This year marks the 44th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising, known today as Youth Day. The 16th of June 1976 was the beginning of a movement that saw scores of young people take to the streets in a bid to challenge the unjust systems of the time. Now as we commemorate this significant day, what better way to do so than doing our bit towards uplifting the youth of our country?
Here are some of the youth-focused initiatives that you can take part in to help empower our young people.
Feenix is an online fundraising platform that connects students with funders who are passionate about supporting the future of South Africa. As the only NPO initiative in the country that pays for the historical debt of students, Feenix aims to achieve debt-free graduation for students.
DG Murray Trust
The DG Murray Trust empowers the future of South Africa by focusing on a range of opportunities for young people. These include giving every child the benefit of early childhood development, stopping nutritional stunting among children under the age of two, creating job opportunities for the youth, and many other ways.
This organisation has made a big impact on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and continues to drive change in reproductive, maternal, and child health. mother2mothers ’ services also include early childhood development and youth programmes.
Foundation for Community Work
With the aim to make early childhood development accessible to all children in rural areas across South Africa, FCW promotes the holistic development of children within the context of their families and communities.
South African Children’s Institute
The UCT’s Children’s Institute aims to report on and monitor the situation of children in South Africa, with a keen focus on the realisation of their rights.
Bright Kid Foundation
This early childhood development centre delivers edutainers to selected preschools in rural areas and informal settlements. Bright Kid Foundation also provides learning facilities and equipment such as instant classrooms, books, and educational toys.
Junior Achievement South Africa
With technology, robotics, and programming as its focus areas, JA South Africa provides entrepreneurial and life skills to youth in both rural and urban environments.
Columbia Leadership offers a values-based leadership development programme at the secondary school level, to create environments more conducive to teaching and learning and to unleash the potential of young people.
Artisan Training Institute
The Artisan Training Institute is making an immense difference in the technical training environment by providing engineering skills to young people in the country.
Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme
With the aim of fast-tracking South Africa’s skills production , ISFAP funds higher education costs for students studying towards a career in fields such as medicine, engineering, accounting, and others.
Ntataise Lowveld is a non-profit organisation that operates in the Mpumalanga Lowveld area, with a focus on early childhood development. The organisation provides training and support for community early childhood development practitioners to obtain an NQF level 4 Training Certificate. A total of 98 youth practitioners were trained in 2019.
With the goal to assist youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to get the skills required to increase chances of employment, Harambe is a non-profit organisation that has placed young people in over 110 000 in jobs.
Allan Gray Orbis Foundation
Through a wealth of programmes, this foundation is committed to cultivating an association of high-impact entrepreneurs to help change the unemployment rate in South Africa.
Using learning groups, collaboration with other organisations, and by creating and sharing knowledge resources, BRIDGE focuses on improving the quality of teaching and learning. With five focus areas in education, BRIDGE creates common purpose, peer support, and trust.
Founded in 2000, Ububele focuses on improving the emotional development and wellbeing of children under 7 years. The organisation provides a range of services to infants in their first 1000 days as well as to their caregivers. Ububele also provides training to health care and social service professionals to contribute to the educational outcomes of children in their earliest years.
Due to the inequality of educational opportunities in South Africa, IkamvaYouth focuses on creating a safe space for students to learn after class. After school classes include a range of services with a core focus on tutoring.
Do you know of any change-making organisations that we all need to know about? Let us know in the comments below.
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You know your favourite spot on the couch? That blanket you only pull out for snuggles during the winter chill? Sipping on something warm, the best of times? Add them all to your agenda for this year’s Standard Bank Jazz Festival because this time, we’re bringing the concert to you.
The Standard Bank Jazz Festival Makhanda will bring musicians and fans together for an innovative virtual music experience to help sustain and connect the local and global music community during these unprecedented times. The festival forms part of the National Arts Festival which earlier this year announced the move to present a virtual arts festival.
Arguably the musicians’ favourite festival, is known for its ambitious collaborations across styles, continents and generations and manages to attract year-after-year serious musicians to a small magical corner of South Africa – Makhanda, nestled in the belly of the Eastern Cape. Whilst the festival has found itself in a position where it has had to reimagine live performances in the time of a pandemic, the festival has responded in a way that shows grit and commitment to still delivering an exceptional experience for its fans.
Kickstarting on the 25 th June 2020, the Festival will boast a star-studded line-up with a mix of international and local artists exploring digital and virtual platforms to bring audiences jazz in a completely reimagined way.
The line-up includes – Jacob Collier, Sisonke Xonti, Ami Faku, Thandiswa Mazwai,
Mi Casa, Gloria Bosman, Spha Mdlalose, Sakhile Simani, Swing City, Ramon Alexander, Vuma Levin, Linda Sikhakhane, Ziza Muftic, Michael Bester, Lana Crowster, Mete Erker & Jeroen van Vliet
Standard Bank cardholders qualify for a discount of 20% when using a valid Standard Bank debit, cheque or credit card. The discount is applicable to online purchases only. This offer will be available for a limited time and is subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply. Bookings open on 18 June: www.nationalartsfestival.co.za
Be sure to follow us on social media for all the updates:
Twitter: @StandardBankArt #vNAF2020 #JazzReimagined #ItCanBe
Instagram: Standard Bank Arts
Standard Bank Virtual Jazz Festival
25 June to 5 July
Produced by Eastern Cape Jazz Promotions
Thursday 25 June
Moves effortlessly from gritty township jazz to soulful gospel grooves.
