Welcome To International Jazz Day South Africa IJDSA
Tracing the African Roots and Routes of Jazz
The SPIN Foundation is proud to present International Jazz Day South Africa (IJDSA), an initiative to establish South African and Continental Chapters of this global event that draws on the power of jazz to foster unity and education in the arts. Every year on April 30, jazz is harnessed to promote peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, respect for human dignity, freedom of expression, gender equality and to reinforce the role of youth in enacting social change.
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People say that slaves were taken from Africa. This is not true: People were taken from Africa, among them healers and priests, and were made into slaves. The biggest problem in South Africa is that we have a disrupted timeline. Historically, politically, spiritually, economically, in people's minds, in people's heads. They took away time, and they gave us the clock.
Almost as soon as jazz went on record in America, in the early decades of the twentieth century, those wax impressions arrived in South Africa. They landed on fertile ground, for South Africans had a rich and dynamic musical culture of their own, into which they had already drawn aspects of earlier and parallel African-American musics.”
The rhythms and sounds of African traditional music are of course the well-spring of jazz, taken to the “New World” in the cruel holds of slave ships. The music of Africa, far from being “primitive” or simple, is in fact a highly complex music, with sophisticated harmonic and rhythmic structures which, when combined with elements from western composed and folk musics, grew into the music which, for all its variety and rich diversity, we tend to lump together under the not-so-elegant term “jazz.”