Local talent aplenty in classy jazz concert

NEW Brighton raised trumpeter Feya Faku – internationally renowned as a performer and composer – will be one of a number of jazz talents on stage in Port Elizabeth next week.

The NMMU arts and culture department in collaboration with the music department is presenting Isisusa, an exciting jazz event at the Port Elizabeth Opera House on Tuesday September 17.

The concert will feature a variety of local jazz bands and will include Faku. He will be performing several of his original works with the John Edwards Trio which also features the acclaimed local trombonist Kyle du Preez.

The trio comprises John Edwards on piano, Andrew Warneke on bass guitar and Devon van Rooyen on drums and the unit will also perform several pieces from their recent recording By the Baai.

Jazz guitarist Creshwell October is the opening act for the show and his band includes Virgil Matrass on piano, Grant Allison on bass and Bevin Maschaka on drums.

Rowallen Blaauw, Lincoln Adams and Thandi Zondani will also feature on keyboards, trumpet and vocals respectively.

In addition to his take on well-known jazz standards, October will also be performing original compositions from his soon-to-be-released album.

Two of the music department's premier jazz ensembles will be showcased – Sharp9 and the NMMU Big Band. Sharp9 is an a capella group of five vocalists led by Muz Sirenya. The band's repertoire includes standards and popular tunes. It's essentially a jazz choir but don't be deceived by the formal title. Expect some outrageous improvisations as each individual brings his or her own infectiously catchy sound to the collective.

The 16-piece NMMU Big Band, led by jazz studies lecturer and pianist John Edwards, will close the show. The band's repertoire emphasises South African jazz masterpieces like Abdullah Ibrahim's Chisa and The Wedding and MRA by The Brotherhood of Breath.

The band will also perform a fiery Afro-Cuban number entitled Classiquando and a big and brassy piece by band director Edwards entitled Strumpet.

The concert starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are available at the door for R50 (adults) and R20 (students and pensioners).