"Music is life..to me and to those that play with me..it goes to the basis of sound..if there is no sound, there is no life…sound itself is life…so we are approaching life at its purest form…” – Ayanda Sikade, South African jazz drummer.

 

Jazz is as vast and expansive as the African continent from which many jazz musicians from bygone eras and the present have drawn inspiration. It is a salve for the wounded soul and a celebration for the enchanted heart. More than just a genre of music, jazz is a home for the wandering mind looking for a place to rest. And as Nina Simone perfectly put it, “Jazz is not just music; it’s a way of life, it’s a way of being, a way of thinking.”

 

A Place And Space For The Lovers of Jazz

South Africa has gifted to the world many abounding jazz musicians who have gone on to influence many international musicians, artists and creatives; from veterans such as Sathima Bea Benjamin, Abdullah Ibrahim, Bra Hugh Masekela, Winston Mankunku Ngozi, Kippie Moeketsi and Moses Molelekwa, to the 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.

In honour of this majestic form of art, Tumi Tlhoaele, an academic whose research interests are in jazz and the visual artsand former investment professional Mduduzi Godlo, dreamed up a movement that would celebrate South Africa’s vast songbook, having been inspired by Siya Makuzeni.

On the 15th of December 2017, the first Jazz In Our Lifetime event was held at the ambient Karma Sutra Bar, set against a backdrop of the quintessence of downtown Jozi, the evening was filled with melodic energies that enraptured the hearts of many of those who were there to bask in the breathtaking sounds of Yonela Mnana, a blind pianist and singer who has played with the likes of Zim Ngqawana, Feya Faku , Herbie Tsoaeli, Sydney Mnisi, Clement Benny, Marcus Wyatt, and Barney Rachabane.

Jazz In Our Lifetime provides a space for young people to connect with a genre that has long been associated with old folks. But on the 15th of December, we were transported to the 1960s. 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 young people gather to relive the days of Sophiatown.

 

"Jazz In Our Lifetime is about continuing with 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"

 

 

Not only will you be moved by a live jazz band, you will also be on your feet all night as you groove to the tunes of Jazz In Our Lifetime resident DJ Mthuthu of Tsala Jazz, who plays anything from the likes Fela Kuti to Robert Glasper.

 

Jazz in our Lifetime with Sisonke Xonti Quartet

The next evening of jazz will be taking place on the 25th of May, where the Sisonke Xonti Quartet will be taking us on a transcendental journey.

Sisonke Xonti is a prolific Tenor saxophonist who has toured with the likes of Jimmy Dludlu, Hugh Masekela, and Andile Yenana. He was featured on the line up of this year’s Cape Town International Jazz Festival, where he presented his debut album Iyonde, which was launched last year April. The ten-track, all-original album features pianist Bokani Dyer; guitarist Keenan Ahrends; bassist Shane Cooper; drummer Marlon Witbooi, vocalist Dumza Maswana, and vocalist Spha Mdlalose.

Jazz in our Lifetime with Sisonke Xonti Quartet is about sharing the expression of music in a way and in a space that resonates with people and how they connect with sound; despite one’s inclination towards a particular genre of music or a people. It is inspired by the South African Jazz history and its cultural influence.


Be sure not to miss out on this evening of sheer musical extravagance. To book your tickets, contact jazzinourlifetime@gmail.com. For further information, follow Jazz In Our Life Time on Facebook and Instagram.