Born in Umlazi, vocalist Spha Mdlalose has carved a successful musical career for herself, having worked with the likes of Sibongile Khumalo, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Abigail Kubeka and international pop stars like Josh Groban and Israel Houghton. Her debut album, Indlel’eyekhaya – “my way home” – is about home: the longing for it, appreciation of it, and also the doubts about home. While our current political, economic, and social climates feel in turmoil, Mdlalose reminds us that through art, we can pause, reflect and recall that what ultimately matters is the people we are lucky to create homes with.
Spha Mdlalose (voice), Linda Sikhakhane (sax), Sthembiso Bhengu (trumpet), Keenan Ahrends (guitar), Thandi Ntuli (piano), Thembinkosi Mavimbela (bass), Sphelelo Mazibuko (drums)
Friday 26 June
2020 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz – Sisonke Xonti
Urban, erudite, international and skilled, but rooted in his culture
This year’s Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Jazz, Sisonke Xonti, represents the new face of South African jazz – urban, erudite, international and skilled, but rooted in his culture. Known as one of South Africa’s most prolific young talents on the tenor sax, he straddles multiple South African worlds: he received a formal musical education and was elected thrice for the Standard Bank National Schools’ Big Band and twice for the Youth Band, but simultaneously spent weekends in the culturally-rich communities of kwaLanga and Gugulethu, being immersed in the sounds, rhythms and musical experiences that have shaped his cultural identity. A law degree at UCT didn’t keep him from performing with an array of highly-acclaimed musicians such as Jimmy Dludlu, Lira, Hugh Masekela, Judith Sephuma, Feya Faku, Freshlyground, Abdullah Ibrahim, Goodluck, Simphiwe Dana, Bombshelter Beast and also as a bandleader in his own jazz project. His debut album Iyonde received critical acclaim and he has played at most major South African festivals as well as in Nigeria, China, Mozambique, Angola, Reunion Islands, Switzerland, Dubai, and many other countries. He presents two very different SBYA performances – that reflect his eclectic music interest that spans the spectrum of jazz in South Africa – as part of this year’s (online) festival.
SBYA I – Sisonke Xonti (sax), Keenan Ahrends (guitar), Bokani Dyer (piano), Shane Cooper (bass), Sphelelo Mazibuko (drums), Keorapetse Kolwane (voice)
Friday, 26 June
Sakhile Simani: People of My Community
Paying homage to his cultural roots, while propelling the jazz art form forward.
“My instrument is my voice,” says Mdantsane trumpeter Sakhile Simani, “and my project is called “People of My Community”, bringing light where there’s darkness. People in my community have lost faith, hope, and love, and the music I write brings candles of light to them.” This young talent boasts everything that is fresh and exciting about South African’s youthful jazz scene: he began trumpet in the Salvation Army Brass Band at a very young age, earning his way to a degree in Jazz from UKZN, and he was a member of the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band from 2009 to 2011. A prolific collaborator, this performance gives him a chance to highlight his original material, fused with the sounds and traditional hymns from his Eastern Cape community.
Sakhile Simani (trumpet), Bokani Dyer (piano), Nhlanhla Radebe (bass), Tumi Mogorosi (drums)
Saturday 27 June
4 Grammys by the age of 25!
If Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had been born in 1994, with the full range of the modern world’s musical styles, instruments, and technology, how would we have described the result? We would call it Jacob Collier! Mozart astonished his musical contemporaries with the obvious ease with which he mastered his instrument and, from the age of 5, composed so effortlessly that the rules of harmony were reconfigured to copy him. It all just seemed impossible. When we look back at our present period, this young Londoner is going to stand out in similar fashion, while Jacob’s childlike enthusiasm, vivaciousness, and humanity have endeared him to his peers and millions of enraptured followers. The world has watched in astonishment since the advent of Jacob’s first self-made videos, produced in his bedroom when he was 17, brought attention to this musical phenomenon. His mastery of the piano, strung and percussion instruments and mesmerising vocal ability is just the start; his compositions, harmonisations, and reharmonizations indicate the enormous depth of musical understanding, recognised early by his mentor Quincy Jones and encouraged and embraced by the likes of Herbie Hancock. Two Grammys at the age of 22; another two this year – we expect a lifetime of accolades. A digital natural, Jacob mixes and produces his own audio and videos, all under the amazing internet gaze of the world – we can actually watch how our Mozart does it!
Saturday, 27 June
Gloria Bosman – Beyond Talent Ensemble
Vocal star Gloria Bosman teams up with the sensational AusTebza
With a long list of accolades, including Standard Bank Young Artist Award, two SAMAs, two KORA nominations, and eleven SAMA nominations, Gloria Bosman has earned her status as one of South Africa’s most celebrated singers. She features here with the Beyond Talent Ensemble, a group that focuses on creating a dynamic mentorship between up-coming artists and fully established ones, ensuring continuity and longevity within the jazz fraternity. Jointly spearheaded by Bosman and the vibrant, energetic bassist and vocalist extraordinaire, AusTebza (‘the Groove Queen’), the Beyond Talent Ensemble promises to be a musical journey enjoyed by those who love and treasure traditional and contemporary Jazz.
Gloria Bosman (voice, guitar), Titi Luzipo (voice), Pebble Mambane (piano), Austebza (voice, bass), Bernice Boikanyo (drums)
Sunday 28 June
Three of SA’s best-loved singers pay tribute to the Swing tradition
Swing City features three of South Africa’s best-loved singers backed by a thunderous jazz band. Their sound is hip and fresh, yet pays due respect to the jazz traditions of old. Swing City consists of Lonehill Estate’s Nathan Ro, whose love for swing music has always been deeply entrenched; Graeme Watkins, whose background in music and theatre started as a swing singer long before his success on Idols or in his indie rock band The Graeme Watkins Project; and Loyiso Bala, with classical training in music and a modern transformation as part of the TZKee crew and the Bala brothers.
Loyiso Bala (voice), Nathan Ro (voice), Graeme Watkins (voice), Justin Holcroft (sax), Neil Engel (trumpet), Bez Roberts (trombone), David Cousins (piano), Amaeshi Ikechi (bass - NG), Justin Badenhorst (drums)
Sunday, 28 June
A leading exponent of Cape Jazz
Ramon Alexander grew up in the small community of Mamre, surrounded by the brassy sounds of Moravian hymns and the legacy of Khoisan music. He first studied wine-making but his jazz-musician-by-night identity dominated and, since being selected as pianist for the Standard Bank National Youth Big Band in 2004 he’s released three albums and performs regularly at international festivals such as the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Borneo International Jazz Festival as well a recent residency at No Black Tie Jazz Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. "Ramon Alexander is a breath of fresh air,'' writes Jai-jai Jackson of The Jazz Network Worldwide, “he takes you on a musical journey creating a landscape of rhythmic interplay that showcases his legacy and heritage". He has become an important curator of Cape Jazz, threading his original compositions through with the sounds of his Cape identity.
Ramon Alexander (piano), Byron Abrahams (sax), Valentino Europa (bass), Annemie Nel (drums)
Monday 29 June
Vuma Levin - Antique Spoons
One of South Africa’s most promising guitarists and composers
According to the Mail & Guardian, “Vuma Levin is destined to be one of South Africa’s greatest musicians”. Levin has been receiving significant accolades in local and international circles, and it’s easy to see why. “A thoughtful, intelligent improviser and bandleader, Levin is also a highly thought-provoking composer, one intent on exploring the music’s role in commenting on and shaping societal discourse” (All About Jazz). With a Master’s Degree in Jazz Guitar Performance from the Conservatorium of Amsterdam (cum laude), his fourth album as a bandleader is Antique Spoons: Chapters on Love, Loss, and the Politics of Memory. Having absorbed various cultural experiences, his music is a fitting blend of the sparse introspective qualities of the European musical tradition, the accessibility of popular music, and the upbeat playfulness of South African music. The result is a sonic journey through Levin’s hopes and fears, both as a musician and a South African.
Vuma Levin (guitar), Sisonke Xonti (sax), Bokani Dyer (piano), Romy Brauteseth (bass), Peter Auret (drums)
Tuesday 30 June
Linda Sikhakhane’s IsaMbulo
Skillful, powerful and soulful
Saxophonist Linda Sikhakhane was born in Umlazi and began his musical studies with Brian Thusi and Khulekani Bhengu at Siyakhula, studying formally thereafter at UKZN. Endowed with obvious talent, which is matched by his equally impressive work ethic, Sikhakhane won the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship for Jazz Instrumentalists in 2016 and relocated to New York in 2017 where he enrolled at the New School University. He has played with many leading South African artists and is now based in Johannesburg, having brought out his debut album in 2017, and is becoming a leading and much-booked young jazz voice in the country.
Linda Sikhakhane (sax), Ndabo Zulu (trumpet), Afrika Mkhize (piano), Benjamin Jephta (bass), Sphelelo Mazibuko (drums), Gontse Makhene (perc)
Wednesday 1 July
One of South Africa's fastest-rising Afro-soul stars.
Supernova Ami Faku is one of South Africa's fastest rising stars. Her music, which she calls "modern Afro-soul," blends soul with modern pop and traditional Afro-soul sensibilities. Be it on a ballad or over a house beat, the adaptable Eastern Cape-born artist maintains all her traits and soul. Armed with an exceptional ability to create classic hit singles across multiple genres, the singer-songwriter dominated radio airplay in 2019 with Pop, House, Dance, Afro-Soul and Hip-Hop singles. Her debut album Imali was received with critical acclaim and landed her the coveted feature as Apple Music's New Artist Spotlight for the month of October, following in the footsteps of Sho Madjozi, Simmy, Tellaman and Shekhinah. The album also debuted at number one on Apple Music (ZA).
Ami Faku (voice), KG Daniel Chuene (guitar), Simangaliso Nkosi (keyboard), Earl Baartman (bass), Lungile Kunene (drums)
Thursday 2 July
Ziza Muftic: Shining hour
Balkan rhythms, thoughtful lyrics, and jazz-infused melodies
“Ziza is a storyteller, rather than a predictable, by-the-numbers ‘jazz’ singer”, writes esteemed jazz journalist Gwen Ansell. Raised in Croatia, and a South African for the past three decades, Ziza’s sound is a unique blend of Eastern European folk tunes mixed with American and South African jazz styles. Shining Hour, her second album, echoes Johnny Mercer’s My Shining Hour, a song of hope and high expectations and as she handpicks from known songs and her own compositions Ziza presents a repertoire that’s both diverse and accessible, making connections with her listeners while simultaneously offering something new and inventive.
