4 June 2012

South Africa: Young Jazz

Seven young soloists, four professional musicians in an ensemble, two-and-a-half hours of jazz; a full house at Artscape, a great deal of talent - an evening of enthusiastic appreciation and enjoyment.

The Youth Jazz Festival is in its 10th year and took a different format this year. Soloists auditioned to perform with the band, consisting of Andrew Ford on piano, Kevin Gibson on drums, and Wesley Rustin on double bass. Ian Smith on trumpet was director and conductor. These four musicians provided a wonderful base of music and mentoring to showcase the talents of the young artists.

Adele Wyngaard, Marce Underwood and Whitney Olivier each sang two numbers and each vocalist impressed with their uniqueness, range and fluency. I was particularly impressed by Whitney Olivier's Feeling Good, especially given that she is only 17. Angelo Panizza performed creditably, despite appearing nervous and despite only four years of piano tuition. Lindelo Mangesi on tenor sax was beautifully cool and competent. The two guitarists, Brendon Hendricks on bass, and Mark Williams brought style and showmanship to the stage. In short, the seven soloists shone.

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