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KZN MUSIC CLUSTER INITIATIVE (article first published : 2003-07-23)

The Kwa Zulu Natal Indigenous Music Project funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust and managed by BEES Trust, will operate a Musicians School in KZN starting at Clermont's KK Hostel for the next two months.

"This is not a school in the educator/learner sense", says Malcolm Malo-D Nhleko, co-team leader of the programme. "Rather it is a school in the traditional music sense. Not only in Kwa Zulu-Natal but all over Africa, master musicians in informal settings "school" up-and-coming performers in their act”, he added.

"Most of the performers we have already have excellent musical skills. What we aim to do is, pass on other skills that will increase their income and commercial success", explains co-team leader Izan Greyling of the Music Technology Department of Durban Institute of Technology.

As the course outline indicates, these skills include sound engineering, commercial performances and stagecraft, music business areas such as marketing, promotion and legal issues. Each training programme will end in a graduation ceremony where, participatory groups will perform in a concert format.

In addition, with NLDTF funding, the project aims to survey archive, digitally record and upgrade the performing skills and income generation possibilities of traditional music performers in rural areas. Over 60 groups in all from Clermont, Empangeni and Port Shepstone areas have been surveyed, digitally filmed and recorded with their history and performance snippets set to be posted on an educational and promotional website.

Year-long monthly Maskanda sundowner concerts have been organized for the first Friday of every month at the BAT Centre/Trans Africa Express site and further locations are under discussion. The Department of Economic Development and Tourism working group chaired by Dr. Bheki Langa, the Department’s CEO for Small Enterprise and Sectoral Development, is part of the music development projects.

“We also are in the process of exploring further collaboration possibilities with DIT and the Further Education and Training College system and international partners” add BEES Project Manager Dr. Romanus Monji.

The graduation concert is scheduled for August 2 at the K.K Hall in Clermont. More details available on www.kwazulumusic.org




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