Four of the 13 youth performing at Artscape Theatre’s Youth Jazz Festival, on Friday June 15, are from the greater Athlone area.
Andreas Coxson, 17, who plays the saxophone, and his sister, pianist Rouzanna Coxson, 21, both from Crawford, as well as Clayton Pretorius, 16, a bass guitarist from Belgravia, and drummer Timothy Fortes, 19, from Athlone, are in the line-up.
Artscape will once again be showcasing the diverse talents of the city’s young people, as it celebrates 13 soloists who successfully auditioned to be included in its mentorship programme, which culminates with the jazz festival. The jazz festival forms part of its line-up for Youth Month.
These musicians had the opportunity of working with five top South African jazz artists in a 10-week mentorship programme. The workshops cover South African jazz, business management for musicians, and techniques. Time is also devoted to musicians who have their own compositions.
Andreas started playing the saxophone in Grade 6. His love for jazz started while playing in a big band at Beau Soleil Music School, commencing with the alto saxophone, but recently switched over to the tenor saxophone. He has recently been busking with his sister at the V&A Waterfront, as well as performing at private functions.
Andreas is currently the lead tenor and the head of the saxophone section of the SACS High School Big Band, and is also involved in the SACS High School Concert Band.
Rouzanna started playing piano at the age of 5. She is classically trained and studied classical piano in her first year at university before switching to jazz performance. She is currently in her final year at the South African College of Music at UCT, studying jazz piano.
She composes her own music and is presently working on a musical called Plea for Peace about promoting peace in the violence afflicted areas of Cape Town. She is a volunteer piano teacher at Kewtown Primary in Athlone, and is assisting in the process of starting up a community music school.
Clayton has been playing the bass guitar for four years and performing for three. Passionate about music, he hopes to study music at UCT. He has performed on many stages and played with bands such as South Project and the Groote Schuur High School Jazz band. Clayton spends as much time as he can with his instrument, practising day and night, not only to become the best but simply because he loves doing it.
Introduced to music at a young age through church, Timothy has been playing drums for seven years.
He was first introduced to jazz through his high school band teacher at The Settlers High School. He played at many venues in different competitions across Cape Town, including the V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre. His participation in the National Youth Jazz Festival led him to make the decision to study jazz at tertiary level. Timothy is currently in his second year studying towards a B.Mus Jazz Performance degree.
Tickets cost R80 and are available through Artscape Dial-a-Seat at 021 421 7695 or Computicket.