Nelson Mandela University jazz vocal lecturer Ulagh Williams will be showcasing some of the top young vocal talent from the university’s jazz studio at a lunch-hour concert on Wednesday October 4 in Sing, Sing, Sing!
Taking place at the university’s South Campus auditorium, the programme contains a vibrant line-up of jazz, soul, pop and reggae music spanning 60 years. Some of Williams’s students from the Rhodes University music department will also make an appearance for the first time.
There will also be a guest appearance by a cappella group Legato, who were the runners up in national singing competition which aired on SABC back in 2015 called The Sing-Off SA.
Williams’s well-known TwoTone Band will be accompanying the singers, promising a highly entertaining show.
“Four years ago when I started teaching jazz vocals at NMU, I had six students,” Williams said.
“This year, I have 21 at NMU and four from Rhodes, and they are a wonderfully diverse bunch of singers. For some of them, it will be a first performing with a live band and in front of a large audience.”
The vocal teacher said her senior students had been given preference when it came to performing but added the junior students were also involved in the production.
“Others have already been performing professionally for years and they love involving the ‘new kids’ in their songs. This is truly one of my favourite gigs each year, and it has grown tremendously.”
The students will perform music from Al Green, Esperanza Spalding, Dean Martin, Michael Buble, Astrid Gilberto, Eric Clapton, The Andrews Sisters, Jill Scott and Ella Fitzgerald, to name but a few.
Williams, who is a well-known music teacher in the Bay, said what made jazz vocals different to other genres was the element of “improvisation” when it came to the performance.
“Unlike classical, in jazz you need to be able to improvise which means you never perform the same way twice. Every performance is different and largely based on audience, band and musician,” Williams said.
New renditions of hits from stage musicals as made famous by Fred Astaire and Marilyn Monroe will also be performed, as will iconic music from African artists such as Miriam Makeba and Judith Sephuma.
“The playlist is dependant on versatility which is why we have everything from old school to pop and given we only have an hour so we wanted to have a variety of songs for everyone to enjoy,” Williams said.
The Sing, Sing, Sing! concert takes place at the NMU South Campus Auditorium at 1pm.
Entry is free. For more information, contact Nicky Bosman on (041)504-4235.