The 2021 Standard Bank Jazz Festival Makhanda is defined by an exciting programme of world-class jazz musicians performing in a rare and accessible context alongside the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival (SBNYJF). This unique developmental part of the festival brings an annual gathering of about 400 young musicians buoyed by dreams and a commitment to their talents. Customarily, the SBNYJF comprises a series of life-changing workshops and rigorous auditions.
This year it was important to find a way (even during this time of social distancing) for these young musicians from across the country to pursue their dreams and for the first time for the SBNYJF, auditions were held online with participants submitting videos of themselves to a panel of judges.
The best among these young musicians are selected into the yearly constituted band, the Standard Bank Youth Jazz Band (SBNYJB), which will this year be conducted by multi-award-winning, producer, pianist, and composer, Nduduzo Makhathini.
The Standard Bank National School’s Jazz Band (SBNSJB) will be conducted by one of Cape Town’s most sought-after session bassists, and highly regarded jazz educator, Shaun Johannes who is also an alumnus of the SBNYJF programme. The school’s jazz band has been reduced to a smaller version in keeping with Covid-19 safety protocols.
Along with these two flagship performances by the Youth and Schools Jazz Bands, the festival will showcase performances by youth bands from Sweden, Brazil, Spain, UK and elsewhere. Another treat presentation not to be missed is a collaborative performance with Berklee school of music.
“It is always refreshing to see young people participate in the jazz genre through the Standard Bank Youth Jazz Band (SBNYJB) and the Standard Bank National School’s Jazz Band (SBNSJB) programmes. It gives us such great pleasure to know that through our support of the arts we are enabling these young musician’s dreams to come true and that through them, the heritage of the jazz will continue to live on for years to come” says Standard Bank Head of Sponsorship and Events, Desiree Pooe.
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