Jazz masters at play

Jazz masters Herbie Tsoaleli and Sydney Mnisi perform for an intimate crowd.

The Afrikan Freedom Station based in the historic Sophiatown hosts a weekly Masters Jam Session and is calling on local jazz legends to bring the jazz community together.

The line-up for 21 June included jazz masters Sydney Mnisi and Herbie Tsoaeli.

Sydney Mnisi plays one of his legendary saxophone solos.

Mnisi, a saxophonist originally from Edenvale, has been in the music industry for 20 years and has performed with the likes of Bheki Mseleku and Hugh Masekela.

He described his career in jazz as a calling he could not resist. The saxophonist quit his job in 1988, took some of his savings and enrolled at the Fuba Music Academy before moving his studies to Pretoria Technikon as it was known then.

Herbie Tsoaleli demonstrates his fast fingers during a bass solo.

Tsoaleli, a bassist, composer and arranger, walked away with the South African Music Award for the Best Jazz Album in 2013. He has performed with Abdullah Ibrahim and Louis Moholo.

For Tsoaleli, his music is a spiritual experience and he refers to it as ‘Jazz Moya’ which means jazz influenced by spirits.

The duo picked up their instruments for the weekly Wednesday night session at the Afrikan Freedom Station for a small crowd made up of locals and foreign visitors.

The jam session was short, intimate and casual with Mnisi and Tsoaleli having fun with their set. The duo played as though they had only just discovered jazz and fell in love with it.

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Roxy de Villiers

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