The performance and support for the UK’s music industry has been a topic of hot debate over the past year. Stellar sales figures and award show dominance by the likes of Adele and Mumford & Sons have ushered in talk about how the make the most of these successes and encourage grass roots music making to ensure the industry retains its strength and quality.
While politicians, economists and players argue the toss about funding, rights and the role of the UK government, a number of successful South African musicians are looking to give something back in an exciting new project that aims to give the talent of the Rainbow Nation a platform to shine and thrive.
Founded by award-winning Baritone Njabulo Madlala, the Amazwi Omzansi Africa Project (Voices of South Africa) is an artist driven initiative aimed at providing support and opportunities to the young and highly talented musicians of South Africa through training, education, mentoring and promotion.
Other key aims of the project are to bring Western Classical music to a wider audience within South Africa, inspiring a new generation of musicians, while raising awareness of South African music and composers abroad. Alongside the musical concerns of the group, Amazwi Omzansi Africa are also committed to raising money, awareness and support for the fight against HIV/Aids and community and social issues.
The project is currently running a competition to find the best and brightest new South African talent from across the country for the Amazwi Omzansi Africa Performing Arts International Festival. First auditions are set to take place from December 13 and full details can be found on the competition website.
On November 23, Madlala and pianist Will Vann will be performing a special fundraising concert at St James Piccadilly, London entitled The Dream, The Hope: Our Homeland. The two performers will also be joined by Ben Schoeman, Ahmed Dickinson and Neal Thornton. Tickets are available online.
Amazwi Omzansi Africa plan to provide regular events, workshops and concerts to raise money and visibility for their cause, with hopes of founding a dedicated recording label and artist management company, expanding beyond music and into drama and the visual arts.