Education Programme

The NYJF is one of the most significant youth jazz development initiatives in South Africa and employs specialist jazz educators for the festival and performing artists also participate in the teaching programme.

National Bands

  • National Youth and National Schools’ Bands are selected through an audition process to recognise and challenge the best young players in the country, and they practise and perform during the NYJF.
  • The Legacy Bands form the heart of the NYJF and every student – secondary or tertiary – is in one daily, rehearsing and performing interesting new music, meeting their peers from around the country and being conducted by an experienced jazz teacher. The names of the bands pay tribute to musicians and educators who have impacted on the NYJF over the years and who have passed on. We wish to acknowledge their talent and effort and remind our youth about some of the people who have come before them and had an impact that makes a festival like this possible.

Marcus Printup and Ted Nash (Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra -USA) with the National Schools Big Band 2019

Workshops and Teaching

  • Assorted workshops are offered in jazz history, theory, practice and associated industry disciplines such as management, business or sound engineering.

  • Vocalists are specifically catered for in vocal workshops led by professional singers, and there are also opportunities of singing in a festival jazz choir or performing solo (often with professional rhythm section backing).

  • There are small ensemble workshops that focus on jazz improvisation and also instrument master classes.

  • Students have the opportunity to meet individually with the performers, and artists also present talks on their personal philosophy and experience of jazz.

  • Seminars are held which focus particularly on South African jazz heritage.

  • There are many opportunities for student performance – either with their established bands, or in groups created at the festival.

  • Students are encouraged to attend all performances (up to 6 a day) and have free entry into each.

Michael Pipoquinha Trio (Brazil) giving a workshop

Drum Workshop with Håkon Johansen
Improv Workshop with Duncan Combe
Trombone Workshop with Murray Buitendag
Piano Workshop with Afrika Mkhize
Improv Workshop with Brian Thusi
Bass Workshop with Shane Cooper
Trombone Workshop with Kyle du Preez
Sax Workshop with Frode Nymo (Normay)