KMA prepares for national jazz fest

Angelique Ellis

The Kronendal Music Academy (KMA) Jazz Band will be hosting an event at the Riverside Estates in Hout Bay on Saturday June 11 to raise funds for the band to attend the National Jazz Festival in Grahamstown, from Thursday June 30 until Sunday July 10.

Eight musicians, between the ages of 13 and 23, will be taking part in the National Jazz festival.

“These musicians have been working extremely hard. When some of them joined, they couldn’t play their instruments properly. So I love seeing the results and seeing their enjoyment,” says Dwyn Griesel, one of the founders of KMA.

The musicians shared their excitement about taking part in the festival.

Emma Roberts, 17, got involved with KMA through her music teacher at Camps Bay High who was also a teacher at KMA. She is a classically trained pianist and has only played jazz for the past year.

“I’m nervous to be performing at the festival, especially since we (the band members) like to play pranks on each other. But to be playing with professionals is nerve-wracking and then I think to myself, if I could be like you, I could just die from happiness”.

Leighton Tillings, 14, applied at KMA to pursue his passion for guitar and learn how to read music, as he was self-taught.

“I am excited and nervous, especially playing with professionals because they are far ahead and we’re only starting out,” he said about the festival.

Luzuko Sodladla, 15, started his career at James House and later moved on to KMA as his passion for music began to develop from an early age.

He currently plays the trombone and is also skilled in the alto horn.

“I’m so excited, my friends, family and teachers are supporting me. Dwyn encourages me to do better, she’s like my second mother because she loves me and it’s all I could ever need in a music teacher” said Luzuko.

Zoe-Leigh Juenandin, 13, is a clarinet player.

“I am pretty excited, but its nerve-wracking to play with professionals because you in a lower ranking than they are,” she said.

Leanne Johannes, 18, is one of the few members of the band who has been with KMA since it was established in 2008. She began playing the recorder and piano, and now specialises in singing. “I’m really excited because I will be around other talents, but it will only hit me closer to the time. It’s nerve -wracking playing with other professionals, but I guess it brings out the best in you as an artist and that’s when you perform your best” said Leanne.

Aviwe Mkhaphuza, 23, started at KMA in 2011 after coming from James House.

“I’m very excited, I’m not nervous at all. I can’t wait,” he said.

Lorenzo Thomas, 18, started his musical career performing in the local church band, where he taught himself how to play the drums. He joined KMA after hearing about the academy from a friend, and wanted to learn chords.

“I’m very nervous because there will be lots of talented people. It’s going to be my first major concert”.

Curtly Masemola, 23, first auditioned for KMA in 2013 and stayed with the band for three years before deciding to study music at UCT. He is currently helping out with the band as a bassist and will be performing his third National Jazz Festival.

* The KMA Jazz Band fund-raiser will take place on Saturday June 11 at the Riverside Estates in Hout Bay, from 7pm.

Tickets will R160 and will include sherry upon arrival and hot soup and bread during the interval. A cash bar will be available and there are prizes to be won.

To book email dwynne@ or call 082 331 4062 or 021 790 4457.