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Vcu Jazz Studies/Ukzn Jazz | Leap of Faith

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Hugh Masekela Madala Kunene Plunky Branch

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Jazz: Bebop World: African Moods: Instrumental
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Leap of Faith

by Vcu Jazz Studies/Ukzn Jazz

Original jazz compositions recorded live by VCU and UKZN students and faculty, plus cuts with guests Plunky Branch (soprano sax) and Madala Kunene (guitar and vocals).
Genre: Jazz: Bebop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Nia
VCU Jazz Studies/Ukzn Jazz + Plunky Branch
8:13 album only
2. Leap of Faith
VCU Jazz
5:00 album only
3. Reunion: Brothers from Another Mother
9:40 album only
4. Laga the Rider
8:11 album only
5. Makalafukwe
VCU Jazz
8:05 album only
6. Breathe
6:36 album only
7. A Little Soul Never Hurt Nobody
VCU Jazz
9:01 album only
8. Southern Skies and Lavender Blue
Antonio García/Neil Gonsalves
9:06 album only
9. Mfoka Zibhebhu
VCU Jazz Studies/UKZN Jazz + Madala Kunene
4:11 album only
10. No Pass, No Special
VCU Jazz Studies/UKZN Jazz + Madala Kunene
9:51 album only


Album Notes
1. NIA (8:15)
comp: Plunky Branch arr. Victor Haskins

2. LEAP OF FAITH (5:01)
comp: Stephan le Roux

comp: Antonio J. García

4. LAGA THE RIDER (8:11)
comp: Sakhile Simani

comp: Sazi Dlamini

6. BREATHE (6:36)
comp: Victor X. Haskins

comp: Chris Ryan

comp: Neil Gonsalves

comp: Mzwake Kunene arr. Antonio J. García

10. NO PASS, NO SPECIAL (9:52)
comp: Mzwake Kunene arr. Antonio J. García

All selections were recorded live: no overdubs added, with several edits made by Antonio García to accommodate the length of this CD. #1, 3, 4, 6, & 7 were recorded at Sonia Vlahcevic Concert Hall, VCU, Richmond, VA, March 28, 2013; #2, 5, 8, 9, & 10 at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music, UKZN, Durban, South Africa, March 6, 2013.

#2, 3, & 6 were commissioned by VCU in Honor of its Partnership with UKZN. #5 was commissioned by The Southern African Music Organisation, Limited (SAMRO) and VCU in Honor of VCU's Partnership with the UKZN. All ten arrangements received their first performances within these two March 2013 concerts.

Director--Neil Gonsalves
Tenor--Linda Sikhakhane; Trumpet--Sakhile Simani
(also congas on #6); Guitar--Sebastian Goldswain
(also rainstick on #6); Piano--Lungelo Ngcobo;
Bass--Ildo Nandja; Drums--Sphelelo Mazibuko

Tracks 2, 5, 7: VCU AFRICA COMBO
Director--Antonio J. García
Alto--Trey Sorrells; Tenor--Brendan Schnabel;
Trumpet--Victor Haskins; Guitar--Chris Ryan;
Bass--Justin Esposito; Drums--C.J. Wolfe
On #4 add Trombone--Antonio García.
On #7 add Piano--Neil Gonsalves.

Directors--Antonio J. García, Neil Gonsalves
All 12 students perform on these three tracks. Further details:
Track 1 includes Plunky Branch (soprano), Sebastian Goldswain (guitar/rainstick), Ildo Nandja (congas), Sphelelo Mazibuko (drums), C.J. Wolfe (hand percussion).
Track 9 includes Madala Kunene (acoustic guitar/vocals), Sebastian Goldswain (rhythm guitar), Justin Esposito (bass), Sphelelo Mazibuko (congas), Ildo Nandja (hand percussion), C.J. Wolfe (drums), all (vocals); Antonio García conducting.
Track 10 includes Madala Kunene (acoustic guitar/vocals), Darryl Harper (clarinet), Sebastian Goldswain (guitar/rainstick), Ildo Nandja (bass), Sphelelo Mazibuko (congas), C.J. Wolfe (drums), Justin Esposito (hand percussion), all (vocals); Antonio García conducting.

Track 8:
Trombone--Antonio García; Piano--Neil Gonsalves

The Commissions
García's “Reunion: Brothers from Another Mother,” reflects the joy and friendship immediately apparent among the VCU and UKZN musicians upon their very first meeting in Durban in July 2012. “Leap of Faith” by le Roux is inspired by “the decision to move to Cape Town and leave everything I had built up in Pietermaritzburg.” Dlamini's “Makalafukwe” celebrates “the musical experiences of black South African youth in the 1950s and the 1960s, growing up in rural mission stations and peri-urban black townships.” And “Breathe” by Haskins “makes me feel as though I am taking in a very deep, relaxing breath--cathartic, in a way.”

