Jazz Heritage Studies

The ISER, together with Cory Library and Rhodes University’s Department of Music and Musicology, convenes the Eastern Cape Jazz Heritage Project, which is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The aim of the project is to undertake scholarly research on the aesthetics and politics of South African jazz and to record the history of jazz that has its roots mainly – but not exclusively – in the Eastern Cape. This is undertaken through research on local Eastern Cape musicians and the collection and digitisation of rare vinyl records never before released in digital format, as well as the ephemera of the “jazz life” such as posters, handbills and various artefacts. In 2012, the Jazz Heritage Project convened a major international colloquium on South African jazz under the auspices of the Department of Music and Musicology. In 2013, it hosted a colloquium at the National Arts Festival on the Blue Notes, the seminal South African modern jazz band.

The project has been fortunate in securing the archives of the late Chris McGregor, the internationally acclaimed pianist of the Blue Notes jazz band and band leader of the Brotherhood of Breath, as well as those of Todd Matshikiza, famed jazz pianist and composer of the King Kong Opera. The materials in these archives will be made publically available once digitisation has been completed.

In 2013, Rhodes University also hosted the launch of a new edition of Maxine MacGregor’s book (published by Rhodes University) entitled Chris McGregor and the Brotherhood of Breath: My Life with a South African Jazz Pioneer.


Last Modified: Tue, 11 Mar 2014 08:52:57 SAST