UKZN Centre for Jazz and Popular Music and iSupport Creative Business have taken the initiative to marshal their resources by representing a regular virtual concert series.  The upcoming edition is taking place on Wednesday the 12th of August at 18h00 and featuring three performances.  Jazz pianist Paul Hanmer with multi-instrumentalist Dave Reynolds, bassist Mark Wade and Flamenco Dance, and music performance Desert Flowers by Linda Vargas Dance company will all present a 20-minute set each.

In Feb 2011, jazz pianist Paul Hanmer and multi-instrumentalist Dave Reynolds did something unheard of in South Africa.  They toured the country from Joburg to Durban to the Eastern Cape and over to Cape Town with a schedule so tight they had 26 engagements in 23 consecutive days.  Fortunately, there was a film and sound crew, and the result is a short movie titled “Universities & Townships”.

Dave Reynolds is mostly known as a jazz steelpan player, although he also plays acoustic guitar, assorted percussion and a modified Paraguayan harp.  He has performed and recorded all over the world with Andy Narell, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the late Hugh Masekela, the late Sipho Gumede, Pops Mohamed, Steve Newman of Tananas, Gloria Bosman and McCoy Mrubata to name a few.  His work has been nominated for Best Jazz Album three times at the SAMAs, the most recent being “Live in Grahamstown” recorded at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival with Pops Mohamed.  Dave has a daughter and a son and lives in Muizenberg, Cape Town.

US bass player Mark Wade

Best known for his groundbreaking jazz album “Trains to Taung”, which has sold over 200 000 copies in South Africa, Paul Hanmer has released six solo albums in total for which he has won numerous awards and become a household name in jazz circles in South Africa.  He has recorded and performed with the late Miriam Makeba, the late Sipho Gumede, Ray Phiri, Louis Mhlanga and McCoy Mrubata (a collaboration that has recently passed the 30 years mark).  He has also composed music for various classical formats such as violin and harp duo, string quartet and clarinet quintet.  Paul has two daughters and lives in Johannesburg.

Voted one of the top bassists of 2016, 2018, and 2019 by the prestigious Downbeat Magazine Reader’s Poll, Mark Wade has been an active bassist in the New York City area for over 20 years.  His 2015 debut album “Event Horizon” and 2018 follow up “Moving Day” were released to international acclaim.  He has played with other notable jazz artists such as James Spaulding, Eddie Palmieri, Conrad Herwig, Harry Whitaker, Pete McGuinness, Peter Eldridge, Don Bryon, and he appeared on “The Today Show” with Stacey Kent.  Wade is a faculty member of the jazz programme at Lehigh University.  He is also a New York Pops Teaching Artist.  He is the founder and director of New Music Horizons, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the work of emerging jazz and classical composers.

The Music Unlocked Sessions invited the Linda Vargas Flamenco Dance Company to present their recording of the performance Desert Flowers – a special once-off screening.  Fresh of an unbeaten run on the vFringeprogramme of the National Arts Festival, and for anyone who missed it, the performance, choreographed by Linda Vargas, is a reworking of the much-acclaimed 2004 production of the same name for “Vida Flamenco” the 35th-anniversary celebrations of the Linda Vargas Flamenco Dance Company at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre in July 2018.  Featuring special guests: Flatfoot Dance Company, Senta Duffield, Katherine Anderson and Kevin Ellis, it brings together a diverse range of dancers and musicians in a work that particularly locates Flamenco dancing and rhythm within the South African context.  With a compelling score arranged and composed by Demi Fernandez, it also features musicians Neil Gonsalves, Martin Sigamoney and Bryan Stone.

Tickets are R50 and are available through The YouTube link will be sent via email on Wednesday the 12th of August between 4pm and 6pm.  Performance is available to watch from 6pm.