Nelson Mandela College is presenting its annual jazz live performance on-line on Friday 27 November, having filmed the present on campus with out an viewers because of COVID-19 security protocols.
Isisusa musical director Ulagh Williams leads the 12-piece band of scholars, music workers and alumni who may also carry out.
The college’s new choir conductor and supervisor describes it as “a mixture of a present and mini-documentary”, to be screened world wide.
“Isisusa has been a dwell jazz live performance on the Opera Home for the reason that college began it in 2008,” Williams mentioned.
“That is the primary time it’s digital, which brings a really completely different power, however we nonetheless must carry a vibe that individuals will need even when they watch digitally.”
“It was already a surreal expertise as we recorded with out an viewers so it’s new territory, and fairly a tightrope, however we’ve been doing loads of digital collaborations this 12 months so it’s been actually nice.”
ALL THAT JAZZ … AND MORE
The 2020 line-up is equally various, beginning with tenor saxophonist, composer and bandleader Xonti, 31, who’s the 2020 Commonplace Financial institution Younger Artist Award winner for Jazz, kicking off the present.
Though Isisusa is primarily recognized for jazz, artists energetic in pop, R&B, reggae, digital dance music and musical theatre even have featured over its 12 years.
Veteran jazz critic Percy Mabunda describes Xonti as having “a pointy ear for seductive melodies that draw listeners right into a heat sound vortex”, so music followers are in for a deal with.
Xonti’s debut album Iyonde acquired vital acclaim in 2017, and is busy recording his second album, the nine-track Migration, which he hopes to launch quickly.
Born and raised in Cape City’s Gugulethu — fertile soil for jazz musicians — Xonti mentioned he was impressed by lots of the greats, notably the late Winston Mankunku Ngozi.
Fest spotlights distinctive native expertise
Then there’s Nelson Mandela College graduate Du Preez, a trainer at Stirling Excessive College in East London who’s a jazz composer and trombonist, and Two Tone band member.
He additionally has a musical CV stretching again to his faculty days and has carried out prior to now with Xonti within the Nationwide Arts Competition youth jazz programme.
Now a full-time trainer, Du Preez mentioned it was “very fulfilling” to get an opportunity to carry out once more.
His compositions are an eclectic mix, combining genuine South African flavours with a world, avant garde model.
Xhosa sounds meet up to date jazz
Port Elizabeth singer Ndlazilwana combines conventional Xhosa sounds and folklore with up to date South African jazz, capturing audiences along with her soulful performances.
Though Ndlazilwana is in her first 12 months of music research at Nelson Mandela College, she is an skilled vocalist, and has carried out on the Nationwide Arts Competition and different musical occasions with the Port Elizabeth band Edgar Muzah and Buddies.
“Your entire programme is all authentic materials, composed by the artists, so it’s all contemporary,” Williams mentioned, including some objects can be heard in public for the primary time.
Musical pair behind a number of digital arts initiatives
Division of music and performing arts lecturer Gareth Williams is the live performance’s technical producer and recording engineer.
Over COVID-19, husband-and-wife duo Gareth and Ulagh have produced quite a few digital arts packages curated by the college’s division of arts, tradition and heritage. In addition they lead the Two Tone band, a number of of whose members function in Isisusa.
Not like many on-line exhibits, Williams promised it will stay on the college’s YouTube channel “indefinitely for all to get pleasure from at their leisure” – freed from cost.
The Isisusa Jazz Fest will probably be broadcast freed from cost on the College’s YouTube channel at 19:00 on Friday 27 November.