What is Jazz to you?


The presentation is unique to the author Struan Douglas and is delivered as a coherent synthesis of the visual, intellectual and audio, augmented with personal anecdotes, stories and improvised explanations of concepts and ideas were necessary. The presentation includes a detailed hand-out including The Archival Approach; Mentorship Approach; South African Jazz timeline; Jazz and Protest; Development of urban jazz; Important name late and living; Inclusive approach; SA Jazz music language, and the meeting of the fourth industrial revolution and the fifth dimension of co-creation. South African Jazz fits into the International Examination Board Syllabus and Curriculum Assessment Policy. Including topics such as ross-over music, Kwaito, SA protest music, Afrikaans protest song, SA rock, SA Urban music (instrumentation, improvisation, rhythm, melody and harmony, marabi progression, characteristics, leading artists, and the socio-political context); Ingoma ebusuku styles including mbube and isicathamiya, early jazz including marabi, vocal jive jazz, kwela, jazz and mbaqanga. And, a coherent synthesis on music rights and all seven aspects of the music industry. Schools that have participated to date:

The Story of South African Jazz EDUCATION Series presents an interpretation of an aspect of South Africa's jazz history, as based on the three volume book series Story of South African Jazz by Struan Douglas.
A story told through Five Distinct Rays of South African Jazz, followinh the distinct SA jazz timeline of 5 rays with access to both ancient and future.
First Ray Golden Era, 1950s:
Musicians Journalists Photographers, Shebeens, migrant labourers and a Pan African movement.
Second Ray Exile & Inxile: 1960s:
After Sharpeville 1960 the jazz scene is split. Exiles to Europe and the US, inxiles keep the fire burning at home.

Third Ray Liberation Era ,1976 – 1986:South African Jazz and the struggle becomes universal and unites with all forms as with Graceland. World Music
Fourth Ray Freedom Generation, 1994 beyond 2000 builds on the past with an eye to the future a new integrated sound.
Fifth Ray Musical Co-Creation, 2020 brings a New South African Jazz and Identity Renaissance, where education, industry and musicology unite to project a 4IR approach into the 5th dimension – co-creation industry.

“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



How does this relate to schools syllabus - grades 10-12?



1. The Philosophy of Freedom (Philosophical basis of music): South African Jazz is at its core “Just Music” as Robbie Jansen explained and in its broad effect it is “Freedom.” - expresses emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of human experience - communicates a broad range of historical, cultural and socio-economic ideas and issues - unites diverse groups and mobilises community for social equality, healing and human dignity - metaphors of music as life - Intellect and spirit of improvisation and self knowledge.

2. The Mentorship Approach: South African Jazz meets educational AIMS in the syllabus as well as trans-personal development - technical, performance, improvisational, compositional, diverse knowledge and appreciation. - inclusive human rights, environmental and social justice - indigenous knowledge systems - the tools for self-development.

3. South African Jazz is built on Traditional African and pre-jazz influences - Indigenous Music, language influence and expert practitioners - Role of ancestors / spirituality / ceremony. - Choral - Maskanda - Goema - Mbube - isicathamiya.

4. South Africa Jazz is built on a distinct timeline of 5 "rays" of jazz
4.1 Music of the FIRST Ray of SA Jazz: Marabi - Vocal and instrumental SA jazz: contrasts -Bands: Jazz Maniacs, Merry Blackbirds, Manhattan Brothers, Dark City Sisters -Singers: Miriam Makeba, Dolly Rathebe, Thandi Klaasen - Musical Theatre Kwela - Spokes Mashiane, LemmyMabuse, Elias Lerole African Jazz - Jazz Epistles, Todd Matshikiza, Gideon Nxumalo, Philip Malombo Thabane

4.2 Music of the SECOND Ray of SA Jazz: Exiles - Blues Notes, Brotherhood, Union of SA - Avant-garde Jazz a South African etiology Cape Jazz - Abdullah Ibrahim Inxiles -Jazz fusion and the parallel streams of socio-cultural oppression - Winston Mankunku Ngozi.

4.3 Music of the THIRD Ray of SA Jazz: mbaqanga - Graceland: Soul Brothers Fusion - Spirits Rejoice, Sakhile, Robbie Jansen Western Musical Forms - Rock ‘n Pop Afrikaans music - The Voelvry Tour

4.4 Music of the FOURTH Ray of SA Jazz: Modern - FeyaFaku, Moses Molelekwa, Voice, Zim Ngqawana

4.5 Teaching from the FIFTH Ray of SA Jazz: SA Music industry - music industry value chain: idea – publishing – performing - record companies in South Africa - music rights - copyright - registration and regulation - Influence of Technology.


Struan Douglas

Struan Douglas is an author and musician