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JOHANNESBURG – Jazz had its birth in the United States, and has now been around for about a century, its popularity having spread around the globe. It has given birth to a number of other genres, playing a role in the advocacy for change, while staying relevant.

Ike Phaahla is a well-known jazz aficionado. Recently while he was doing research on the prolific composer and talented saxophonist, Barney Rachabane, it was disheartening to learn that there is a paucity of information on this late legend. It came to mind that there have been a number of gifted and exciting musicians in the past, whose work has not been sufficiently exposed, recorded and documented, and that we should take the opportunity to do this before they are lost to us.

The ZAR jazz orchestra, featuring Marcus Wyatt, together with the young virtuoso Siya Makhuzeni, Bokani Dyer, Justin Bellair and Sisonke Xonti have done just that in producing a remarkable and imaginative recording of their combined talents. The CD will be available within a couple of weeks.

More of these recordings are yet to be seen, provided funding for these trailblazers can be obtained, so that their music will continue to resonate with the nation long after they cease to breathe.

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