Cape Town, South Africa is home to the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, so it’s no wonder that the largest jazz school in the region is also in Cape Town.
The jazz program at SACM is in its 30th year, and was founded by Cape Town Native Professor Michael Campbell after he graduated from the University of North Texas and began his music career in the United States. Students come to the school from all over South Africa and neighboring countries.
The UCT Big Band, directed by Campbell, comprises students from freshman through senior years, and is a flagship for the program. As well as keeping the jazz tradition alive, Campbell brings indigenous music into the big band format and style, with arrangements by himself, colleagues and students over the years. The band is featured annually at the Cape Town Big Band Jazz Festival.
The UTC Big Band Jazz Pioneers are featured for Jazz Appreciation Month performing Bra Ntemi’s “Kwela,” and the UTC Jazz Vocal Department brings us Winston Mankunku’s Ngozi’s “Yakhal’inkomo,” as arranged by student Zöe Modiga, who also sings and plays guitar on the piece.
Listen to UCT's music on 88.3FM or in the playlist below