On Sunday 5 July 2011, the first ever episode of the JazzE Radio Show went on air from the TransAfrica Radio studios in Braamfontein, to listeners across Africa on the DStv Satellite TV subscription service and across the world as a live audio stream on the Internet. This weekend JazzE celebrates 4 years of existence and it is a pleasure for us to look back at how JazzE has grown over this time.
On Saturday 4 July 2015, JazzE will celebrate by broadcasting the radio show live from the Mzansi Gallery, 12a 7th Street, Melville, Johannesburg. This special celebration will be a small cheese and wine, at the gallery. Come along, browse current exhibition at the gallery and celebrate with us while Etienne Shardlow hosts the 4th Anniversary edition of the JazzE Radio Show.
In June 2011, Mika Stefano put out a call looking for someone with jazz knowledge, and Etienne Shardlow responded to that call. Etienne was asked if he’d be interested in hosting a jazz show on Sunday evenings on TransAfrica Radio which was being relaunched at the time, the rest as they say is history.
Already a regular in attendance at many of the jazz gigs across the city of Johannesburg, Etienne was already a familiar face to many of the jazz musicians in the city before the launch of JazzE, and many were keen to show their support and provide music to top up his existing music collection. Etienne states that “radio is meant to inform and entertain” and he works hard to make sure that listeners are introduced to new sounds and reminded of South Africa’s jazz history.
The weekly JazzE Radio Show playlists consist entirely of South African artists, providing a platform that exposes the incredible talent often neglected by the commercial stations.
Frequent requests for more information about the artists and events spoken about on the show led to creation of the JazzE Magazine, an online portal for jazz news. Listeners often inquired about the music played on the show and where it could be purchased. Much of the older music is no longer available in the market, and many of the newer titles are not available widely in the large retail music stores and this led to the opening of the online store within the magazine.
Nine months into the first year of the radio show, JazzE started broadcasting a second radio show on Saturday nights on Bakgat Radio which turned out to be a lifesaver for the JazzE brand as two months later TransAfrica Radio went off air very suddenly leaving many regular listeners without their regular South African jazz fix. TransAfrica Radio is back on air but the JazzE Radio Show did not return to the station. The radio show has changed a little over the years, with the inclusion of a feature called From The Vault that dusts off classic South African jazz recordings sometimes from as far back as the 1940’s. The weekly gig guide is a feature of the show that fell away, and the aim is to revitalise this to promote live jazz events and get people back into the various jazz venues across the country. For 18 months of its life, the JazzE Radio was also broadcast twice a week on Eric Alan’s All Jazz Radio streaming from Cape Town, this was also a great opportunity for JazzE to grow and expand to a larger audience.
We would like to thank everyone for their support over the years, but there are some names that we feel need a special mention:
Sibongile Khumalo for being our first ever studio guest; Lines And Designs for our logo; Busi Ntuli and Mika Stefano for the opportunity at TransAfrica Radio where this journey began; Tony McGregor for his support and for sharing his wealth of knowledge with us; Kyle Shepherd, Lwanda Gogwana and Marcus Wyatt who have been very supportive of JazzE over the last four years, Theodore Lawrence of fineART music; Richard Woodin formerly of Sheer Sound; Eric Alan, founder of All Jazz Radio for broadcasting our show and for recognising JazzE’s potential; and lastly Richard Nosworthy and Felix Meyburgh who founded Bakgat Radio the current home of the JazzE Radio Show.