CF: What 3 things could you not live without under lockdown?
AW: It must be very difficult to be in isolation just by yourself, so the most important factor has been the company of my wife, Janet. We had the culinary expertise of our daughter for the past six weeks, so food has been a particular pleasure with, unusually, the time to savour it. And I’ve managed to get tons of reading done! Access to jazz is just an assumed life-blood that doesn’t count as one of the three.
CF: What are you missing most about the outside world?
AW: The ease of just doing things as they occur to you! Seeing, chatting to people; normal routines; just doing things without thinking or planning them. I’m in the people business… and the people are all elsewhere! Making music with others might be the heaviest loss at the moment.
CF: Do you think enough is being done to support vulnerable creatives and freelancers in the industry during this time?
AW: No. There are countries, particularly in Europe, where artists are being vigorously supported but there are many South Africans creatives in real distress who have devoted their lives and time to honing their craft and don’t have other options at this stage. At the same time, there are a number of really great initiatives that have made a difference and the online skills of many of our artists seem to be improving weekly. We are working with Standard Bank and the National Arts Festival to remind audiences how great our nation’s jazz is, and creating a space that at least gives one big solid platform to artists in this crazy time.