The Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival is an annual jazz development programme that takes place in Grahamstown, sort of like a week-long music camp for young musicians between the ages of 13 and 26. It consists of several workshops with some of the best local and international musicians.
Some of the material covered in the festival includes jazz history, sound engineering, instrument clinics, composition or jazz harmony - all under the direction of professional jazz players. Through the course, students also get the opportunity to network with their peers and of course, their jazz heroes.
This year's impressive group of musicians/teachers consists of nearly 60 professionals including big names such as Kesivan Naidoo, Andile Yenana , Victor Masondo, Shannon Mowday (all four are previous winners of the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Award), Melanie Scholtz, Darius Brubeck, Feya Faku, Siya Makuzeni, Marcus Wyatt, Danilo Perez and many more.
Top students get the opportunity to audition to be part of the National Jazz Bands (Standard Bank National Schools Big Band and National Youth Jazz Band), which will perform at some of the most prominent jazz events around country.
If you would like to take part in this year's festival or know of someone who may be interested, you can download an application form from http://www.youthjazz.co.za where you can also find additional information. The closing date for submission is 15 March 2010 and the programme runs from 23 to 29 June 2010.