South African jazz

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South African jazz is the jazz music of South Africa, also often mistakenly called "African jazz".

History[edit]

The jazz scene in South Africa grew much as it did in the United States. Through performances in nightclubs, dances, and other venues, musicians had the opportunity to play music often. Musicians such as singer Sathima Bea Benjamin learned by going to nightclubs and jam sessions and waiting for opportunities to offer their talents. One unique aspect of the South African jazz scene was the appearance of individuals imitating popular artists as closely as possible because the real musician wasn't there to perform in the area. For instance, one could find a "Cape Town Dizzy Gillespie" who would imitate not only the music, but the look and style of Dizzy.[1] This practice created a strong environment to nurture some artists who would eventually leave South Africa and become legitimate contributors to the international jazz scene.

One of the first major bebop groups in South Africa in the 1950s was the Jazz Epistles.[2] This group consisted of trumpeter Hugh Masekela, saxophonist Kippie Moeketsi, and pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (then known as Dollar Brand). This group brought the sounds of United States bebop, created by artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Thelonious Monk, to Cape Town with Moeketsi modeling his sound and style on Parker's. This group was the first in South Africa to cut a record in the bebop style, but their contemporaries, the Blue Notes, led by pianist Chris McGregor, were no less involved in the local jazz scene. Together, these two groups formed the backbone of South African bebop.

An early use of jazz as an anti-apartheid tool was the production of a musical entitled King Kong.[2] Written as a social commentary on young black South Africans, much of the music was arranged and performed by famous South African jazz musicians, including all the members of the Jazz Epistles, minus bandleader Abdullah Ibrahim. The musical was premiered to an integrated audience at the University of Witwatersrand despite efforts of the government to prevent its opening. The university had legal jurisdiction over its property and was able to allow the gathering of an integrated audience. From this point on, as the play toured South Africa, it carried this undertone of defiance with it. The success of the play eventually took it to premiere in London, and while failing financially outside of South Africa, allowed many local jazz musicians an opportunity to obtain passports and leave the country.

In March 1960, the first in a series of small uprisings occurred, in an event that is now known as the Sharpeville Massacre.[2] Censorship was dramatically increased by the apartheid government, which led to the shutting down of all venues and events that catered to or employed both black and white individuals. Gatherings of more than ten people were also declared illegal. As a result, a mass exodus was created of jazz musicians leaving South Africa seeking work. Among these were pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, his wife and jazz vocalist Sathima Bea Benjamin, trumpeter Hugh Masekela, and vocalist Miriam Makeba.[1]

For some, the move proved to be fortuitous. Ibrahim and Benjamin found themselves in the company of US jazz great Duke Ellington in a night club in Paris in early 1963. The meet resulted in a recording of Ibrahim's trio, Duke Ellington presents the Dollar Brand Trio, and a recording of Benjamin, accompanied by Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Ibrahim, and Svend Asmussen, called A Morning in Paris. Artists such as Masekela traveled to the United States and were exposed first hand to the American jazz scene.

The end of apartheid has brought a revival of jazz music.[citation needed]

Genres[edit]

Notable South African jazz musicians[edit]

Individuals[edit]

The following is a list of South African jazz musicians.[3]

