It’s time for the 4th annual Gauteng Big Band Jazz Festival

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Pretoria Boys’ High Big Band was formed by Matthew Lombard and William Bishop
Pretoria Boys’ High Big Band was formed by Matthew Lombard and William Bishop.

Audiences are invited to come and enjoy the sweet sounds of youth jazz bands over the weekend of 15 and 16 May 2015 at The Edge, St. Mary’s School.

If you are a jazz lover, the fourth Gauteng Big Band Jazz Festival is sure to set your feet tapping as the next generation of big band jazz musicians take to the stage.

Supported by the SAMRO Foundation, the Gauteng Big Band Festival has grown by leaps and bounds in reputation and stature since it began in 2012.

The following schools/colleges will be participating in the Festival:

Friday 15 May at 19h30

St Mary’s Waverley Senior Jazz Band is part of the school’s jazz band programme, which aims to foster a love of jazz among pupils while teaching the girls valuable music skills. Conducted by Ceri Moelwyn-Hughes, they play standards, South African compositions and, now, their own compositions.

St John’s College Big Band employs a standard format of five saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones, guitar, piano, bass and drums. Its repertoire consists of music from the 1930s through to modern compositions mainly in the swing idiom, but also touching on Latin, gospel, jazz-rock, funk and African jazz styles. The band is conducted by Jan Lategan.

Pretoria Boys’ High Big Band was formed by Matthew Lombard and William Bishop, who realised the potential of combining the talents of pupils in grades eight to 10 who take music as a subject. The band boasts a traditional big band line-up, including full saxophone, trumpet and trombone sections.

Cornwall Hill College Big Band is a young, innovative big band from Centurion with an adaptable flute section that provides a creative substitute for traditional brass instruments. Under the direction of Eddie Clayton, its repertoire ranges from contemporary pop hits and Latin music to swing and jazz-rock fusion.

Tshwane University of Technology Big Band, under the mentorship of Louis Drummond van Rensburg, mainly comprises second- and third-year jazz majors. It plays the standard jazz repertoire as well as jazz-influenced aspects that have impacted on other music genres, such as South African popular music.

Saturday 16 May at 19h30

Pridwin P’zazz Jazz Band is a constantly evolving group of young musicians aged between 11 and 13 years, conducted by Angie Elliott. The band regularly takes part in local music festivals and also tours internationally (including winning first prize in its category at a youth music festival in Vienna).

Saxes of Note from St Stithians Girls’ College is a six-piece, all-girls saxophone ensemble of alto, tenor and baritone saxophone players. The members are all pupils of Shirli-Anne van Vledder who take music as a subject and also excel in Royal Schools of Music exams.

St Alban’s College Band performs a variety of styles such as jazz, rock, disco, pop and South African popular styles. Conducted by Karin Groenewald, the musicians play an array of instruments, contributing to their distinctive sound and expanding their palette of tonal colours and textures.

Johannesburg Youth Jazz Ensemble, under the leadership of jazz trombonist John Davies, plays a variety of jazz styles and is schooled in the techniques of improvisation. This vibrant ensemble does not hold formal auditions; rather, interested young musicians are welcome to join the Saturday rehearsals.

Tshwane University of Technology Big Band, under the mentorship of Louis Drummond van Rensburg, will perform on both evenings.

André le Roux, executive general manager of the SAMRO Foundation, says: “It’s an honour to once again be part of this important initiative to cultivate a love and appreciation of jazz music in young South African musicians. As an event committed to cultural diversity while providing exceptional entertainment, the Gauteng Big Band Jazz Festival is destined for great things.”

Venue: The Edge, St. Mary’s School, 55 Athol Street, Waverley

Dates and Time: on Friday 15 May and Saturday 16 May at 19h30.

Bookings through Computicket: 0861 915 8000: R100 adults; R50 senior citizens/students

Enquiries: Ann Barr – 082 451 3696

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