From the Directors of Jazz Studies
The UKZN Jazz Legacy Ensemble is immensely proud to represent the long tradition of jazz and jazz education in South Africa. UKZN was the first tertiary institution on the African continent to offer a formal jazz program way back in 1983 with the arrival of Darius Brubeck in Durban, South Africa. The program took root in fertile soil where African-American culture and jazz in particular had been a constant influence and aspirational force since the 1920s and had provided a beacon of light and freedom in the darkest days of apartheid.

South African jazz has its own swagger though, which is rooted in the many kinds of urban music that are part and parcel of a migrant culture. Through the gift of this exchange, we can proudly say that local South African music forms and styles such as mbaqanga, maskanda, and marabi have taken their place alongside the blues, standard tunes, and bebop as platforms for musical dialogue between our respective ensembles. We celebrate this dialogue within this CD, which we recognize from our exchange experience as being rooted, at least partially, in our common Southern heritage of migration from serfdom to global citizenry; and we acknowledge the effectiveness of this jazz bridge that we've built towards developing greater understanding.
--Prof. Neil Gonsalves, Director of the UKZN Centre for Jazz and Popular Music
* * *
VCU's Global Education Office issued a call for grant proposals in October 2010. I identified UKZN as an ideal partner and applied to VCUarts for matching potential funding, confirmed September 2011. Then I wrote the grant with Neil Gonsalves, approved June 2012; and five weeks later the VCU team was in Durban. The UKZN team traveled September 2012, and we each visited in March 2013. Enter four commissioned works (two Durban, two Richmond), several new arrangements, Internet rehearsals; South African music legend Madala Kunene and Richmond icon Plunky Branch, guest speakers, numerous performances, attending concerts; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts insights, field trips to jazz collections of Guggenheim Fellow/VCU Prof. Siemon Allen and those curated by The Smithsonian and Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.; and visits to The National Endowment For The Arts, Durban's KwaMuhle Museum, and Richmond's Black History Museum and American Civil War Center.

Richmond and Durban share a history impacted by racism, and the music of their cities and countries speak for freedom. Our year-long project, “A Jazz Bridge to Greater Understanding,” was chosen as the 2013 recipient of the VCU Community Engagement Award for Research, an award saluting VCU's efforts to engage its community locally, nationally, and internationally through research. Jazz has long been and will long remain a basis for myriad musics derived from jazz roots; crossing all cultures, genders, and nations; absorbing from and spilling over into classical, rock, popular, and more. VCU Jazz's goal is to prepare our students for that future. Of VCU Jazz's eight recordings in the last 30 years, this is the third consecutive recorded entirely live before an audience--no overdubs.

Neil and I thank all the artists and community partners on both continents; all UKZN faculty and staff (especially Thulile Zama, Babalwa Mentjies, Roy Dace, Chair Jürgen Bräuninger, and Profs. Jeff Robinson, Sazi Dlamini, Demi Fernandez, Debbie Mari, George Mari, Salim Washington); Ndikho and Nomusa Xaba; all VCU Music faculty and staff (especially Linda Johnston, Curt Blankenship); Dr. Darryl Harper (Chair, VCU Music), Prof. John Patykula, and Dr. James Wiznerowicz; Dr. Sarah Cunningham, Dr. Christina Lindholm, Prof. Susan Roth, Prof. Joe Seipel (Dean, VCUarts); Dr. Maghboeba Mosavel, Dr. Rosalyn Hobson, Dr. Wanda Mitchell; Dr. R. McKenna Brown (Director, GEO); Dr. Catherine Howard (Vice Provost), Dr. Beverly Warren (Provost), Dr. Michael Rao (President); VCU Jazz Students Fund contributors; and especially Neil's wife, Nareen and my wife, Mary and daughter, Kate. It is an honor for us to serve with the remarkable family of faculty and students within the teams at VCU and UKZN Music.
--Prof. Antonio García, Director of VCU Jazz Studies

- - - - . . . and if you're still reading . . . - - - -

Total Playing Time: 78:00

Producer, Liner Notes, Graphics, & Layout; plus (Selections 1, 7, & 10) Assistant Engineer--Antonio J. García
Engineer (Selections 2, 5, 8, 9, & 10)--Chris Stranex (SAS Productions, Durban, South Africa)
Engineer (Selections #1, 3, 4, 6, & 7; plus all 10 remixes)--Curt Blankenship (VCU)
Technical Assistant (Selections #2, 5, 8, 9, & 10)--Jesse Castellani (VCU)

VCU 00100-8

For More Information
VCU Jazz Studies
922 Park Avenue
Box 842004
Richmond VA 23284-2004 USA
ph (001) 804-827-0699
fax (001) 804-827-0230

VCU Department of Music
922 Park Avenue
Box 842004
Richmond VA 23284-2004 USA
ph (001) 804-828-1166
fax (001) 804-827-0230

UKZN Centre for Jazz and Popular Music
Howard College Campus
75th Anniversary Avenue
Durban, South Africa 4041
ph (27) (0)31-260-3385
fax (27) (0)31-260-1048



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