Ziza Muftic (voice), Sydney Mnisi (sax), Roland Moses (piano), Peter Sklair (bass), Peter Auret (drums)
Friday 3 July
Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz – Sisonke Xonti
Urban, erudite, international and skilled, but rooted in his culture
This year’s Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Jazz, Sisonke Xonti, represents the new face of South African jazz – urban, erudite, international and skilled, but rooted in his culture. Known as one of South Africa’s most prolific young talents on the tenor sax, he straddles multiple South African worlds: he received a formal musical education and was elected thrice for the Standard Bank National Schools’ Big Band and twice for the Youth Band, but simultaneously spent weekends in the culturally-rich communities of kwaLanga and Gugulethu, being immersed in the sounds, rhythms and musical experiences that have shaped his cultural identity. A law degree at UCT didn’t keep him from performing with an array of highly-acclaimed musicians such as Jimmy Dludlu, Lira, Hugh Masekela, Judith Sephuma, Feya Faku, Freshlyground, Abdullah Ibrahim, Goodluck, Simphiwe Dana, Bombshelter Beast and also as a bandleader in his own jazz project. His debut album Iyonde received critical acclaim and he has played at most major South African festivals as well as in Nigeria, China, Mozambique, Angola, Reunion Islands, Switzerland, Dubai, and many other countries. He presents two very different SBYA performances – that reflect his eclectic music interest that spans the spectrum of jazz in South Africa - as part of this year’s (online) festival.
SBYA II - Sisonke Xonti (sax), Sakhile Simani (trumpet), Yonela Mnana (piano), Benjamin Jephta (bass), Sphelelo Mazibuko (drums), Tlale Makhene (percussion)
Friday, 3 July
Skilled, cosmopolitan guitarist offering his debut album.
Michael Bester studied jazz at UCT and holds a Master's Degree in Contemporary Music Performance and Production from Berklee, Valencia, Spain. He was the SAMRO scholarship award winner for jazz instrumentalists in 2008, which led to a period of jazz studies in New York City, and in 2013 he won a SAFTA (South African Film and Television Award) for Best Film Soundtrack. He has written and performed as a session musician on most major SA music festivals and TV shows and performs regularly with his own quartet and other well-known bands. His debut album - all original compositions - entitled Now, Not Yet has been met with critical acclaim and he presents his music here with a fresh young Cape Town sound.
Michael Bester (guitar), Buddy Wells (sax), Kingsley Buitendag (piano), Stephen de Souza (bass), Lumanyano Mzi (drums)
Saturday 4 July
Defying categorisation, her sound incorporates African Traditional, Jazz, Afrosoul, and House.
Thandiswa Mazwai – ‘King Tha’ - began her career in 1998 with the pioneering Kwaito band Bongo Maffin, and after six award-winning albums, she ventured into a solo career. Her first project - Zabalaza (2004) - reached double-platinum status and won numerous awards including a Kora award for Best African Female Artist and four South African Music Awards. Her critically-acclaimed second album, Ibokwe (2009), reached gold status within weeks of release, and Belede (2016) is a collection of reinterpretations of legendary South African jazz and protest anthems from the 1950s and 1960s golden era. Her music defies categorisation and reflects elements of African Traditional, Jazz, Afrosoul, and House. The Guardian called her "South Africa's finest female contemporary singer" and Thandiswa has performed all over the world at venues including the FIFA 2010 World Cup Opening Ceremony, the Apollo Theatre, Womex, The Cannes Film Festival, BBC World Music Awards, and several Mandela 46664 concerts.
Saturday, 4 July
Late-Night Album Launch - Lana Crowster
A versatile, vivacious vocalist who is lyrically rich and sonically compelling
Lana Crowster is a singer, songwriter, producer, bandleader, and music educator based in Cape Town. She started singing at the age of 2 and began her career in performance at the tender age of 6. A couple of decades later, and armed with a BMus and Diploma in Jazz Performance from UCT, Lana is one of Cape Town’s most sought-after performers. She sings all styles - she featured in the first season of The Voice, has performed on major festival stages, collaborates widely, and provided ethereal vocal landscapes for the award-winning feature film documentary Sidney & Friends. Her 2014 EP of original material - Seasons - saw her mixing her love of Jazz, Neo-Soul, R&B, House and Hip-Hop to create a sound that is as diverse and original as her personality. Lana founded South Africa’s first professional all-woman big band, the Lady Day Big Band, which was created with the aim of social upliftment through music and the normalisation of the view of women as musicians, and she is an advocate for music education and the empowerment of young artists.
Lana Crowster (voice), Raiven Hansmann (sax), Claire Röntsch (sax), Amanda Tiffin (keyboard), Michael Bester (guitar), Shaun Johannes (bass), Keagan Links (drums)
Sunday 5 July
Everyone’s favourite urban house band. In your living room!
Since their inception, Mi Casa has taken South African audiences by storm. The live soulful dance trio combines live horns, vocals, and keys with deep soulful grooves to create an energy on stage like no other. Since 2010 Mi Casa has dominated charts in South Africa with a total of 8 number one singles which included their smash hits Jika and Don’t Wanna Be Your Friend, both of which went multi-platinum and were the most-played songs on national and continental radio platforms. The trio has hosted countless sold-out shows in 31 African countries as well as in Portugal, the UK, Netherlands, Italy, and Canada.
J'Something (vocal), Mo-T (trumpet), Dr Duda (producer & keyboard), Tshepo Tsotetsi (sax), Neo Mogotsi (trombone)
Sunday, 5 July
Mete Erker & Jeroen van Vliet (Netherlands)
Consummately-skilled Dutch duo
Saxophonist Mete Erker and pianist Jeroen van Vliet first met as students in 1991 and have decades of musical partnership in various ensembles, including this beautiful duo. Both are consummately-skilled musicians who play in a surprisingly wide range of musical styles and are highly regarded around the world. In this duo their music is hyper-interactive and poetic, a showcase of exciting improvisations and beautiful songs. Mete Erker is a saxophonist with a very personal approach to music whose playing is characterised by his beautiful clear tone and a combination of raw energy and lyricism. Jeroen, 2014 winner of the prestigious Dutch Boy Edgar Prijs and contributor as leader or sideman to close to 50 albums, brings energy and agility to match.
