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Vusi Mahlasela - Jazz Artist
Johannesburg -  For a long time JAZZ musicians have not been given proper recognition for their contribution to the South African music sound and their role in fighting apartheid. These are the musicians that kept the nation united and still unite the society even today.  

JAZZ music is the greatest art form in South Africa and has greater influence in society and it’s a fact that most music comes from the genre. Furthermore, jazz events often attract a lot of music lovers in the country, but jazz practitioners get little in way of appreciation for their sweat and their sales are low.

During the struggle for freedom the nation was kept together by the wonderful sound of guitar, drums, trumpet, piano and saxophone that produced South African jazz music.
These artists fought against apartheid and in the process endured much pain and sacrificed a great deal, with most of them were forced to exile for many years.

The most dramatic stories of these heroes and heroines of Jazz have been forgotten over the years. However, the introduction of Jazz and Fusion Awards of South Africa (JAFASA) seeks to tell the real stories about ladies and gentlemen of this genre.

It is their music that kept the fires burning in the hearts of many South Africans and kept us going through the music.

It is with great pleasure that JAFASA announces the launch of the annual Jazz and Fusion Music Awards (JAFASA) this year. JAFASA will recognize most forgotten heroes and heroines of this genre including jazz appreciators/collectors, jazz hang-outs and jazz schools. Of course, the artists who still keep the train moving currently will play a vital role and will be definitely honoured for their significant work.

These awards will honour late musicians, legends and newcomers. Moreover, JAFASA is lined to be a key driver of the development of this genre in the country by exposing new talent and working closely with independent and major record companies.

The awards will also have a significant contribution towards the economic growth of the hosting region. The prestigious JAFASA will be held in August 2013.

In the process, call goes to record companies and independent artists to submit entries for JAFASA categories which are open for entry. Owners of jazz hang-outs, clubs and collectors will submit recommendations for best jazz hang-out.

The awards will give out statuettes in 15 categories: Best Album, Best Female, Best Male, Best Band/Group, Best Radio Show, Best Newcomer, Best Traditional Jazz, Best Journalist, Best Jazz School, Best Music Video, Best Fusion Group/Band, Best Jazz Hang Out, and Song of The year. Jazz luminaries will also be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award.  

JAFASA board chairman, Hlalele Molotsi says: This is long overdue. With little airplay given for jazz music, we believe that JAFASA would bring the deserved honour to many a jazz artists and raise their profile. Over the years jazz musicians have been spectators in a number of awards ceremonies, but that would soon be history, as we plan to honour their valued contribution.

The chairman added that the platform also seeks to continue with the legacy of uniting the nation through music.

The Board of Trustees so far includes names such as Dr. Brian Thusi (musician), Dr. Mfundo Ntaka, revered jazz presenter Eric Alan, KZN legends awards chairperson Thami Ntuli,  jazz festival producer/promoter Mantwa Chinoamadi and Ukhozi presenter/compiler/producer Mandla Mdletshe, 

The launch for JAFASA is just the beginning. South Africans should wait for the big day when jazz legends and newcomers take a centre stage to accept their recognition.

By Mandla Motau JAFASA media coordinator - 0845762670
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