xJazz Music Residency Programme: Jazz gets rejuvenated, stretched & pushed to its limits
British Council Southern Africa Arts partners up with one of the biggest and most impactful festivals in Malawi, Lake of Stars, to bring you the xJazz Music Residency Programme. The programme sees six young and talented female jazz musicians from the UK, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi and Kenya, connect to form a one-of-a-kind band called Banou Azania (Royal Africa when translated).
The main focus of the residency is to provide the artists involved opportunities to build new connections, collaborate and showcase their talents. The residency is, in its core, designed to facilitate a cultural exchange that is not limited by borders, but one that encompasses a trade of ideas, insights, expertise and knowledge. The residency started on the 23rd of September in Lilongwe, Malawi, and it will run until the 4th of October in Johannesburg.
UK based instrumentalists, Isobella Burnham and Sheila Maurice-Grey, Zambian guitarist Micah Miyanda, Malawian vocalist Marylyn Chimombo, Kenyan drummer Kasiva Mutua and South African trombonist Siya Makuzeni, collaborate to re-imagine contemporary jazz and connect to inspire more women to take up an instrument or two.
The project curator and band leader, Siya Makuzeni, says the following about the residency: “Through the xJazz music residency the aim is to bring together young and phenomenal jazz musicians who happen to be women, from five different 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 music instruments up.” The xJazz Music Residency serves a purpose bigger than just connect women artists of the diaspora, but it also seeks to be a very important conversation starter about the visibility of women in the arts, especially in music.
To get more updates on the xJazz Music Residency, follow the #xJazz hashag across all social media platforms.