GALLERY: Jazz for peace

Jeremy Danneman performs for the residents of Hillbrow.

 

A group of jazz musicians brought a message of peace and tolerance through an inspiring street performance at the Temple Israel Heritage Centre in Hillbrow.

This was led by Rwandan musician Sophie Nzayisenga and American saxophonist Jeremy Danneman who had been touring the country entertaining people in street and club performances in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Read: Father of SA jazz, Hugh Masekela leaves a powerful legacy

The duo gave their first performance in South Africa at the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre in Orange Grove on 23 May.

During their tour in Johannesburg, they met chairperson of the Temple Israel Heritage Centre, Reeva Forman who invited them to host a street performance for the local residents of Hillbrow on 5 June.

Danneman said, “I have a great interest in street performance. For my birthday in 2009, instead of having a party I hosted a parade. So I grabbed my saxophone and made my way through the streets of New York playing for people.

“Instead of playing in venues which host a specific kind of person, street performances have people from various walks of life.”

Danneman, whose grandmother was a Holocaust survivor, said that Nzayinsenga and he first collaborated when he visited Rwanda in 2009 to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. They began giving street performances which led to the creation and release of their album, Honey Wine in 2017.

Read: Olisha puts the pop into SA music

Nzayinsenga is the first professional female inanga player in the world. The inanga is a traditional Rwandan string instrument.

Danneman said they had heard about the recent history of xenophobic violence in Hillbrow which they wished to confront through the street performance.

Chairperson of the heritage centre Reeva Forman said the impromptu concert was a way to send the small message of tolerance to the small group of people who attended.

Details: www.templeisraelh.org.za

Share your thoughts on the street performance by posting on the North Eastern Tribune Facebook page.

  AUTHOR
By Andrei van Wyk

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