Centre for Creative Arts

Online Jazz Festival will connect the Tradition

Online Jazz Festival will connect the Tradition


South African Jazz: Connecting the Tradition is the theme for an online festival that will be presented on Tuesday 27 April as a partnership project of the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Arts & Culture at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music at UKZN, and the South African Association for Jazz Education.

The theme is inspired by a broad conference topic, Does Jazz Matter?, which would have been hosted by the South African Association for Jazz Education later this year, but which had to be cancelled because of the national lockdowns. The one-day free to attend online mini- festival will be presented to mark the global Jazz Appreciation Month celebrations.

Jazz Appreciation Month (fondly known as “JAM”) is a global event held in April every month to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz. JAM is intended to stimulate and encourage people of all ages to participate in jazz – to study the music, attend concerts, listen to jazz on radio and recordings, read books about jazz, and more.

Legendary South African composer Todd Matshikiza will be spotlighted in two webinars during the festival. In Milestones: The Todd Matshikza Centenary, veteran South African journalist Sam Mathe will discuss the life and career of legendary composer Todd Matshikiza with Dr Lindelwa Dalamba (Wits University), Dr Sazi Dlamini (University of KwaZulu-Natal), Ms Nomfundo Xaluva (University of Cape Town) and Dr Carol Muller (University of Pennsylvania).


In another webinar King Kong: 60 Years Later, Adam Glasser will present his popular lecture reflecting on the musical 60 years after its staging. The legendary 60’s musical King Kong written by Todd Matshikiza has always been part of London-based South African harmonica player and pianist, Adam Glasser’s personal history. As a child he saw dress rehearsals in the Wits Great hall before the cast left for London in 1961 with his father Stanley ‘Spike’ Glasser, their musical director.


Adam’s mother Mona wrote the only book ever published on King Kong. As a Johannesburg teenager, Adam was drawn often to Dorkay House to seek out original musicians from the King Kong band, and has a particularly strong memory of meeting Mackay Davashe and then attending his funeral in Soweto just a few days later in January 1971.


Covid-19: Impacts on the Jazz Festival and Gig economy webinar presented on the day, print and digital media journalist Atiyyah Khan will probe the impact of Covid-19 on the Jazz Festival and Gig economy. She will moderate a discussion with Billy Domingo (Cape Town International Jazz Festival), Mantwa Chinoamadi (Joy of Jazz), Alan Webster (National Youth Jazz Festival) and independent promoters Marlyn Knol and Nikki Froneman.


In Dreaming and Believing: New South African Voices in Jazz, Brenda Sisane will present an exciting program featuring six young South African Jazz musicians, their music and discuss with them their aspirations.


The full programme for the one-day festival, which will feature musicians, jazz writers and academic scholars, will be live streamed on the social media platforms of all the partners. The full festival programme is available on the websites of each of the partners and will be live streamed on all social media platforms.  


For information and for media enquiries on behalf of the four partners, please contact Lakin Morgan-Baatjies


Notes for the Editor


About Centre for Creative Art


The 25-year-old Centre for Creative Arts is located in the School of Arts in the College of Humanities at the University of Kwazulu-Natal. The Centre is renowned for presenting its four festivals, the Time of the Writer festival, JOMBA!  Contemporary Dance Festival, Durban International Film Festival and the Poetry Africa Festival. The Centre for Creative Arts.
The Centre’s leadership role in presenting festivals, seminars, workshops and public events provide platforms for celebrations of the arts as well as being a platform for provocation and social change. The Centre for the Creative Arts is a champion for democracy, human rights, social justice, creative education and access to the arts for all.



About UJ Arts & Culture

UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA), produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. A robust range of arts platforms are offered on all four UJ campuses for students, staff, alumni and the general public to experience and engage with emerging and established Pan-African and international artists drawn from the full spectrum of the arts.

In addition to UJ Arts & Culture, FADA ( offers programmes in eight creative disciplines, in Art, Design and Architecture, as well as playing home to the NRF SARChI Chair in South African Art & Visual Culture, and the Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre. The Faculty has a strong focus on sustainability and relevance, and engages actively with the dynamism, creativity and diversity of Johannesburg in imagining new approaches to art and design education.


About South African Association for Jazz Education

The South African Association for Jazz Education is a non-profit organisation which promotes jazz and jazz education in Southern Africa. The main aims of SAJE are to build the jazz arts community by advancing education and research, to promote skills development and performance, and to develop new audiences. To this end, SAJE presents annual conferences, festivals, masterclasses, workshops and international collaborations which promote and celebrate jazz and jazz education in Southern Africa.


About The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music


The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music is a facility within the School of the Performing Arts at UKZN that fosters the goals of social cohesion and promotes jazz and jazz education as a multicultural art form that is inclusive and diverse. CJPM was established in 1989 and is a performance venue with an established weekly concert program going back to its inception. It has hosted musicians from across the globe, and seeks to actively connect musicians, educators, students, industry professionals, alumni and media by organizing and facilitating performances, conferences, workshops, outreach events, exchange programs and partnerships. Jazz Appreciation Month is a highlight of the CJPM calendar and represents an intense period of activity for our jazz students and staff.



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