Mete Erker (sax - NL), Jeroen van Vliet (piano - NL)
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In the time of physical distancing, art is a connector – a reminder that we’re still whole and still united regardless of what we face – and luckily digital channels allow us to bring our audience into the world of art.
Standard Bank has embarked on a journey to bring respite to many South Africans through art and entertainment during the times of COVID -19.
For the next few weeks fans will be able to livestream their favourite Standard Bank Young Artist as they perform in their studios, at their homes and on their stages as part of a new initiative, Home Studio. #SBHomeStudio
Stay informed by connecting with Standard Bank Arts:
Instagram: Standard Bank Arts
Live performances will be streamed on: Standard Bank Arts Facebook Live and Standard Bank South Africa You Tube at 8pm.
The artist line-up will include but is not limited to:
Shane Cooper – 16 th April
Shane Cooper is a bassist, composer and producer based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is part of the new wave of South African Jazz artists pushing the music forward, and is also known for his work in the electronic/dance music world, as well as commissioned works for films and theatre. In 2013 he was selected as the Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz in South Africa. In 2014 Oscillations won the South African Music Award (SAMA) for Best Jazz Album. The projects he is currently involved in are MABUTA, the Kyle Shepherd Trio, the Reza Khota Quartet, Skyjack, a new quartet with Benedikt Reising, Thandi Ntuli and Paul Amereller, as well as his electronic music alias Card On Spokes. In the past he has also performed and/or recorded with artists like Zim Ngqawana, Lionel Loueke, Shabaka Hutchings, Talvin Singh, Feya Faku, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Malcolm Braff, Nils Berg, Soweto Kinch, Afrika Mkhize, Spoek Mathambo, Nonku Phiri, Young Fathers, Ndabo Zulu’s album produced by Derrick Hodge, and Daedelus’ 2019 album released on Flying Lotus’ label Brainfeeder. As a composer for film Shane has written music for the award-winning documentaries Forerunners by Simon Wood, Orbis by Simon Wood, Port Nolloth: Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Felix Seuffert, and produced the recording of the score by Kyle Shepherd for the award winning feature film Noem My Skollie.
Thandi Ntuli – 23 rd April
Standard Bank Young Artist for 2018 was born in one of South Africa's largest townships, Soshanguve (Pretoria). She comes from a lineage of rich musical heritage, being the niece of guitarist, pianist and lead vocalist of 70's pop fusion band Harari (The Beaters), Selby Ntuli. At the tender age of 4, she started taking classical piano lessons under the tutelage of Ada Levkowitz. However, her keen interest for jazz was only kindled later in life, leading her to enrol and complete a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance at The University of Cape Town. Since the release of her debut jazz album, "The Offering" which she released independently, Thandi is fast making an imprint in the local jazz scene with her unique voice. Other projects she has worked in include those led by singer songwriter Neo Muyanga, American steel-pannist Andy Narell (USA), vocalist Thandiswa Mazwai, The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, a collaboration with singer, rapper and producer Georgia Anne Muldrow (USA), LA rap duo “Harriett” (US) which consists of emcees/poets Damani Nkosi & IllCamille, Shabaka Hutchings (UK) with his latest project with The Ancestors “We Are Sent Here By History”, with DJ and producer QB Smith (UK), SirLSG and the collaborative band, Rebirth of Cool, which experiments with jazz and hip hop and features the renowned selector, Kenny "DJKenzhero" Nzama on the decks.
Benjamin Jephta – 07 th May
Bassist and composer Benjamin Jephta (26) has made a name for himself as one of South Africa’s premier double and electric bass players. A graduate of the jazz program at the University of Cape Town in 2013 he has performed both nationally and internationally since the age of 14 and he has worked with notable South African jazz musicians including Hugh Masekela, Sibongile Khumalo and many others. With two albums as a bandleader, multiple award nominations and wins, Jephta, the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans list recipient also received the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz award in 2017. Benjamin regularly sessions with various South African hip-hop and pop artists, as well as on TV programs including The Voice SA, Dancing with the Stars SA and musical directs the ‘late night’ show The Bantu Hour on SABC 2. He is now based in New York City after graduating from The Berklee Global Jazz Institute in Boston, USA, with a Masters degree. He has since performed with Danilo Perez, Terri-lyne Carrington, Jason Palmer and Dianne Reeves among others.
The Young Artist Awards were established in 1981 by the National Arts Festival Committee to recognise and encourage exceptional talent amongst younger artists. The awards has recognised over 160 artists and Standard Bank has been a sponsor of these awards for the last 36 years.
Mark Fransman – 14 th May
Mark is a multi-award winning, multi-instrumentalist, singer, producer and songwriter who hails from Cape Town, South Africa. As a performing artist, Mark has performed with the likes of Pharoah Sanders, Hubert Laws, François Jeanneau, Soweto Kinch, Tony Sedras, Louis Moholo, René MClean, Finley Quaye, Zim Nqgwana, Hein Van De Geyn, Winston Mankunku and Sibongile Khumalo to mention a few. He has produced South African artists such as Jimmy Dlu Dlu, Moreira Chonguisa, Kesivan Naidoo, Melanie Scholtz, Strait & Narro, Emily Bruce, Gavin Minter, Tribe, Tina Schouw and Bronwyn Reddy.
