Mzansi’s heavyweight Jazz artist will be reuniting at the Jazz Epistles show taking place at Emperors Palace on 15 and 16 June. These artists include Abdullah Ibrahim, Hugh Masekela, Jonas Gwangwa, Kippie Moeketsi, Johnny Gertze, Makaya Ntshoko and Early Mabuza.
The Jazz Epistles were South Africa’s first important bebop band. The band was in full swing in the 1960s, the height of terror on the black man.
These gentlemen were young, smart, creative and jazz- cool. After time and a lot of heated practice, they emerged as a resistant, anti-apartheid music group. Jamming into the late and fuzzy nights on the streets of Sophiatown, especially at the Jazz at the Odin Club, they morphed into the legendary Jazz Epistles.
Their adoring fans were mesmerised by their yellows, blues and reds resonating as the piece strolls, swims, dips and swings. Their music filled the dusty streets of the townships and fired the hearts of the youth who were adamant to stand-up for a South Africa that is free and fair. The electric high-life of the Jazz Epistles was short-lived after a group spat.
After years in exile and liberated South Africa it is only now in 2016; for the first time in 60 years that these two iconic jazz instrumentalists and South African global jazz ambassadors; Abdullah Ibrahim and Hugh Masekela will reunite and perform on one stage in solidarity and recognition of all those who were a part of the historical 1976 youth march, the Jazz Epistles are reuniting to celebrate the 40th year anniversary of the June 16 and 22 years of South Africa’s democracy.
These two human rights activists, apartheid fighters and global icons have seen it all. Their music has played a huge role in liberating South Africa from apartheid and continues to influence the global jazz landscape.