MOST 24-year-old musicians would break their bones to cut it as hip-hop or kwaito artists, but not trumpeter Lesedi Ntsane. He has set his sights on becoming a renowned jazz musician.
And this is about to be achieved since he has been accepted at the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York.
Needless to say how excited he is to have been confirmed as a student at an institution that has produced many great jazz artists, though the struggle to raise funds for tuition and accommodation has put a damper on his mood.
But Ntsane, pictured, is not put off and vows he will move mountains to get to the US.
He has applied to various organisations and companies. One organisation has pledged US$10000, which is almost a quarter of the money he needs.
He has already bought a ticket with the money he raised through gigs, but he needs money for food and other essentials.
Ntsane studied music at the University of SA. He also has a national diploma in music from the Tshwane University of Technology with distinctions. But he wants to study further to achieve his dream of becoming a distinguished composer and performer.
"One never stops learning and, as you can imagine, New York is a university in itself when it comes to music. There is a great deal that I must still learn and learning jazz is a lifetime of study.
"It will expose me to the world stage, a platform to work, learn and create with the best in the world. I have been playing with jazz outfit Four Seasons for more than five years and New York renders the platform for growth irrespective of genre.
"It will equip me with the best skills humanly possible, a creative environment where music is an art and growth is in abundance."
Ntsane had to go through a gruelling audition. He had to play three standard tracks and he had to compose an original piece.
The youngster was bitten by the bug at age four when he fooled around with a trumpet. And when he grew up and started taking it seriously, everyone around him discouraged him.
"Everyone was telling me that I was wasting my time, but I kept my head high. Today I am on the verge of going to the best music school in the world with students from across the globe."
He also played with the mighty O'Jays when they visited these shores for a tour.