Mark has performed on stages in Europe such as the Euro De Afrique Festival; the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague, Holland; the Swedish Jazz Celebration in Sweden, Stockholm; the Leipzig Jazz Festival; the Edge of Wrong Festival for improvised music in Øslo, Norway and the Finnmark Jazz Festival in Norway.Back in South Africa, he has frequented the stages of the North Sea Jazz Festival Cape Town/ Cape Town International Jazz Festival , Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festivals, National Arts festivals and Old Mutual Jazz festivals. Playing with artists such as Jimmy Dludlu, Zim Nqgwana, Musa Manzini, Gloria Bosman, Marcus Wyatt and Victor Masondo to mention a few.
He has recorded on albums with artists such as Tony Sedras, Errol Dyers, Steve Dyer, McCoy Mrubata, Tribe, Marcus Wyatt, Gavin Minter, Jimmy Dlu Dlu, Lisa Bauer, Amanda Tiffin, Bruce Muirhead, Gabi Leroux, Melanie Scholtz, Emily Bruce, Moreira Chonguisa, Ivan Mazuze and Kesivan Naidoo to name a few.
Mark was awarded the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award in 2008. Prior recipients of this award is the likes of Johnny Clegg and Sibongile Khumalo.
As a producer, Mark has been awarded two SAMA Awards South African Music Awards). This award is South Africa’s most covetedmusic award. In 2004, he won the Best Producer Award for Jimmy Dlu Dlu’s ‘Afrocentric’ and in 2007, he also won the Best Producer Award for Moreira Chonguisa’s ‘The Journey’. In recognition of Mark’s musicianship and talent, he was awarded Johnnie Walker’s ‘Musician of the year for 2004’. Has also won the UCT Adcock Ingram (Jazz) competition of 2000 for Jazz. Mark also has three years of musical theatre experience in the musicals ‘Poison’ and ‘Kat and the Kings’ (Both being a David Kramer/Taliep Petersen production), and received the FNB Vita Award for most outstanding performer in musical theatre 1995/96) for the latter.
Nduduzo Makhathini - 21 May 2020
Nduduzo Makhathini was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for jazz in 2015. He has produced 8 multi-award winning albums on 3 April he added his latest release Modes of Communication: Letters from the Underworlds through Blue Note Records.
He has performed at renowned festivals including the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz and the Essence Festival (in both New Orleans and South Africa), and in 2019 he made his debut appearance at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City, as well as at the Jazz at Lincoln Centre with Wynton Marsalis, where he was featured guest.
Now, he’ll take us all on a bespoke musical journey from his home to yours in his #SBHomeStudio performance.
Kyle Shepherd - 28 May
Kyle Shepherd will perform an intimate piano concert in his studio where he will talk about some of his music and also his work with arts luminaries such as Zim Ngqawana, Carlo Mombelli and William Kentridge among many others.
The 2014 Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Award winner for Jazz already has a well-established record of celebrated performances in South Africa, Europe, Asia and the USA. This virtuoso pianist has already released five (5) critically acclaimed albums in his young career. In 2014, he released two (2) albums, namely Dream State, a 21-track double album of his Trio which has received nominations for both the 2015 South African Music Award [SAMA] and a 2015 Metro FM Music Award in the Jazz Category, as well as his debut solo piano offering Into Darkness, recorded in Japan, which was launched with a tour in the South-East Asian country in 2014 that included a performance at the prestigious Tokyo Jazz Festival. Previous releases include fineART, A Portrait of Home & South African History !X, all of which also earned SAMA nominations.
Apart from South Africa, Shepherd has also performed in Japan, USA, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, France, Denmark, India, Malaysia, China, Swaziland, Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe, with notable concert appearances, either as a solo pianist or trio, quartet and other formats at Carnegie Hall (USA), Klavierhaus (USA), The Bird’s Eye Jazz Club (Switzerland), Jazzwerkstatt Festival Bern (Switzerland), Reformierte Dorfkirche Kleinhüningen (Switzerland), Klubschule St. Gallen (Switzerland), Der Sendesaal, (Germany), Hallenbad Kultur Am Schactweg, (Germany), The Tokyo Jazz Festival (Japan), Body & Soul Jazz Club (Japan), Shikiori (Japan), Kaho Gekijo Kabuki Theatre (Japan), Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord and L’Onde Théâtre et Centre d’art as part of the Festival d’Automne à Paris (France), The Aarhus Jazz Festival (Denmark), The Cape Town International Jazz Festival (South Africa), The Joy of Jazz Festival (South Africa), The National Arts Festival, Grahamstown (South Africa), Harare International Festival – HIFA (Zimbabwe),The Tianjin International Jazz Festival (China), No Black Tie (Malaysia), MICA (India), B-Flat (India) and The Gonsalves Mansion ‘Home of Jazz’ (India).
Melanie Scholtz / 4 June – Melanie currently resides in NYC and will be presenting her performance from there.
Melanie Scholtz is a South African born, award winning jazz singer and composer. Playing piano since the age of 5, she went on to study classical singing at the Eoan Group before completing an Opera Diploma Cum Laude at the University of Cape Town in 2000. Melanie has released 5 albums under her own name thus far as well as collaborating with many South African and international jazz artists.
In 2012, Melanie won all three prizes in the prestigious Jazz Revelations competition as part of the Jazz a Juan Festival held in Nice, France. She was invited to be part of the festival programme in 2013.
