The Claude Cozens Jazz Ensemble will perform at the next Jazz in the Native Yards concert this Sunday 16 August kwa Sec, Ny 138 no. 52 Gugulethu from 3pm.
The ensemble, made up of pianist Kyle Shepherd, winner of 2014 ‘Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year’ Award and Romy Brauteseth, a double bass player and drummer Claude Cozens, draws inspiration from genres such as fusion and hip-hop. They will be joined by special guests, the award winning songwriter and singer Zoe Modiga, trumpeter Darren English and Jitsvinger, aka Quintin Goliath, the Cape Afrikaans vernacular hip-hop artist.
Renowned for his distinctive, open-style percussive drumming technique, Cozens is at the forefront of a new generation of rising talent who, according to arts journalist, Atiyyah Khan, is ‘trying to carve their own path in South Africa.’
Cozens completed his Postgraduate Diploma at the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town in 2012. During 2008/2009 he was awarded a one-year scholarship to study improvised music in Norway at the prestigious Norwegian Academy of Music where he studied Jazz and its relative sub-genres.
Apart from leading his own Trio, Cozens’ compelling energy and drumming inventiveness has seen him perform with a wide array of creative artists, including, Kyle Shepherd, Bokani Dyer, Jimmy Dludlu, Hilton Schilder, Mark Fransman, Darren English, Neo Muyanga, Buddy Wells and many more. He has performed at numerous top performing venues and festivals in South Africa and abroad including, The Cape Town International Jazz Festival, The National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, The Edge of Wrong Festival, The Pan African Space Station, The South African Association of Jazz Education Festival, Victoria Jazz Scene, Oslo (Norway) and Kulturhus Trondheim (Norway) for Nelson Mandela’s birthday Celebration.
Kyle Shepherd, arguably one of South Africa’s leading progressive pianists and composers of his generation, is fast gaining international recognition for his distinctive compositional style and performances.
He has a well-established record of celebrated performances in South Africa, Europe, Asia, Canada and the USA has already released five critically acclaimed albums in his young career. ‘Dream State’, a 21-track double album of his Trio released in 2014, garnered nominations for both the 2015 South African Music Award [SAMA] and a 2015 Metro FM Music Award in the Jazz Category. His debut solo piano offering ‘Into Darkness’, recorded in Japan was launched with a tour in the South-East Asian country in the same year  and included a performance at the prestigious Tokyo Jazz Festival. Previous releases ‘fineART’, ‘A Portrait of Home’ & ‘South African History !X’, have also attracted SAMA nominations.
The award-winning Shepherd, recipient of the coveted ‘UNISA National Piano Competition Award  performs in concert as a Solo pianist, while also leading his Trio, with Shane Cooper (double bass) and Jonno Sweetman (drums).
Well-known in the Cape Town music scene. Romy Brauteseth has performed with various artists including pianist and singer Nomfundo Xaluva, guitarist Reza Khota, trumpeter Marcus Wyatt and pianist Bokani Dyer to count a few. She was selected for the National Schools’ Jazz Band in 2005 and National Youth Jazz Band in 2010. She studied upright bass at UCT, and currently works in Cape Town with a variety of different groups, including the Dan Shout Quartet.
Darren English is a jazz trumpeter from Cape Town. He is the two-time recipient of the Fine Music Radio Award and the 2012 recipient of the SAMRO Overseas Award.
He has performed and recorded with some of his country’s most respected musicians, including Marcus Wyatt, Jimmy Dludlu, Mark Fransman, Alvin Dyers, Robbie Jansen, Andre Peterson, Kyle Shepherd, Feya Faku, and Producer/Director David Kramer. Internationally, he has worked with UK pop star Craig David, UK reggae icon Finley Quaye (2010), Excess Luggage (Norway, 2011), and pianist Joe McBride (USA, 2012). He has performed at the Grahamstown International Jazz Fest (2011), the North Sea/Cape Town International Jazz Festival (2008-2011), and the Norwegian Folk Music Festival (2009).
Zoe Modiga completed her degree in jazz vocals at the South African College of Music, UCT.
Over the past few years, with some experience behind her, this singer-songwriter’s talent has opened a number of doors in the music industry. She has performed at various festivals such as the Aardklop Festival, Artscape Youth Jazz Festival, UCT Jazz Festival, Joy of Jazz and The Cape Town International Jazz Festival. On these respected platforms she has had the privilege of sharing stages with the likes of Gloria Bosman, Matthew Gold, The Kiffness, Breakfast Included, the Frank Paco Art Ensemble, Mark Fransman, Sibusiso Dhlamini, Marcus Wyatt, Benjamin Jephta, Tshepo Tsotetsi and many more
Jitsvinger, aka Quintin Goliath, is an established Cape Flats born conceptual writer, composer, educator, musician and performing artist whose sharp delivery has enchanted countless audiences, performing on renowned stages with artistic legends such as Antjie Krog, David Kramer and Burni Aman at Versindaba, Spier Poetry Exchange, Poetry Africa Festival, and Speak the Mind Poetry Festival.
He has collaborated on many projects including the Swiss/South Africa inter-continental exchange project, Rogue State, which produced two albums, and included a tour through Switzerland. There he educated and entertained
crowds on stages such as the legendary Bird’s Eye Jazz Club, Busker’s Festival, Royal Arena Festival and Funk Em
The Claude Cozens Jazz Ensemble gig at the Jazz in the Native Yards is this Sunday 16 August at 3pm kwa Sec, NY 138, no. 52. Tickets R60 at the door. Shuttle to the gig call Unathi: 082 221 7711. For more info: 082 093 5369