Six young musicians from five countries will assemble in Lilongwe from September 23 to September 30, for xJazz, a jazz music residency programme.
The Bristish Council said in a statement the week-long music and creative project will bring together female artists from southern Africa and the UK working in the contemporary jazz scene.
“The residency creates opportunities for new connections, collaborations and showcasing while providing a platform for the artists to share insights, ideas, expertise and to broaden their networks. The residency will culminate in a live performance of collaborative material by the band at the Lake of Stars Malawi Music Festival 2018,” reads part of the statement.
The first residency band, Banou Azania or Royal Africa will comprise a multi-country ensemble of the most sought after jazz talent, including Isobella Burnham—bass (UK), Marlyn Chimombo—vocals (Malawi), Sheila Maurice-Grey – trumpet (UK), Siya Makuzeni—Trombone (RSA), Micah Miyanda—guitar (Zambia) and Kasiva Mutua—drummer (Kenya).
“With multifaceted skills, including composition, arrangement, improvisation, song writing, lyrics and vocals, the band will create a unique and experimental sound that infuses African music with traditional jazz elements. The band’s residency activities include creating music, networking and external activities,” adds the statement.
Siya Makuzeni, curator and band leader for the project, said: “Through the xJazz music residency, the aim is to bring together young and phenomenal jazz musicians who happen to be women, from five countries for them to experiment, create music together and build connections that will hopefully be beneficial to their careers going forward while inspiring other young women to pick up music instruments.”
As part of the programme, there will be a music workshop with young women at the Music Crossroads centre on September 27 followed by a creative hustles session at 1Five Entertainment where ideas and insights about the music sector will be shared.
Then the band (Banou Azania) will go and perform at the Lake of Stars arts festival on September 28 and September 30.
The xJazz Music Residency is a project by the British Council in partnership with Lake of Stars, Umodzi Park, Music Cross Roads, The President’s Hotel and 1Five Entertainment. n