Melanie tours regularly to the Czech Republic and has also performed in Norway, France, Germany,Slovakia, Holland, Morocco, Portugal and Spain. She has been involved in the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown for the past 6 years as a performer and teacher as well as with the Artscape Youth Jazz programme since 2006. Melanie has also lectured at the University of Cape Town from 2004-2005. In 2010, Melanie was named the Standard Bank Young Artist for jazz and continues to be involved in upcoming projects and recordings involving other Young Artist Award recipients. She has also shared an impromptu duet with Bobby McFerrin during his show at Anjazz jazz festival in May 2011 and was also invited as part of the Joy of Jazz festival in Aug 2012, to guest with Kurt Elling.
In 2013, Melanie launched Freedom’s child. Freedom’s child is a collaborative project with iconic poet James Matthews marrying poetry and jazz. Also in 2013, Melanie released her full length solo offering, produced by Bokani Dyer called “Our Time”.
It has been said about Melanie Scholtz’s music that it is like a ‘best friend’ and listeners are always inspired by her musical honesty. This South African artist will continue to captivate listeners with her original and unique sound.
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As South Africans continue to face challenges in dealing with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are taking steps to provide some financial relief to some of our business and personal customers in the form of debt relief. We also encourage customers to consider digital banking as a preferred option to visiting a physical branch.
Debt relief for Small Enterprises and students
For our Small Enterprise customers (those with a turnover of less than R20 million) whose payments are up to date as at 31 March 2020, have been approved a 3 months payment holiday from 1 April to 30 June 2020 on their Business Loans. Repayment will be structured to capitalise on interest & fees. This is a an automatic adjustment later but there is an opt-out option. Click here for more information.
For our students we have also approved a payment holiday from 1 April to 30 June for our student loan customers who are studying full time. This will be at 0% interest and with zero fees. This is an automatic offer and no applications are required. Click here for more information.
Keeping everyone safe
The safety of our employees and customers is something that we care deeply about and we strongly encourage customers to use our suite of digital banking tools for their financial needs, whether this be from a personal or business perspective. Digital platforms provide an efficient, fast, safe and nearly instantaneous solution to many, if not all of your daily banking requirements, away from public spaces.
We encourage customers to manage account limits, make payments to local or international beneficiaries, settle traffic fines, download and send statements or apply for a personal loan from almost anywhere and at any time.
Some of the other digital features available to our clients include the options to:
Buy, send, store or spend foreign currency via the award-winning Shyft Forex App. The app’s features have been enhanced so that it is easier to track currency performance and movements.
Send money quickly and safely via Instant Money to 6 000 locations around the country and to anyone with a cellphone number.
Stay connected by accessing prepaid airtime, data and electricity via Standard Bank Internet Banking.
Increase contributions to an emergency fund, linked to an individual’s profile on the Standard Bank Mobile App.
Our digital products offer ease and convenience, no matter where the person is located, and replace the need to visit a physical branch. During times like these, digital, contact free banking will help clients to carry on with their personal and business lives without disruption. Meanwhile, business owners do not have to leave their operations to tend to the financial aspect of their business such as purchasing electricity, paying staff, taking out a loan or managing limits on credit cards.
Some of the digital features available to our business clients allow for business owners to:
Keep their business moving by accessing liquidity or working capital solutions. Small and Medium Enterprise clients can apply for and receive a business overdraft of up to R6 million within three minutes by applying online here.
Ensure the lights stay on and the water keeps running at their operations by accessing prepaid services from municipalities such as electricity (of up to R3 000) online here.
Set up an online arm of their enterprise, where clients can purchase stock through our SimplyBlu e-commerce set-up solution. Access business-focused savings accounts that help to grow cash and work towards securing the future stability of the business.
Our representatives at the call centre will always be available to assist customers should they require advice or have specific questions related to their financial needs. This will likely see a higher volume of calls at call centres, and we are preparing internal systems for this eventuality. We continue toclosely monitor developments on Covid-19 both locally and abroad to ensure precautionary health measures are in place for our employees, clients and all our stakeholders while ensuring business continuity remains uninterrupted.
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Tax free savings options were introduced in 2015 and provided taxpayers with a unique vehicle to save and grow tax free earnings. As the tax year draws to a close now is the time to consider whether you have made the maximum allowable contribution to your tax-free investment. Those who don’t yet hold a tax-free investment, but are sitting on additional money to save, can open one now and earn tax-free returns for the duration of your investment.
