UKZN Jazz student and bassist, Mr Dalisu Ndlazi, is attending the Louis Armstrong Summer Camp in New Orleans, courtesy of T Musicman through the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Youth Development Program, GELEZA KLEVA AND LEARN.

The 24-year old – whose musical journey began when he was just 16 years old – is in New Orleans until mid-July.

The Camp takes place at Loyola University, New Orleans.The programme includes three weeks of intense music education classes and two weeks of swing dance.

Over and above the exciting full programme at the camp, Ndlazi will get an opportunity to work with Roger Dickerson, the jazz camp’s composition teacher who taught Branford Marsalis, Terrence Blanchard, and many other successful local jazz and classical composers.

‘This is another learning experience to improve my craft. It’s an opportunity to not only network, but build my career as a musician,’ he said. 

In 2012, Ndlazi was selected as the National Schools Big Band bassist at the Standard Bank Youth Jazz Festival – held in Grahamstown. He became the national youth band bassist from 2015 shortly after performing with the band, Ndlazi’s music career began at the Siyakhula Community Development Centre in Umlazi.

He is a bassist whose ability is far beyond his age and he performs with great jazz artists like Nduduzo Makhathini, Andile Yenana, Brian Thusi, Ayanda Skade, Thandi Ntuli, and Salim Washington, who featured him in his new album – which will be out later in the year. He currently plays for the UKZN Story Tellers who are under an exchange programme with Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) called Jazz Bridge to Greater Understanding.

Ndlazi has also performed at various stages and festivals around the world, including the annual Standard Bank Joy of Jazz and National Arts Festival.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Artistic Eyes Photography