Arts and Culture

The Sekunjalo Edujazz Concert

The Sekunjalo Edujazz Concert’s mission is to support, promote and develop young, talented musicians by assisting them in their musical careers by affording them the opportunity to perform on stage with some of South Africa’s musical legends. They are also given the opportunity to learn and be mentored by a host of legends in local music.

The Sekunjalo Edujazz Concert is an accolade to South Africa’s musical calendar and celebrated its 15th anniversary this year, which brought together a culmination of school jazz bands mentored under some of the Western Cape’s most talented educators. At a sold-out performance this year, the bands featured were Beatenberg, The Beau Soleil Stage Band and the Sekunjalo Edujazz Alumni Band.

The objectives of the Sekunjalo Edujazz Concert is to raise funds for educational bursaries for impoverished students in the Western Cape as well as promote the rich culture of jazz music in Cape Town by staging a well-known group or artist alongside up-and-coming young artists from either primary or high school. More than 75 schools in the Western Cape benefited from the concert during the year under review.

Over the years, our investment in the students has played an integral part in making musical dreams come true … and it still continues. Many of our students have gone forward by backing those legends that they initially shared a stage with and many have become musicians

in their own right – Kyle Shepherd, Don Vino Prins, Leanne Fortuin, Lana Crowster, Darren English, Jamie Faull, Delft Big Band, Adelia Douw, Shaun Bratz, Lorenzo Blignaut and Kim van der Westhuizen are just a few of our students.

We would like to acknowledge The Artscape Theatre for their tremendous support throughout the year.

Cape Town International Jazz Festival

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival, known as Africa’s grandest gathering, is the fourth largest festival of its kind globally, outshining events such as Switzerland’s Montreaux Festival and the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland. The 16th annual festival attracted in excess of 35 000 visitors, and more than 40 international and local artists participated in the event held over two days on five stages.

Preceding the festival, espAfrika held a series of workshops targeted at previously disadvantaged individuals, which included school workshops, arts journalism, music business, master classes and gigs for kids and the pre-festival free community concert. espAfrika also has mentoring programmes and internships across all departments, including media and marketing, project management, talent, production, logistics and public relations. Our children from Where Rainbows Meet are active participants in these workshops.

Delft Big Band – Youth Music Development Programme

The Sekunjalo Development continues to support The Delft Big Band, under the directorship of Mr Ian Smith.

This development programme is targeted at vulnerable youth from high schools in Leiden, Rosendal and Voorbrug in the Western Cape. Through this programme, which has early intervention as a core element, music is used as a vehicle to equip the youth with valuable life skills. Currently more than 100 learners from these areas participate in the programme of which more advanced musicians make up the Delft Big Band. When the programme started, none of the students had either picked up, or played a musical instrument.

The band has already performed to accolades at a number of high-profile and NGO events, including the Sekunjalo Edujazz Concert, The Cape Town Big Band Festival, The Cape Town International Jazz Festival and the Community Jazz Festival in Gugulethu for the Amy Biehl Foundation, and recently collaborated with SA Army Band where they received standing ovations. The vocalist, Adelia Douw, won a scholarship to the prestigious Berkley College of Music in the United States. This young group continually delights audiences with their performances, making many international and local friends.

They performed twice at the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child in Sweden, whereby Sweden’s Queen Silvia presided over the awards, which took place at the Gripsholm Castle. In September 2013, they participated in the South African Autumn in Burgundy, France season of concerts. Members of the band performed at the Liverpool Brouhaha Festival and the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival in July. One of the highlights of the tour was a private performance for Prince Charles and Camilla, to whom they were introduced.

The James Morrison concert provided a surprise for lead trumpet Lorenzo Blignaut. Due to one of the players dropping out due to unforeseen circumstances, Lorenzo was invited to perform as fourth trumpet in the Commonwealth Orchestra, backing James Morrison. In Edinburgh, the musicians were treated as VIPs by the local jazz clubs.
Steenberg High Jazz Band

Steenberg High has been a recipient of Edujazz bursaries since 2003. Since the band was formed in 2011 under the leadership of ex learner, Sammy Webber, the band and the young musicians have blossomed. Their first public performance was at the Edujazz concert in 2012 where they blew the crowd away.

The Sekunjalo Development Foundation assisted the school jazz band by sponsoring a sound system for their band. They were also featured at the 2013 Cape Town International Jazz Festival. A number of students attending Steenberg High School are residents in the Vrygrond community and also benefit from our back-to-school drive initiative.

African Musicians Trust

Support for The African Musicians Trust whose objective is to engage, equip, support, guide and educate South African musicians and offer services to them to empower and grow their careers by providing a platform for marketing, public relations, events management, training and networking. They are also looking to provide a medical aid and a provident fund for musicians to enable them, in their latter years, to live with dignity.