- Title: South African youth fine tune music skills with Jazz maestro, Wynton Marsalis
- Date: 8th October 2019
- Summary: MARSALIS PLAYING / AUDIENCE SINGING ALONG
- Embargoed: 22nd October 2019 09:07
- Keywords: Wynton Marsalis jazz aspiring musicians South Africa music
- Location: SOWETO, SOUTH AFRICA
- City: SOWETO, SOUTH AFRICA
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Music
- Reuters ID: LVA003B08LF89
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Jazz lovers and aspiring musicians recently packed into a social hall in Soweto, South Africa to watch American Grammy-winning trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and his 15-strong Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) play ahead of a Jazz festival in the country.
Marsalis and his band performed to an audience of schools and ensembles and taught the audience about basics of jazz performance, in an interactive session.
The 57-year-old says likes to teach youth jazz in order to combat harmful messages including drug abuse and early sexualisation that are rampant in commercial mainstream music.
"Jazz teaches you to be yourself and it gives you confidence, and it allows you to not be a person who is in a market. It allows you to be in a much larger group and it also encourages you to maturity. Jazz does not look at you as if it's trying to sell something to you. It's trying to tell you something, communicate with you in a very honest and open way, and it includes many people," he said.
The musician started teaching jazz to students in his hometown, New Orleans when he was 18-years-old.
Marsalis has since gone on to hold jazz lessons at schools throughout the US, earning him the nickname "Professor of Swing",.
"I heard so many elementary school bands like early in the morning. Sometimes I see a person that comes with 'come, come talk to our band, you know. We we meet at six o'clock.' I mean six o'clock! You know, I'mma be in the club until two, two thirty, but if you call me I'mma come. They would call me somebody's momma or somebody would call me five thirty, 'come to our school'. And in the early years I would go call schools and ask them if they wanted music, especially the black schools. They no, 'we don't want the music'. So I would talk to them and convince them they want the music and I would come and do it. And then I became known for doing it," said Marsalis.
The musician has worked with acts as diverse as Sarah Vaughn, Dizzy Gillespie and Eric Clapton, and has won a Pulitzer Prize for music and numerous Grammys for jazz and classical albums, including one for best spoken word album for children.
"I've been listening to Wynton for a long time. So, he's one of our jazz heroes. So to finally see him uh face to face and be able to talk to him, it's a mindblowing," said aspiring musician, Dakalo Rambou.
"Jazz I enjoy how free it is. And like you have the freedom to express yourself. Like, there's so much space to be you and put yourself into the music and the way you're playing. The complexity behind how you play, but then they still make it sound so simple, like, when they reach that level of mastery," said Kyle Allens.
Marsalis who has dedicated his career to promoting jazz music has produced over 80 records which have sold world-wide. He has also done collaborations with various international artists including Ghanaian master drummer Yacub Addy.
(Production: Siyabonga Sishi and Naledi Mashishi)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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