Know your limits Tax Free savings vehicles were launched in a bid to encourage South Africans to save more. Tax Free accounts allow for individuals to contribute up to a certain limit, in this case R36 000, and earn returns on the money invested, as the name suggests, tax free. Any contribution made to the Tax Free Investment (FTI) is exempt from tax on interest, dividends and capital gains. It is important to note however that there are limits on how much one can contribute per year and throughout their lifetime. Limits that have been set by government on Tax Free Savings accounts which currently sit at R36 000 per annum (up from R33 000 pa in 2019) with a R500 000 lifetime limit. The increased amount will be applicable for contributions made from 1 March 2020 – 28 Feb 2021. It is hoped that over time, the limits will be adjusted to support those who are looking to invest for the long term. For now, investors should resist the temptation to contribute more than the limits allow for. If you do exceed the contribution cap of R36 000 per annum, you will be penalised at 40% on your contributions over the allowed annual maximum. Beware the withdrawal
While the TFI structure allows for you to withdraw from your investment at any time, to truly reap the rewards of the offering means staying invested for the long term. The idea is that the investment vehicle is used to invest for the long term to allow for the magic of compounding to take place. The benefits of TFIs are best realised when keeping the investment out of sight and mind over a period of at least three years. When combining the impact of compounding over the long term coupled with the tax-efficiency of this product, it pays to invest for the long-haul. Investors are, however, entitled to a transfer of their tax-free savings from one provider to another. This change came about in 2018 so that an investor is able to switch between providers should they not be happy with their returns or the platform used, for example, without impacting their annual and lifetime contribution limits. Significant benefits Some ways to use your TFI could be to subsidise your retirement savings in a tax-efficient manner or to save for your child’s education. If you have contributed more than the deductable limits to your Retirement Annuity, for example, you can invest the extra funds into a TFI to avoid being taxed on the additional contributions to your RA. If you are using a TFI to save for your child’s education, and it is in their name, it is advisable to remain cognisant of exhausting their R500 000 lifetime limit by the time they come of age. While some may view this as a flaw in the system, it allows for your next of kin to invest a lump sum amount into another investment vehicle. Keep in mind over-contributions Over-contributing can lead to exceeding your annual contributions, which can lead to a penalty tax of 40%. For example, if in one tax year, a consumer invests R10 000 in an account with one provider and R30 000 in an account with another provider, he will have contributed R10 000 more than the annual limit. He will then be required to pay 40% tax on the excess R10 000 he has invested. Where do I start? The end of the tax year is the perfect time to re-visit your investment plan. It allows you the opportunity to ensure that you maximise on the benefits afforded by the tax deductions. At Standarad Bank’s asset management firm Melville Douglas, you can start your monthly contribution from as little as R500 per month or you can invest a lump sum of R10 000. Melville Douglas exists within the Standard Bank Group and manages investments across a wide range of mandates. Standard Bank also offers a tax-free savings account where you can start saving from R250, allowing you to get all the money you have invested returned to you without incurring any tax deductions when withdrawing, leaving you to enjoy every cent you have saved up the way you deserve.
If you need any assistance or financial advice, it would be advisable to reach out to your professional financial adviser who can help you make the most appropriate investment decision.
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If Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announces significant changes to individual taxes during his Budget speech on February 26 it could have wide-ranging implications for South Africa’s heavily burdened tax base. There are numerous actions which the Minister could take to bolster the state’s coffers, including a possible VAT increase, an increase in Personal Income Tax as well as Capital Gains Tax. Of course, tax increases, while driven by fiscal policy, have weighty economic implications, which I am sure the Minister and his team have considered extensively.
For investors, any increases or changes could have an impact on estate and financial planning moving forward. Here is how any one of these increases could impact you.
Value Added Tax:
In 2018 the tax charged on goods and services was increased from 14% to 15%. It’s uncertain whether another increase would be implemented but if it is it would mean an almost immediate increase in the cost of living which will impact any household’s financial plan. The point of departure for any financial plan is to determine the living standard of a person and his or her family. The living standard of a household drives a well-prepared budget for the family. Since VAT is a consumption tax, it will have a direct impact on the budgeting discipline of a household. One should re-visit your priorities, re-arrange, and start making tough decisions between what is necessary to have, and what is nice to have.
Personal Income Tax
I am sure the Minister will have looked at ways to adjust personal income brackets and even weighed up an increase on personal tax across the board. Currently the continuum of income tax ranges from 18% at the lower end to 45% and R532 041 of taxable income at the upper end. It’s difficult to see how government could justify a wholesale income tax increase but it is not impossible to see a rate hike to 46%, or perhaps a once off levy for persons in the top tax bracket. The marginal rate was much higher in earlier years. What is more a given, is that the necessary inflationary adjustments will not be made in the income tax brackets. It may also be far too optimistic to hope for an increase in the medical credits, and to a lesser extent age credits. To neutralise the effect of personal tax increases one must maximise on tax deductions, for instance contributions to retirement funds. These contributions will drastically reduce the effective rate of tax payable. Currently the taxpayer enjoys generous tax relief for contributions to a retirement fund, and since retirement is a definite goal in our journey through life, the full amount invested in a tax-free growth portfolio, will be of personal benefit one day. It is unlikely that the maximum tax-deductible amount will be increased, given the favourable tax relief we currently enjoy.
Capital Gains Tax
This is probably the one area where there is room for significant change. Government is under pressure from certain quarters to increase tax on the wealthy and taxing the gains made on the sale of assets could be where they make up some ground. It has been four years since we saw a significant increase in the capital gains inclusion rate. Initially the inclusion rate was 25%, and gradually increased to 40%. It is ironic that the original rate in 2001 was to allow for relief in inflationary growth of capital assets. Increasing the current 40% inclusion rate will pay lip service to the original intent and will be a serious factor to consider. Should the effective rate for capital gains be increased the popularity of tax-free investments, where no capital gains are paid upon maturity, will become much more attractive for the long term. The role of the financial planner and a suitable long-term investment strategy, aligned with a future lifestyle goal, will become important for the investor.
The idea of a Wealth Tax has been bandied since 2018 following the conclusion of the Davis Tax Committee. To date very few recommendations were incorporated, save for the curbing of the use of trust for estate duty saving purposes and an increase in the estate duty rate. However, the collections from estate duty was meagre. It will be interesting to see if some of the other recommendations will be considered, for example the estate duty relief for spousal bequest. Spousal bequests currently escape estate duty. Whatever the Minister announces on Wednesday South Africans will be impacted in some shape or form. There are immense pressures on his Department to cut costs and demonstrate responsible fiscal spending. This, however, must be weighed against the growing need for income to aid government in meeting its infrastructure, health, education and social welfare responsibilities. Investors, in fact all South Africans, would do well to tune in to the Minister’s speech to gauge the likely impact on themselves and their finances.
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