band is a talented, young big band from the School of Music and Arts in the city of Brühl, near Cologne, in Germany.

Conducted by Elmar Frey and Michael Scheuermann, the 20 musicians, between the ages of 16 and 26, who are mainly university students, play from Neil Hefti, Count Basie and Sammy Nestico, Maynard Ferguson, Bob Mintzer and Peter Herbolzheimer to Gordon Goodwin.

Their repertoire is not limited to jazz; modern pop and Latin songs are as important to this big band as new musical works.

The talented band won the state championship of a nation-wide big band competition in their home state for the first time in 2009.

In the past seven years, the band won the same competition four consecutive times. It was also last year’s winner of the WDR jazz award, which they received at a concert with the WDR big band – the band’s greatest achievement so far.

The band also released their first CD, Curuba Jazz Kassette, late last year.

Their visit to South Africa is their first concert tour abroad, which will see them performing in Pietermaritzburg and Cape Town as well.

Their reason for choosing South Africa as their first destination is because two of the band members have links with the country.

The Pearson High School Jazz Band, conducted by teacher Leon Piron, was formed to provide a challenging orchestral experience for advanced music pupils.

To qualify for the jazz band, pupils need to achieve a Grade 6 music level, or higher, in their external music examinations.

The band has received various gold awards at local eisteddfods, is a hit at the school’s annual Music Celebration Concert, and is regularly invited to play at charity events.

Tickets are available from the school at R50 and at the door.

Leave a Reply