Walk of Fame for SA jazz musos

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Pioneers of South African jazz will be immortalised in a Hollywood Boulevard-style Walk of Fame.

Among those to be honoured are the late Kippie Moeketsi, Winston "Mankunku" Ngozi, Hugh Masekela, Jonas Gwangwa, Miriam Makeba, Chris McGregor, Basil "Mannenberg" Coetzee, Hotep Idris Galeta, Zakes Nkosi and Ntemi Piliso.

Announcing the project in Newtown, Johannesburg, yesterday, the organisers said: "A national search has been launched as part of the Johnnie Walker Pioneering Spirits in Jazz initiative on SABC3 and on a special website [www.pioneeringspirits. co.za] through which the public can vote for the people's choice.

"People who vote have a chance of winning an invitation to the gala event in May at which the jazz legends will be honoured."

The jazz pioneer that the public elects the most inspiring South African musician will receive R30 000 to use towards the upliftment and promotion of jazz in South Africa.

The money can be used in a variety of ways, such as for a bursary or for workshops for aspiring artists.

Barbara Creecy, the Gauteng MEC for sports, arts, culture and recreation, said: "I am sure people will be inspired by the stories of the jazz greats that will be told through this initiative.

"I'd like to encourage South Africans to vote for the people's choice.

Clement Nhlangwana, of the sponsors, Johnnie Walker, said: "Though some jazz pioneers have received international recognition, not much has been done in South Africa to honour them.

"That is why we decided to create a platform to recognise and honour them."

Details of the Walk of Fame will be announced at a gala event in May in Newtown.