Search for next big muso ends twice as nice

CityPress - - News - LER­ATO MORO­TOLO ler­ato.moro­[email protected]­

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

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