The Story of South African Jazz Book Series by Struan Douglas

Story of South African Jazz is a three part book series published by and written by jazz journalist Struan Douglas. The vision is to provide a foundation for the recognition of South African Jazz as a unique and inclusive urban expression from this area of the world. It is a text book for education born out of the live music scene, where mentorship is the key to learning.

A popular handbook series on South African Jazz Music, musicians and self discovery drwas on interviews with musicians, enthusiasts and entertainers to create a running commentary for any life lived and learned through the lens of heart centred South African jazz musical vibrations. Drawing on the lived experience and oral history of many music masters, this is an educative sojourn into the unified source of music. South African jazz is a unique and all inclusive channel to real freedom, touching down in all the major cities, Cape Town, Jozi, eThekwini, London, Basel and New York.

“A society premised on sharing is the essence of jazz. Jazz is love, jazz is ‘love thy neighbour.’ Jazz is a unifying language. It brings people together and provides the vocabulary to have a great musical dialogue. SA jazz is a transformative shift to sharing. It is uBuntu in action.” Struan Douglas

“The whole story of South African jazz music is that it has not been written yet. There are so few books about it. They don’t tell the whole story because it is so complex with different influences like in Cape Town the Cape Malay music, tribal music, tribal dance. There are a lot of influences there. It is hard to detect but it should be done now before a lot of information gets lost.” Lars Rasmussen

The Story of South African Jazz is a never ending story, Through inspiring the power of the past into the present moment, this research flavours a spiritual discovery of tolerance, self reliance and unity to expose one of the most profound musical languages to ever come out of this country.
The Story of South African Jazz is a narrative in learning to play. Every jazz musician learns from elders and thus the musical development follows cycles of time - referred to as "rays." A ray is a build-up of a collective expression that marks a cycle or an age 2000 sat on the cusp of the fourth ray of South African Jazz and was the time zone which Volume One was first written.
The Story of South African Jazz is an interactive and dynamic heritage and living history from the University of Life, told through the five distinct periods of SA Jazz known as "rays".


Durban Event celebrating the launch of Story of South African Jazz Volume One took place at the legendary Rainbow Restaurant 15.05.2015 with master musicians Elias Ngidi and Thabane Mahlobo and Muzi Mhlanga in Baret Blues vocal quartet

Johannesburg Event celebrating the launch of Story of South African Jazz Volume One took place 01.11.15 at the Sophiatown Cultural Center and featured the all-star Sophiatown Heritage Ensemble

Johannesburg Event celebrating the launch of Story of South African Jazz Volume Two took place 12.12.20 at the Roving Bantu Kitchen and featured blind pianist Yonela Mnana and guest star Barney Rachabane


How to Play your part in this living SA Jazz story


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