Launch of the Cape Town Jazz Orchestra

Send by emailPDF version
23 Aug 2006

The Minister of Arts & Culture, Dr. Z. Pallo Jordan is proud to announce the launch of the historic national jazz orchestra to be known as the Cape Town Jazz Orchestra.

It will be led by none other than the internationally renowned pianist, Abdullah Ibrahim.

The musical ensemble will be officially launched at a special occasion on 16 September 2006 as part of the month-long “our indigenous music” theme on Heritage Month at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 20h00 pm.

“We all know that South African music, especially jazz, is an established brand all over the world.

“This initiative is not only to strengthen its standing on the global stage but to create a link between the talented youth and what has gone before and, at the same time, create opportunities for musicians to take their rightful place in society.

“Of course, we see the orchestra not only inspiring pride and appreciation for indigenous musical talent but encouraging our musicians to be dedicated professionals who use artistic talent as a tool for economic self-liberation,” said Minister Jordan.

Significantly, the establishment of Cape Town Jazz Orchestra marks the culmination of a process that has seen the Department of Arts and Culture implement a strategy to create sustainable arts companies that are reflective of the South African diverse cultural heritage.

It is for this reason that the Department of Arts and Culture has worked closely with Ibrahim who is widely regarded as one of the few missing links between indigenous jazz artists of old and the contemporary generation.

The Cape Town Jazz Orchestra joins an array of well-recognized art companies like the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, South African Ballet Theatre and Victory Songqoba Theatre Company, to name a few, that are in the forefront of the re-invention of a new and vibrant South African arts that encapsulated the diverse South African cultures.

In fact, the Cape Town Jazz Orchestra will become the third large scale Performing Arts Ensemble to receive an annual grant from the state resources through the National Arts Council.

Already, Dr. Abdullah Ibrahim has established a Section 21 company that will be responsible management and administrative affairs of the orchestra.

Members of the media are invited to attend the gala event and the first ever public performance by this 18-piece Big Band that will perform not only with the piano maestro himself, Dr. Ibrahim, but with a lineup that includes arranger Steve Gray and Horace Alexander Young. The Jazz Orchestra will be conducted by Melvin Peters who is its Musical Director.

Date : 16 September 2006
Venue : Cape Town International Convention Centre
Time : 20:00

For further details, call Sandile Memela, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Arts & Culture at 082 800 3750 or Premi Appalraju, Media Liaison Officer at 082 375 2939.