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14th SAJE Jazz Conference: The South African Sound in Jazz Today

The 14th SAJE Jazz Conference takes place from 27 to 29 April 2018 in Cape Town and is the culmination of Jazz Appreciation Month (fondly known as JAM), which draws public attention to jazz and its extraordinary heritage throughout April. The Conference will be hosted by the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town (UCT), and the South African Association for Jazz Education (SAJE).

Nduduzo Makhathini PHOTO Victor Dlamini

     SAJE is a section 21 non-profit organisation and for the past 26 years its mission has been to assure the growth of jazz in Southern Africa, the development of jazz and jazz education in urban and rural areas, building the jazz arts community by advancing education and research, promoting skills development and performance, and developing new audiences.
     The biennial SAJE Jazz Conference is the only conference of its kind in Africa and offers a unique forum for musicians, 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 industry displays, there are opportunities for discussion, networking, information exchange and professional development. The theme of the 2018 Conference is ‘The South African Sound in Jazz Today’.
     This year, the Conference offers an impressive line-up of South African jazz educators – Mageshen Naidoo, Mike Rossi, Mike Campbell; jazz musicians – Melanie Scholtz, Nduduzo Makhathini, Benjamin Jephta, Vuma Levin and Mandisi Dyantyis; arts journalists – Gwen Ansell, Carol Martin and Nigel Vermaas; local jazz and jazz venue promoters; master craftsman Johannes Gerber (saxophone mouthpieces) and creative legal agency Legalese from Cape Town, among others.

     The Conference is open to everyone. Daily events run from 09:30 till late over the three days. Evening concerts will take place in the Chisholm Recital Room at the SA College of Music at UCT on Friday 27 April and Saturday 28 April. SAJE members receive a substantial discount.
     On Sunday 29 April, SAJE will present a concert at KwaSec in Gugulethu in conjunction with Jazz in the Native Yards, featuring the Benjamin Jephta Quintet. This performance will celebrate International Jazz Day (30 April), which brings together communities and jazz enthusiasts worldwide to celebrate and learn about jazz and its roots, future and impact; raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding; and reinforce international cooperation and communication. Each year on 30 April, this international art form is recognised for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity; eradicating discrimination; promoting freedom of expression; fostering gender equality; and reinforcing the role of youth in enacting social change. Visit:
     Visit the Conference website for more information about the Conference schedule and concerts
     Tickets for the UCT concerts will be available through or at the door.
     Tickets for the Jazz in the Native Yards venue in Gugulethu will be available at the door.
     To register for any of the papers/workshops, please email
     Venue: South African College of Music, Lower Campus, University of Cape Town
     The 14th SAJE Jazz Conference receives funding support from the SAMRO Foundation, Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), the Cape Tercentenary Foundation and University of Cape Town.
     Please visit the SAJE website, 2018 Conference website and facebook page for more information.

Mandisi Dyantyis


SAJE website:
SAJE Facebook page:
South African College of Music:
Cape Tercentenary Foundation:

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