South African jazz

South African jazz

South African jazz is, put most simply, the jazz music of South Africa, also called "African jazz" often.

As in the United States, South African jazz was strongly influenced by the music styles of the black population. That said influences from the US led to its formation. The first jazz in the country was done by a Dixieland band from New Orleans that came to the nation after World War I. In this period Queenstown would be an important point in the development of a South African jazz. Boet Gashe and William Mbali's Big Four were among the early jazz successes in South Africa, although both had relationship to the blues as well. Later the Jazz Maniacs entered the scene and mixed influences from Marabi music to Duke Ellington.

The 1950s saw an increasing bebop influence and also increasing restrictions by the Apartheid government. Still the decade saw the rise to prominence of Chris McGregor, Johnny Gertse, Makaya Ntoshoko Jonas Gwangwa, and others. A notable group from the period, and one of the most notable South African jazz groups of all time, was The Jazz Epistles. It featured trumpeter Hugh Masekela and saxophonist Kippie Moeketsi. The South African tour of American John Mehegan gave more interest to this music in the wider world.

The 1960s brought a considerable decline as many musicians were forced or chose to leave the South African government because of political repression. This would be true of Dollar Brand (aka Abdullah Ibrahim) and his wife, singer Sathima Bea Benjamin. Many of these musicians died in exile, but Louis Moholo was one exception. That said, jazz did survive in this period with singers like Abigail Kubheka and Thandi Klaasen; Cape Jazz musicians Robbie Jansen and Hotep Idris Galeta; and others

The end of apartheid has brought a revival of jazz music, but various social and economic issues of the country remain a concern.


*Cape Jazz

Notable South African jazz musicians not mentioned above:

Individuals [ [ South African jazz segment of National Geographic's World Music site] ]

*Suthukazi Arosi-Singer and actress, also does Pop.
*Banzai Bangani-Composer and trumpeter.
*Ronnie Beer-Flautist and saxophonist.
*Jonathan Butler-Guitarist, also does Rhythm and blues.
*Basil Coetzee-Saxophonist.
*Johnny Dyani-Composer and double bassist.
*Mongezi Feza-Composer, trumpet player, and flutist.
*Paul Hanmer-Composer and pianist.
*Moses Khumalo-Saxophonist.
*Madala Kunene-Guitarist.
*Allen Kwela-Guitarist.
*Early Mabuza-Drummer.
*Sammy Maritz-Bassist.
*Dorothy Masuka-Singer born in Zimbabwe, moved to South Africa at twelve.
*Tete Mbambisa-Composer, pianist, singer.
*Harry Miller-Composer and bassist.
*Pops Mohamed-Producer, multiple instruments.
*Dennis Mpali-Trumpeter.
*McCoy Mrubata-Saxophonist and flautist.
*Nikele Moyake-Saxophonist.
*Moses Taiwa Molelekwa-Pianist.
* Sipho Gumede - bass guitaristist
*Christopher Columbus Ngcukana-Saxophonist.
*Concord Nkabinde-bass guitar player.
*Zim Ngqawana-Composer, flautist and saxophonist.
*Dudu Pukwana-Composer, saxophonist, and pianist.
*Barney Rachebane-Saxophonist.
*Deepak Ram-South African/Indian flautist currently in London.
*Lucky Ranku-Guitarist.
*Judith Sephuma-Singer, also does Afro-pop.
*Phillip Tabane-Composer and guitarist.
*Mabi Thobejane-Drummer.
*Marcus Wyatt-Composer, trumpeter, and producer.
*Andile Yenana-Pianist.
* Tony Schilder - Pianist.
* Kolosa Qomoyi - Bongo Drums.


*The Blue Notes

Web sources

* [ All About Jazz article]
* [ Jazz in exile from South African info]
* [ South African Jazz, Rhythms of Resistance,]

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