On Sunday, 26 May the sounds of Jazz could be heard emanating from the Pridwin Playing Fields on Venus St, Melrose as Pridwin hosted their 7th annual Pridwin Jazz Festival. While feasting on food from chip n dips, mini doughnuts to a gourmet harvest table, the crowds of young and old alike were treated to performances by top musicians from the surrounding areas. With a Charity Raffle from sponsors such Mount Grace, Switch Playground and The Westin Hotel, there was much excitement around this special event. Pupils from St Katharine’s, The Ridge, Pridwin, St Johns Preparatory and College and St David’s Marist Inanda were joined on stage by St Alban’s college, all the way from Pretoria.
These schools’ Jazz Bands were all given the opportunity to perform to an audience on a professional outdoor sound stage. In addition, the music teachers from Pridwin’s own music department also put together a set. St Vincent School for the Deaf brought their Signing Choir, and together with their teachers they treated the audience to a unique performance of “Visual Jazz”.
The aim of the Pridwin Jazz Festival is not only to create a platform for young musicians to perform in a live environment, but to also uplift and encourage communities where access to such opportunities is limited. The performance by Phela Re Phele Music Academy, from Glenridge, Soweto was one of the highlights of the day. The Phela Re Phele Music Academy, established in 2013 is a music institution that provides music lessons to children from the age of five and adults.
They offer an Afrocentric, performance orientated music curriculum. To assist them in their mission, proceeds from this year’s Pridwin Jazz Festival will go toward assisting them with purchasing more instruments and ensuring that they reach as many young musicians as they can.