THEY saw a gap in the market and formed a jazz band Motherwell NU11.
The members of Mo Jazz, formed in 2003, are finally working on an album called Mr Baloyi, which they plan to release in September. The album is dedicated to Thomas Baloyi, who bought the band their first instruments and who was also a jazz legend in the township.
Band manager, Lennodia Petersen, mentioned that the album contained a song written especially for Baloyi.
“When we started the band, there were not many jazz bands in Motherwell. We started off with six members, but that number has dwindled to four – Khayalethu Nazo, who is the singer and music director, Major Major, who plays bass guitar, and lead guitarist Fiks Marhwana who joined the group in 2010 and Siyabonga Mjijwa, who plays drums.
“When we started the band we saw that there was a market for jazz as it was in demand. We are also into developing young jazz artists,” Petersen said.
The group do different types of jazz music, to cater for the tastes of both young and old.
“We do a bit of gospel, Afro jazz, and punk. Our group is different, because at the end of our performances we do a bit of hip-hop which is composed by us,” said Petersen.
The group have performed all over South Africa and are a well-known group not only in their home suburb.
“We have performed in Cape Town, Durban, and at the Grahamstown Arts Festival.
“On Sundays we perform at the News Cafe at the Boardwalk,” Petersen said.
The band members all have full-time jobs but they still find time to practise four days a week and to do performances.
“Time management is really important in all that you do. And since jazz is our passion we always make time for it,” said Peterson.
“We have a soft spot for jazz and for people who are living with cancer. We also raise funds for them. Since I am a caregiver I care a lot about sick people.”