By Gerrit Bester
Dr Roland Moses, a senior lecturer at the Tshwane University of Technology’s Department of Performing Arts, bagged the Best Jazz Song (African Sun) category during the 6th Mzantsi Jazz Awards hosted at the Soweto Theatre. This category was contested by public vote.
He was also nominated in the categories of Best Male Jazz Artist, Best Jazz Album, and Best Contemporary Jazz Album for his debut album, Paths of Light, released earlier this year. African Sun is featured on this album.
“Winning the Best Jazz Song category demonstrates recognition of the artistic value of the composition and as a form of validation that the album makes an important contribution to the SA music industry and Jazz canon,” says Dr Moses.
His prize includes a DVD recording worth R100 000, among others.
The trophy he received also has particular significance. It is handmade and the blackwood represents the dark period for artists at the beginning of their careers. But its organic nature also represents the earth’s energy. The glitter was literally added one by one by hand to represent the stars of the experience that lights up a musician’s life.
The awards recognise the role of jazz music as a genre that deserves special attention in the evolving South African music industry. The purpose is to celebrate, appreciate, and venerate jazz as a musical form that not only entertains but also uplifts and heals the artist and the listener alike.
All proceeds from sales of Paths of Light will fund music instruments for a community music project at the Nokuphila School in Thembisa that Dr Moses is involved with – in particular facilitating a music programme at the school.
For more information on the awards, please click here.
This article first appeared here.