xJazz attracts young musicians for a residency program

Six young and critically acclaimed musicians from five countries will assemble in Lilongwe Malawi for xJazz, an exciting jazz music residency programme scheduled from 23rd to 30th September.

Siya Makuzeni: The aim is to bring together young and phenomenal jazz musicians

According to curator and band leader Siya  Makuzeni, the weeklong music and creative project will bring together female artists from Southern Africa and the UK working in the contemporary jazz scene.

“Through the xJazz music residency the aim is to bring together young and phenomenal jazz musicians who happen to be women, from five countries different countries; for them to experiment, create music together and build connections that will hopefully be beneficial to their careers going forward while inspiring other young women to pick up music instruments,” Makuzeni explained.

The residency creates opportunities for new connections, collaborations and showcasing while providing a platform for the artists to share insights, ideas, expertise and broaden networks.

The Residency will culminate in a live performance of collaborative material by the band at the Lake of Stars Malawi Music Festival 2018 on Friday 28 and Sunday 30 September.

The first residency band “Banou Azania or Royal Africa” will comprise a multi-country ensemble of the most sought after jazz talent including Isobella Burnham – Bass (UK), Marlyn Chimombo – Vocals (Malawi), Sheila Maurice-Grey – Trumpet (UK), Siya Makuzeni – Trombone (RSA), Micah Miyanda – Guitar (Zambia) and Kasiva Mutua – Drummer (Kenya).

With multifaceted skills including composition, arrangement, improvisation, song writing, lyrics and vocals, the band will create a unique and experimental sound that infuses African music with traditional Jazz elements.

The band’s residency activities will include creating music, networking and external activities.

This will include a music workshop with young women at the Music Cross Roads centre on Thursday 27 September followed by a Creative Hustles session at 1Five Entertainment where ideas and insights about the music sector will be shared.

The residency will then move to Johannesburg, South Africa from 1st to 4th October where the band will showcase a collaborative live performance as well as engage with other young women in the music sector.

The xJazz Music Residency is a project by the British Council in partnership with Lake of Stars Malawi Arts Festival, Umodzi Park, Music Cross Roads, The Presidents Hotel and 1Five Entertainment.

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