THE State Theatre in Pretoria starts the new season with a refreshing music project called Jazz and African Music Nights.

The concert is set to take place every week at the Rendezvous Theatre of the State Theatre in Pretoria.

The concerts, which are aimed at giving established and developing artists an opportunity to showcase their talent, starts on February 5 and run until the end of the year.

Musician, composer and producer Selaelo Selota will open the first Jazz and African Music Night concert on February 5.

Selota will share the stage with jazz pianist and London School of Music graduate Norman Chauke.

The singer is one of the highly talented local Afro-jazz singers. Having distinguished himself as a pioneer of smooth Shangaan jazz, Chauke is slowly building his profile in mainstream jazz.

On February 19 it will be the turn of Cape Town-born composer and jazz artist Paul Hanmer and Ngwako Manamela to show music lovers what they can do on stage.

Manamela is considered by many musicians as the best vibraphone and marimba player in South Africa. Hanmer's music boasts strong flavours of the Cape Flats and the Friday afternoon township gumba.

He has taken a very different approach to creating an African sound and constantly changing texture in his style.

The last Jazz and African Music Nights in February will be on Friday 26, with shows by Mohau Kekana and bassist Ernest Motlhe.

Kekana has scooped a prize for ranking among the top six in an international piano scholarship competition in 2001.

Artists such as Musa Manzini, Concord Nkabinde, Andile Yenana, Oupa Makhubele and Mpumi Dhlamini are also schedule to perform at the State Theatre during the year.

All shows starts at 8pm and tickets cost R60 at Computicket and R80 at the door on the night of the concert.