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13th SAJE Jazz Conference

Shaping the Future

The 13th SAJE Jazz Conference will be hosted by Wits Music – The Wits School of Arts, University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, from Thursday 31 March to Saturday 2 April 2016, with evening performances at The Orbit and Wits Great Hall.

SAJE – the South African Association for Jazz Education – is a section 21 non-profit organization and has been around since 1992. SAJE’s mission is to assure the growth of jazz in South Africa and the development of jazz and jazz education in urban and rural areas; to build the jazz arts community by advancing education and research; to promote skills development and performance; to develop new audiences and to document, preserve and archive our South African jazz heritage. The SAJE Jazz Conference is a biennial event focusing on jazz research, education, performance, improvisation, composition, discussion, skills, and audience development.

It is the only conference of its kind in Africa and offers a unique forum for musicians, academics, educators, students, jazz fans, and those in the media and arts, to engage with the latest sounds and ideas in jazz. Along with paper presentations, workshops, performances and jam sessions, there are opportunities for discussion, networking, information exchange, and professional development. The theme of the 2016 Conference is ‘South African Jazz – Shaping the Future’. There is an exciting line-up of jazz educators and musicians from Southern Africa as well as from Italy, Holland, Germany, Austria, France and Brazil.

Nomfundo Xaluva SAJE Jazz Conference lineup.
Nomfundo Xaluva SAJE Jazz Conference lineup.

South African musicians include:

  • Pianist Nduduzo Makhathini (Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz 2015);
  • Bassist Carlo Mombelli;
  • Pianist Kyle Shepherd (Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz 2014);
  • Vocalists Nomfundo Xaluva, Lindiwe Maxolo and Amy Campbell; and
  • Saxophonist Mike Rossi.
Mike Rossi, SAJE Jazz Conference lineup.
Mike Rossi, SAJE Jazz Conference lineup.

International educators/musicians include:

  • Drummer Dejan Terzic (Germany),
  • Vocalist Susanna Stivali (Italy) and
  • Accordionist Guilherme Ribeiro (Brazil).

The Conference is open to everyone. Daily events run from 09:30 till 17:30 over the three days at Wits Music, 8th floor, University Corner – entrance is through the Wits Art Museum (WAM). There are three-day passes and one-day passes available and SAJE members receive a substantial discount. Please visit the Conference website for more information about the Conference schedule and registration:

Evening concerts will take place at The Orbit Jazz Club and Bistro on Thursday 31 March and Friday 1 April. For bookings call 011 339 66 45/ 081 534 2867 or email

The final concert will take place at the Wits Great Hall on Saturday 2 April at 20:00. Tickets at the door.

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