June 17th through July 2nd in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Soweto, and Makhanda, South Africa and Mbabane, Ezulwini Eswatini!

A veteran of the New York jazz scene, consummate drummer and educator Jeff “Siege” Siegel is proud to announce the Jeff “Siege” Siegel Sextet featuring Feya Faku Summer 2019 tour of South Africa and Eswatini.  From June 17th to July 2nd, the ensemble, joined by iconic trumpeter Feya Faku, will perform and conduct workshops throughout the cities of Pretoria, Johannesburg, Soweto, Mbabane, Ezulwini and Makhanda.  The group will be performing selections from their 2016 release King of Xhosa as well as their 2018 release London Live (both on ARC).

Formed in 2004, this high energy post-bop ensemble features a line-up of compelling, virtuoso musicians with a wealth of experience amongst them.  This collective musical invention combines the dynamic players, along with their stunning arrangements as presented on each of the group’s releases.  On piano, the group features Francesca Tanksley, whose work has ranged from touring with the Billy Harper Quartet to performances with the late Melba Liston.  On bass is Jeff’s long-time collaborator Rich Syracuse who, along with Siegel, performed in the Lee Shaw Trio for many years as well as a decade with Nick Brignola.  Erica Lindsay, on tenor saxophone, has performed with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and Dizzy Gillespie to name a few. The percussive partnership of Siegel and African Dance percussionist extraordinaire, Fred Berryhill, creates the perfect rhythmic foundation on which the ensemble is built.  The percussionists combine the rhythms of Africa with all of the subtleties of swing to create a unique and dynamic sound perfect for the compositions at hand.  These performances will feature South African trumpet and flugelhorn player Feya Faku who served as the inspiration for Siegel’s 2016 record King of Xhosa. He has been associated with some of South Africa’s classic jazz musicians such as Barney Rachabane, Winston Mankunku Ngozi and Abdullah Ibrahim.  The tour will culminate in performances at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival and teaching engagements at the National Youth Jazz Festival.  This engagement is supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Four years ago, band leader Jeff Siegel first had the opportunity to visit South Africa and perform in the Grahamstown Jazz Festival and the National Youth Jazz Festival.  “Because African music is the root of what we play as jazz musicians, there was a feeling of being home while I was there” said Siegel of his time spent in Makanda (Grahamstown).  Here, Siegel became enchanted with the deeply spiritual power of the music of the region, and the spirit and intensity of Feya Faku’s playing. This acted as the impetus for Siegel’s creation of  a project uniquely built off of Feya’s sound. King of Xhosa was named for Feya’s regal nature and the Xhosa people from which he is a descendant.  The album is a celebration of the intrinsic link between African music and Jazz, and of Feya; a man who embodies this musical connection. The pinnacle of this project is to bring the music back Africa, appearing at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival and National Youth Jazz Festival.  The sextet’s performances in South Africa will offer audiences stunningly high-energy spiritual performances by a diverse ensemble of eclectic musicians.

In addition, this tour will offer unparalleled educational experiences for the students of the region.  Siegel’s sextet, all made up of highly sought-after educators, will conduct seven workshops throughout South Africa in addition to their itinerary of concert engagements.  On June 17-18, the sextet will conduct its first workshops through the US Embassy at Tshwane University, Pretoria as well as a music camp for female instrumentalists.  On June 19, the group will conduct workshops through the US Embassy at the South African State Theater in Pretoria and another workshop at the University of the Witwaterstrand in Johannesburg.  On June 21st, the group will travel to Soweto for a performance at Just Badela Food and Wine.  To purchase tickets, contact dumile@mmidi.com or +27 83 425 6283.

On June 22, Jeff’s sextet will travel back to Pretoria for a concert at the Rendezvous Theater (a theater within the South African State Theater).  Tickets will cost 200 Rand and will be available here.  On June 23rd, the group will perform at Jazz on the Hill at the Four Seasons Hotel in Johannesburg.  Tickets will be available here.  On June 26th, the ensemble will partake in a U.S. Embassy private ceremony performance for the National Day Celebration with a concert in Mbabane, Eswatini.  Next, the group travels to Msakato Street, Mbabane, Eswatini for a workshop and concert at The Jazz Gallery, Into Music Society.  Tickets can be obtained by calling +268 2416 3021.  Next, the group will be a part of the Standard Bank Jazz Festival. The group will conduct workshops at the National Youth Jazz Festival on June 29, 30 and July 1, while performing concerts at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival on June 30 and July 2.  The National Youth Jazz Festival provides a forum for the education of the youth while at the same time maintaining a vibrant performance stage which showcases the variety of South African jazz.

More about Jeff “Siege” Siegel:

A member of the Sir Roland Hanna Trio from 1994-1999, Siegel’s diverse career has also led him to perform and/or record with Ron Carter, Kenny Burrell, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Douglas,Benny Golson, Frank Foster, Sheila Jordan, Helen Merrill, Mose Allison, John Medeski, Stefon Harris, Kurt Elling, Ravi Coltrane, Ryan Kisor, Arturo O’Farrill, Arthur Rhames, Wadada Leo Smith, Baikida Carroll, The Levin Brothers (Tony & Pete) and many more.  He has co-led several touring/recording projects over the years.  Siegel teaches at The New School, SUNY New Paltz and WCSU.  He has performed clinics throughout Europe, South America, China, South Africa and the United States.  He holds a M.A. in Jazz from Queens College where he studied composition with Jimmy Heath and has been the recipient of several grants from Meet the Composer as well as the recent Mid Atlantic USAI Travel Grant. He is endorsed by Canopus Drums, Beato Bags and Vic Firth Drum Sticks.  


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