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Feeling jazzed up

Keorapetse Kolwane won a scholarship to further her studies.
Keorapetse Kolwane won a scholarship to further her studies.

The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) exposed a pool of jazz talent when they announced the winner of their Overseas Scholarships Competition for Singers 2019 last week.

Finalists performed at the Linder Auditorium at Wits University in Joburg, where Keorapetse Kolwane from Harrismith and Palesa Malieloa from Kroonstad each won a scholarship worth R200,000 to further their music studies abroad. Kolwane won in the jazz category while Malieloa came out tops in the Western art music category.

Among the finalists was the 23- year-old Jodi Fredericks, bound to be a classic diva. From Belhar in Cape Town, she says that her heart and sound resonates with contemporary jazz.

She is currently a final-year jazz studies student majoring in jazz vocals at the South African College of Music at UCT and has performed at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival on three occasions.

"I performed at the Green Market Square Free Concert as a member of the Allstar Band in 2014, led the Sekunjalo Edujazz Big Band in 2018 and backed DonVino Prins in 2019.

"I competed in the 10th Grand West Open Mic Jazz Competition in 2018 and was awarded first runner-up," she says.

Jodi Fredericks
Jodi Fredericks

Hoping to pursue further studies at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, the freelance musician is confident that Mzansi music lovers of all tastes will embrace her soulful sound.

"Although I am studying jazz I love various types of music. I don't want to be boxed into a genre. I am working on releasing my EP next year," says Fredericks, who is also a body-positive model.

The winner of the competition, Kolwane, is a performing artist, songwriter, composer, band leader and music educator who gave a riveting performance of Oliver Nelson's Stolen Moments.

The music bug bit at the age of 11 and she was selected as one of the country's top youth jazz musicians to be part of the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band of 2015.

She has performed at various festivals around the world, including the Oslo Jazz Festival in Norway and locally at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz.