Youth getting jazzy at festival

Kamvelihle Haga and Benjamin Lewis will be jazzing it up on the CTIJF stage.

Wynberg Secondary School pupils will be performing at one of the country’s biggest music events along with some of the industry’s biggest names.

The school’s band of 10 talented young men and one songstress will be representing their school at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) at the end of next month.

The school’s band was selected after their participation in a sustainable training and development music and careers workshop programme.

They will be performing at the CTIJF’s annual free concert taking place at Greenmarket Square.

Every year a school is selected to take part in the CTIJF programme’s workshop to perform at the following year’s free Community Concert and Wynberg Secondary’s band was selected based on their performance and their participation in four workshops.

Music teacher Celeste Moses-Toefy said music was an outlet which had been beneficial to those who took part. “They’re passionate and practise all the time. It means so much for our school to take part in the CTIJF. Our school is falling apart but our pupils are flourishing despite the odds,” she said.

Musician and band mentor, Lana Crowster, said music saved lives: “Children of colour don’t often get such great opportunities so this programme, where our children can learn, make a career of it and travel the world, is exactly what is needed.”

Craig Parks, head of training and development for the festival, said he was proud of the young musicians who had shown dedication, commitment and

“They have shown outstanding dedication to the programme and have grown immensely. We look forward to seeing these young musicians taking to the stage as performers at future festivals.”

Keyboard player Benjamin Lewis said the opportunity was a dream come true. “We will be on stage with big name artists, it is such an achievement and I hope I can continue my music journey on such a huge scale.”

Vocalist Kamvelihle Higa said it was overwhelming to be part of something that was her passion. “I hope I will get recognised in future and that I’d be able to do what I love for a living.”

The CTIJF takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Friday and Saturday March 27 and 28.