I recently attended the first Annual Javett Music Awards at the University of Pretoria’s Musaion Theatre. After welcome drinks and canapes, we made our way to the theatre where we took our seats. As I sat front and centre, I felt my heart rate increase as I watched the incredibly talented performances of students, Sandisile and Olu. Their performances were powerful and rendered an unbelievable amount of emotion. I didn’t expect to be drawn into their performances the way I was, but I was left inspired and wanting for more.
They were later joined on the stage by Grammy nominated jazz vocalist, Professor Lenora Helm Hammonds. Professor Helm Hammonds arrived in South Africa earlier in September from North Carolina Central University to take up her residency as the Javett Jazz Artist-in-Residence at the University of Pretoria‘s Department of Music.
At the end of the evening, Sandisile Gqweta and Olu Yakhe were announced as the winners of the 2018 Javett Music Awards at the University of Pretoria. Sandisile, a BMus (Performing Arts) final year jazz student at the University of Pretoria, won in the Jazz vocal category and Olu, who hails from Mdantsane, in the Eastern Cape, won in the classical singing category. They each won a cash prize of R25 000.
The annual awards will alternate between composition and performing arts in any musical genre (classical, jazz or electro-acoustic). The awards acknowledge excellence, and celebrate outstanding, innovation and musical creativity, targeting the best young talent in the country. The evening’s performances made it evident that South Africa is a country blessed with extremely talented individuals just waiting to be found and harnessed.
Found and harnessed by the partnership between the Javett Foundation and the University of Pretoria. The Javett Foundation is a South African trust, established to support philanthropic activities in line with the Javett family’s long-standing passion for and commitment to, the arts, education and culture. This fantastic partnership will be consolidated and strengthened in 2019, with the launch of the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP).