The Jazz Epistles

April 18 – 19, 2018

Production Language English
Country of Origin South Africa
Description The Jazz Epistles were South Africa’s first black jazz band, pioneering a new musical form influenced by bebop and traditional South African music. Inspired by Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, the band formed after the Dollar Brand Trio from Capetown––which included pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, bassist Johnny Gertze, and drummer Makaya Ntshoko––combined talents with alto saxophonist Kippie Moeketsi, trumpeter Hugh Masekela, and trombonist Jonas Gwangwa. Their first and only album, Jazz Epistle, Verse 1, released in 1959, brought them international acclaim. Following the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre and the heightened oppression of the apartheid government, including the prohibition of jazz music, the members of the band emigrated to Europe and North America. Two of the members, Ibrahim and Masekela, would go on to become jazz stars in their own right.
Identifier 2018s.00419