  • Abigail Petersen – vocals, piano
  • Adam Glasser (musician) – harmonica, composer; resident in London
  • Alan Cameron – piano
  • Alan Gordon – trumpet
  • Alex Van Heerden – trumpet; deceased
  • Alison Dewar – vocals
  • Alistair Andrews - electric bass
  • Allen Kwela – guitarist.
  • Allou April – guitar, vocals
  • Alvin Dyers – guitar
  • Amanda Tiffin – vocals, piano
  • Andile Mseleku – vocals
  • Andile Yenana – pianist.
  • Andre Abrahams – bass
  • Andre Petersen - piano
  • Andrew Ford – piano
  • Andrew Lilley – piano, trumpet
  • Anna Davel – vocals
  • Art Kelly - Double bass; deceased
  • Avzal Ismael – piano
  • Banzai Bangani – composer and trumpeter.
  • Barney Rachebane – saxophonist.
  • Basil "Manenburg" Coetzee – saxophonist; deceased
  • Basil Moses – bass; deceased
  • Bheki Khoza – guitar
  • Bheki Mseleku – piano, saxophone; deceased
  • Blacky Tempi – trumpet
  • Blues Ntaka – vocals
  • Bobby Gien – drums
  • Bokani Dyer – piano
  • Bongani Nkwanyana – bass
  • Bongani Shotshononda - marimba
  • Brian Thusi – trumpet
  • Bridget Mitchell – vocals; resident in Hong Kong
  • Bruce Baker - drummer
  • Brydon Bolton – acoustic bass
  • Buddy Wells – saxophones
  • Bushy Dubazana –
  • Caiphus Semenya – vocals
  • Carlo Mombelli – bass
  • Christopher Columbus Ngcukana – saxophonist; deceased.
  • Claude Deppa – trumpet; resident in London
  • Clement Benny – drums
  • Concord Nkabinde – bass guitar player.
  • Cyril Magubane, guitar; deceased
  • Dan Shout - saxophones
  • Darryl Andrews - guitar, arranger
  • Dave Ledbetter – piano, guitar, vocals
  • Dave Lithins – piano; deceased
  • David Bravo – piano, keyboards; resident in New York
  • Dennis Mpali – trumpeter; deceased
  • Denzil Weale – piano
  • Derek Hutton – piano; deceased
  • Derrick Schippers – guitar
  • Don Laka – piano, keyboards
  • Donald Tshomela – vocals; deceased
  • Dorothy Masuka – singer; born in Zimbabwe, moved to South Africa aged 12.
  • Dudu Pukwana – composer, saxophonist, and pianist; deceased.
  • Early Mabuza – drummer.
  • Ebrahim Kalil Shihab – previously known as Chris Schilder – piano
  • Edmund "Ntemie" Piliso, saxophone; deceased
  • Elijah Nkwanyane – trumpet
  • Ellison Temba or ThembaTemplate:Spaced dashsaxophonist; deceased.
  • Eric Smith Template:Spaced dash trumpeter
  • Ernie Smith – guitar, vocals
  • Errol Dyers – guitar
  • Estelle Kokot – vocalist, pianist, vocalist, composer; resident in London
  • Esther Miller – vocalist; now resident in London
  • Ezra Ngcukana – saxophone; deceased
  • Feya Faku – trumpet
  • Frank Mallows – vibes
  • Fundile Mdingi – bass
  • Gavin Minter – vocals, saxophone
  • Glen Mafoko – vocals, bass
  • Gloria Bosman – vocals
  • GTX (Ismael) Xaba – piano
  • Harold Jefta – alto sax, woodwinds; Charlie Parker exponent, resident in Sweden
  • Harry Miller – composer and double bassist.
  • Harry Talas – vocalist, acoustic bass
  • Hilton Gelderbloem – vocals
  • Hilton Mowday – saxophones; resident in Australia
  • Hilton Schilder – piano, multi instruments
  • Ian Herman (musician) – drums; resident in New York
  • Ian Smith – trumpet
  • Ike Moriz – vocals
  • Isaac Zakes (Zacks) Nkosi – saxophone and clarinet; deceased
  • Ivan Mazuze – saxophone
  • Jabu Nkosi – keyboards; deceased
  • Jacob Moeketsi – piano
  • James Scholfield – guitar
  • Jason Reolon – piano
  • Jimmy Dludlu – guitar
  • John Davies – trombone
  • Johnny Dyani – composer and double bassist; deceased
  • Johnny Fourie – guitar; deceased
  • Jonathan Butler – guitarist, also does rhythm and blues.
  • Jonathan Crossley – guitar
  • Judith Sephuma – singer, now an Afro-pop singer seldom sings jazz.
  • Julian Bahula – band leader; resident in London
  • Kani Naidoo – guitar
  • Kesivan Naidoo – drums
  • Kgaogelo Mailula – trumpet
  • Khaya Mahlangu – saxophone
  • Kippie Moeketsi – saxophone and clarinet
  • Kolosa Qomoy – bongo drums.
  • Kyle Shepherd – piano, saxophone
  • Leslie Kleinsmith; vocals,now resident in France
  • Lex Futshane - Bass, composer and educator
  • Lisa Bauer – vocals, drums
  • Lucky Ranku – guitarist resident in London
  • Lulu Gontsana – drums; deceased
  • Mabi Thobejane – drummer.
  • Mac McKenzie – guitar
  • Mackay Davashe – saxophonist; deceased
  • Marc Duby – bass
  • Marcus Wyatt – composer, trumpeter and producer.
  • Mark Fransman – piano, saxophones, vocals
  • Mark Ginsburg – saxophones; resident in Australia
  • Maud Damons – vocals; resident in London
  • Maxwell Baloyi – composer and pianist.
  • McCoy Mrubata – saxophonist and flautist.
  • Megeshen Naidoo – guitar
  • Melanie Scholtz – vocals, piano
  • Melissa van der Spuy – piano, vocals
  • Merton Barrow, piano, vibes
  • Mervyn Africa – piano
  • Mike Perry – piano
  • Mike Campbell - electric bass, composition-arrangement
  • Mlungisi Gegana – bass
  • Mongezi Feza – composer, trumpet player and flutist.
  • Moreira Chonguica – saxophones
  • Morris Goldberg, saxophones; resident in New York
  • Moses Khumalo – saxophonist; deceased
  • Moses Taiwa Molelekwa – pianist; deceased
  • Moss Mogale – guitar
  • Mpumi Dlamini – saxophone, piano, composer, multi-instrumentalist
  • Natalie Rungan-vocalist, composer
  • Nduduzo Makathini – piano, composer
  • Neil Gonsalves – piano
  • Nhlanhla Magagula – piano; deceased
  • Nick Carter – guitar
  • Nikele Moyake – saxophonist.
  • Pat Matshikiza – piano
  • Paul Hanmer – composer and pianist.
  • Paul Petersen – guitar, vocals
  • Peter Sklair – bass
  • Phillip Tabane – composer and guitarist.
  • Phuti Sepuru  – pianist, composer, educator
  • Prince Kupi – guitar
  • Ratau Mike Makhalemele – saxophone; deceased
  • Richard Caesar – vocals, guitar
  • Rob Blaine – piano, keyboards
  • Robbie Jansen – alto sax, flute, vocals; deceased
  • Robert Payne – keyboards
  • Romy Brauteseth - double bass
  • Ronan Skillen – percussion, tabla
  • Ronnie Beer – flautist and saxophonist.
  • Rus Nerwich – saxophone
  • Sammy Hartman – Piano
  • Sammy Maritz – bassist.
  • Sammy Webber – electric bass
  • Sandile Shange – guitar; deceased
  • Sasha Sonnbichler – guitar
  • Schalk Joubert – electric bass
  • Sean Bergin – saxophone, flute; resident in the Netherlands
  • Shannon Mowday – saxophone; resident in Norway
  • Sipho GumedeTemplate:Spaced dashbass guitaristist; deceased
  • Soi Soi Gqeza – vocals
  • Spencer Mbadu – bass
  • Stan Jones − pianist, composer, compiler, arranger; deceased
  • Stix Hojeng – piano
  • Sydney Ace Mnisi – saxophones
  • Sylvester Mazinyane – piano
  • Sylvia Mdunyelwa – vocals
  • Tete Mbambisa – composer, pianist, singer.
  • Themba Dlamini – guitar
  • Themba Mkhize – piano
  • Theo Bophela – piano
  • Tina Schouw – guitar, gocals
  • Tony Cedras – duitar, piano; resident in New York
  • Tony Schilder – pianist.
  • Tshepo Mngoma – violin
  • Tutu Puoane – vocalist; resident in Belgium
  • Vusi Khumalo – drums
  • Wayne Bosch – guitar
  • Wesley Rustin - electric & double bass
  • Wessel van Rensberg – piano
  • Winston Mankunku Ngozi – saxophone; deceased
  • Zelda Benjamin – vocals
  • Zim Ngqawana – composer, flautist and saxophonist.

deceased

Groups[edit]

  • Absolute Zero
  • Abstractions with Duke Makasi
  • African Jazz Pioneers
  • African Swingsters
  • Afro Cool Concept
  • Afronaut
  • Airborne
  • Adiemus
  • Alexander High School Big Band
  • Archie Silansky & Dan Hill
  • Benguela
  • Bezz Martin Jazz Capers
  • Breakfast Included
  • Brian Abrahams District Six
  • Brotherhood Of Breath
  • Cassidy-Clarke Band
  • Chameleon
  • City Jazz Nine
  • Clive Sharrock Big Band
  • Concert Boulevard
  • Cool Cats
  • Creeper
  • Deep South
  • Don Jeany
  • Dondo
  • Elite Swingsters
  • Fourfourty
  • Hanepoot & The Biggish Band
  • Havana Swingsters
  • Heshoo Beshoo
  • Jazz Ambassadors
  • Jazz Dazzlers
  • Jazz Disciples
  • Jazz Maniacs
  • Jazz Ministers
  • Jazz Monitors Quintet
  • Jonny Cooper Big Band
  • Kesivan And The Lights
  • Little Giants
  • Loading Zone
  • Manhattan Brothers
  • Merry Macs
  • MJ 9
  • Modern Jazz Quintet
  • Monday's Jazz Quintet
  • Moss Mogale Unit
  • National Youth Jazz Band
  • Ntemi Piliso & The Alexander All Stars
  • Nu Jazz Connection
  • Offshore
  • Ojoyo
  • Pacific Express
  • Phatbrass
  • Rise
  • Rush Hour
  • Sheer All Stars
  • Short Attention Span
  • Soft Landing
  • Tamu
  • The Blue Heads
  • The Blue Notes
  • The Classic Jazz Masters
  • The Dominant Seven
  • The Elite Swingers
  • The Ghoema Kings
  • The Glenn Robertson Jazz Band
  • The Jazz Epistles
  • The Moreira Project
  • The New Year Swingsters
  • The Prisoners Of Strange
  • The Rhodes University Jazz Band
  • The Trio
  • Tonk
  • Track Five
  • Transvaal Rockin' Jazz Stars
  • Tribe
  • Truly Fully Hey Shoo Wow Band
  • Tucan Tucan
  • UCT Big Band
  • Uhambo
  • Virtual Jazz Reality
  • Voice

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Muller, Carol Ann (2004). South African Music: A Century of Traditions in Transformation. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-57607-276-9. 
  2. ^ a b c Masekela, Hugh; Cheers, D. Michael (2004). Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela. Crown Publishers. ISBN 978-0-609-60957-6. 
  3. ^ South African Jazz at the Wayback Machine (archived November 14, 2006)

External links[edit]