Traditional, classical is so magical

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

Imagine this: South African traditional music fused with classical and enhanced with violins, saxophones and trombones all on one stage. It is something you certainly don't want to miss.

This exciting event will take place on May 2 at the Linder Auditorium in Joburg's Parktown as part of the Miagi Youth Orchestra and Big Band.

For the last eight years, Music is a Great Investment has entertained people with these sophisticated sounds.

Followers of the genre should brace themselves for a memorable and stirring performance.

The group will be led by Italian conductor Marino Formenti who is widely recognised as one of the foremost interpreters of contemporary music.

Last year, Formenti received rave reviews for his debut performance of his pieces Messiaen's Des Canyons aux Etoiles, together with Esa Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

The concert will debut the performance of the newly arranged Jazz Fantasia that was composed by the late Gideon Nxumalo. Nxumalo was one of South Africa's most remarkable musicians during the 50s and 60s.

The Miagi Youth Orchestra and Big Band is made up of young people from across South Africa and from all walks of life.

Since its inception in 2001, the programme continues to provide aspiring classical and jazz musicians with training and performing opportunities locally and abroad.

Event director Robert Brooks says usually Miagi Youth Orchestra and Big Band holds several courses and concerts annually in South Africa and a tour across Europe.

"This youth-development programme provides audiences with memorable and inspired performances while also providing priceless opportunities for the musicians involved," Brooks said.

"Miagi introduces local music to audiences worldwide, combining indigenous and traditional with classical styles with an aim to promote our music heritage," he added.

He said through Miagi, they unite people across all boundaries, playing a prominent part in efforts to empower local musicians and contributing towards the rebuilding of cultural heritage.

The project focuses on music education for children and young people as a central tool of social upliftment and cultural awareness.