Youth Musicians Mentored at Jazz Festival
Four talented young musicians have been receiving a valuable learning opportunity after being chosen to provide behind-the-scenes support to the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) on 28 and 29 March 2014.
The four all participate in Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) community arts development programmes. Their participation in the festival forms part of the Training and Development Programme of CTIJF organisers ESP Afrika.
Under the mentorship of Craig Parks of ESP Afrika, Jean-Marcel Alexander (from Bonteheuwel), Adrianne Olivier (Ocean View), Siphamandla Mbunye (Nyanga) and Thandeka Mfinyongo (Philippi) will gain practical experience as runners supporting sound production, stage management and the administration of various festival events. Alexander is a vocalist from the Manenberg Community Arts Centre and Olivier is a saxophonist from the Ocean View Brass Band. Mfinyongo is a vocalist and guitarist from Ntongo Music School in Gugulethu and is currently a first year music student at the University of Cape Town. Mbunye is actively involved in sound and production in his community.
Once the CTIJF is over, they will submit written assignments to Parks to assess the skills and experience they gained. The lessons learned will contribute to more effective youth development mentoring in various aspects of the music industry. The four mentees will also be supporting the Free Community Concert in Greenmarket Square on 26 March, the Intyholo Jazz Development Project in Gugulethu on 27 March and the Urban Jazz Master Classes and Music Business events during the CTIJF.
They are excited and grateful for this opportunity. Olivier, who worked as a runner at the Arts and Culture Focus Schools Live Performance Workshop held at Groote Schuur High School recently, said she just wants to learn from this experience. “To be engaging with musicians who will perform at the festival is an honour, and will motivate me as a musician. I would like to perform at the CTIJF one day.”
Mbunye added that he always dreamed of being involved in the CTIJF. “I love being involved in sound and production, so I’m excited and up for the challenge. For me, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I’m happy to grab it with both hands and make the most of it.”
William Masemola of DCAS says the Department is contributing towards training and development during the CTIJF from its cultural tourism budget. “During the festival, these musicians will learn about the different facets of behind-the-scenes production. This is a wonderful opportunity to gain experience which could open doors at future festivals for them.”