The Centre for Jazz and Popular music held a collaborative concert between jazz ensembles from Virgina Commonwealth University Jazz Unit (VCU), and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The concert marked a highpoint of an ongoing year-long exchange between the two ensembles. It showcased original compositions that were specifically composed to foster the theme which is, “A Jazz Bridge to Greater Understanding”.
Four specially-commissioned works, funded by a VCU grant and composed by project leaders, Professor Antonio Garcia and Victor Haskins (both from VCU) as well Dr Sazi Dlamini (from UKZN), had their debut performances at the concert. The VCU-composed pieces were performed by the UKZN ensemble, and the UKZN-composed pieces featured the VCU ensemble. These pieces will be performed again on March 26 in Richmond, Virginia when the UKZN ensemble visits VCU.
In addition to the commissioned works, legendary musician Madala Kunene was featured performing songs from his forthcoming CD, 1959. There were also compositions from Chris Ryan (VCU) and UKZN’s Sakhile Simani, and a duo performance by Professor Garcia and Neil Gonsalves (UKZN’s project leader).