International Jazz comes to UCT

1 Jul 2014 - 09:30

More than 100 years following its birth in the Deep South, jazz continues to transcend cultural and musical borders. From ragtime to contemporary renditions, it is taught, performed and enjoyed by millions around the world. For the first time since inception, the International Association of Schools of Jazz hosted its 24th Annual Jazz Meeting on African soil, at the South African College of Music from 22 – 27 June 2014.  

The International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ) is a worldwide organization committed to promoting the music of jazz around the world. The organisation was established in 1989 and is based in Den Haag, Netherlands. Membership is comprised of close to forty countries as well as music institutions and schools, educators and professional artists. The meeting is held in a different country each year and provides talented local students with the opportunity to participate in international ensembles and master classes. It also provides an opportunity for members of the international jazz community to network and to participate in recording sessions and master classes, under the tutelage of some of the best artists in the world. Members also meet to discuss academic issues, to exchange ideas and to identify top performing students. 

According to local organiser Professor Michael Rossi (Head of Woodwinds, SACM), the 2014 event attracted delegates to UCT from 38 institutions representing 21 countries on 5 continents. The delegates spent the week performing whilst living close to and on campus. Jazz studies are a popular choice with students at the SACM and this year, 6 lucky jazz students were selected to participate in this international Jazz meeting.

Speaking at the opening event, Associate Professor Mike Campbell (Head of Jazz Studies, SACM) said that the event would yield important connections for the college and would help profile local jazz education. “…the 2014 IASJ Jazz Meeting connects the SACM at UCT to 38 international jazz institutions from 21 countries, and so when people think of jazz education in South Africa they will think of the SACM at the University of Cape Town” said Dr Campbell.

(Photography: Niklas Zimmer)