“They think it’s a fame thing. Music is not a fame thing. Music is a gift from the Gods, and if you don’t acknowledge that, sooner or later you will know how they feel about that—the disrespect” – Philip Tabane, founding member of the Malombo Jazz Makers.  

Saturday 15th December 2018 will mark a year of Jazz In Our Lifetime. The anniversary celebration will be taking place at AGOG Gallery in Maboneng. Over its year of existence, Jazz In Our Lifetime has successfully made jazz accessible to young people by creating i-party ye-jazz.


South Africa has gifted the world with many abounding jazz musicians who have gone on to influence many international musicians, artists and creatives; from veterans such as Dudu Pukwana, Pinise Saul, Victor Ndlazulwana, Bra Hugh Masekela, Winston Mankunku Ngozi, Kippie Moeketsi and Moses Molelekwa, to young artists such as Thandi Ntuli, Ariel Zamonsky, Siphiwe Shiburi, Mandla Mlangeni, Oscar Rachabane, Lwanda Gogwana and Sisonke Xonti, to name but a few – the music in the South African air is traversing the globe and is lingering in the deepest part of humanity’s heart.

On the 14th of December 2017, a splendidly motley crowd of jazz lovers and novices to the genre gathered at what used to be the Karma Sutra Bar in downtown Jozi—an ambient but social setting that created an unforgettable atmosphere, saturated with the beguiling sounds of the Yonela Mnana Trio, which comprises Yonela Mnana (piano), Ariel Zamonsky (double bass) and Sphephelo Mazibuko (drums). The youthful audience was enchanted by the prolific Yonela—a blind pianist, vocalist and jazz scholar who embodies the magic of South African jazz. He showed us that music is a universal language that we can all understand and appreciate, albeit at different levels. That evening was but the beginning of a movement that would seamlessly connect people with jazz, regardless of their views on life and music. It was on this evening that Yonela proclaimed, “it was like jazz in our lifetime!” From that day on, Jazz In Our Life Time has become a space where people gather to relive the days of Sophiatown—to groove, socialise and bask in the glorious sounds of jazz.  

To celebrate its anniversary, Jazz In Our Lifetime will be bringing the majestic Yonela Mnana Trio back to its stage, this time with accompanying artists such as vocalist Spha Mdlalose, trumpeter Lwanda Gogwana and saxophonist Sisonke Xonti. Each one of these artists is a paragon of the sheer brilliance of South African jazz musicians. They fit the ideal of Jazz In Our lifetime as continuing the story of living life in an unconstrained way that embraces the energy of youth and ignites the South African cultural history across multiple generations expressed through music.

Tickets for the Jazz In Our Lifetime anniversary can be purchased on Quicket.
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