Cape Town, 1 November 2016 – It is with absolute delight that espAfrika announce Eastern Cape based jazz outfit, VuDu, as the winner of the second annual espYoungLegends competition. Founded by espAfrika, organisers of the acclaimed Cape Town International Jazz Festival, espYoungLegends is an annual talent search contest that seeks out up and coming young jazz/jazz-inspired talent, providing the winner with a coveted performance spot at the CTIJF.
“We were so excited to be selected as part of the top five, but we never dreamed we could actually win this competition. It’s an incredible opportunity for any band to play at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, but for us especially, it’s a phenomenal opportunity to connect with a wider audience and share our sound with more people, who will hopefully become fans,” said band leader Sisanda Myataza.
VuDu is a contemporary jazz collective from Port Elizabeth, whose sound is an eclectic fusion of traditional American and African jazz combined with urban notes, also supported by a neo-soul eloquence that refuses to be pigeon-holed into any one genre.
Founded in 2009, VuDu consists of Grant Alison (bass), Wesley Keet (keys), Sisanda Myataza (vocals) and Kristo Zondagh (drums). VuDu writes and performs their own original material. They are certain to be a hit at the CTIJF 2017 where they will perform to the festival jazz-loving festinos.
“I love this business,” stated Billy, who has been at the forefront of developing a vibrant South African entertainment sector for a number of decades now, “…I particularly love it when we uncover exceptional talent and then give them the opportunity to perform on a world-class stage to a discerning audience who come from all over the world.”
The 2017 competition, open to up and coming jazz/jazz-inspired bands of no more than six members, elicited a high calibre of entries. The significant interest and scope of the submissions, clearly demonstrates that the genre is not only alive in post –democratic South Africa, but growing and even appealing to a much younger audience.
Domingo and the panel of experts, who whittled the number of contestants down over the past two months, have been duly impressed by the virtuosity of the young SA musicians who entered. “espAfrika has always believed in fostering local talent. We built the Cape Town International Jazz Festival on the basis of showcasing international and local musical art on the same stage. We have stuck to our initial aim and with the inception of this competition, we know we can continue to cultivate a vibrant jazz culture and provide a platform for homegrown artistes to have a voice,” concluded Domingo.