Search for next big muso ends twice as nice
A long nationwide search for the next big emerging jazz musicians culminated in five artists performing at Katzy’s in Rosebank on Tuesday night for the opportunity of a lifetime – a chance to be selected as the overall Emirates Pursuit of Jazz winner.
However, in a surprise development, not one but two musicians made it to the top with their unique and electrifying sounds.
Trombonist Siya Charles and bass guitarist Gally Ngoveni were selected as the joint winners of the competition. They will be performing at the Blue Note, one of New York’s most iconic jazz clubs, during the Winter Jazzfest NYC in January.
One of the three judges, Kaya FM host and well-known jazz aficionado, Brenda Sisane, explained the decision: “We had to think about what would work. We looked at the different ways in which the artists presented themselves, their talents and technical capacities. It was not easy to go for one and not the other, so we decided to throw a spin and select two winners to represent the two sides of things. We also took into consideration that women have to be recognised for their work: as musicians, as artists and as instrumentalists.”
The winners possess different, but equally impressive talents, representing an authentic South African jazz sound. Their performances have earned them professional recordings of their own singles, which will be aired on Kaya FM.
“We looked at issues of identity, issues of recognising where the artist comes from, and a sense of responsibility and consciousness of what they do. We also had to understand the platform they are going on to. A New York jazz festival is not child’s play,” Sisane added.
Charles, who was born in Fourways, Johannesburg, and grew up in Cape Town, said: “I’m inspired by classic, old-school and township jazz. Playing the trombone, sometimes when I’m nervous my throat just dries up and I find myself having to control the nerves so the sound can come up beautiful and free.”
Ngoveni, who was born in Giyani, Limpopo, is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and performer.
“I hope that in the near future, I will be able to reach out to young people who look up to me and who want to pursue a career in jazz music, especially from my community.”
Fouad Caunhye, regional manager of Emirates Southern Africa, said they were pleased with the outcome as it recognised diversity, gender and, more than anything, the talent in the country.
THE PRIDE OF GIYANI Multitalented Gally Ngoveni will perform in New York
WINDS OF CHANGE Trombonist Siya Charles at Katzy’s in Rosebank on Tuesday