South Africa: Memorial Service For Late South African Jazz Maestro Set For This Friday

By Novell Zwange – Johannesburg – A memorial service for the late Zim Ngqawana (25 December 1959 – 10 May 2011[1]) is set for this Friday, June 3 · 2:00pm – 5:00pm at the Bassline, in Newtown, Johannesburg. Zim died in the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital after suffering a stroke, he had been rehearsing at his home in Troyeville for a show at Wits on that weekend when he had the stroke.

the late Zim Ngqawana
the late Zim Ngqawana

Later known as Zimology, was one of South African leading flautist and saxophonist. The youngest of five children, Ngqawana started playing flute at the age of 21. He dropped out of school prior to meeting university entrance requirements but won entrance to a place at Rhodes University. He later studied for a diploma in Jazz Studies at the University of Natal. He was offered scholarships to the Max Roach/Wynton Marsalis jazz workshop and later a scholarship to the University of Massachusetts, where he studied with jazz musicians Archie Shepp and Yusef Lateef.

After his return to South Africa in the 1990s Ngqawana worked with South African jazz musicians Hugh Masekela and Abdullah Ibrahim. He was featured on Bjorn Ole Solburg’s Norwegian San Ensemble album, San Song. He toured the United States with his band “Ingoma” in 1995, and he made an appearance at Black History Week in Chicago.

He performed a duet with poet Lefifi Tladi in the documentary Giant Steps (2005), directed by Geoff Mphakati and Aryan Kaganof. In January 2010, Ngqawana’s Zimology Institute was vandalised by scrap metal thieves. He performed a duet concert in the rubble of the vandalised building with Cape Town pianist Kyle Shepherd. This performance was filmed as The Exhibition Of Vandalizimiop by Aryan Kaganof. The Vandalizim concerts were subsequently performed at the MOMO Gallery in Johannesburg and at a scrapyard in Stellenbosch, organised by Stellenbosch University’s music department and DOMUS.

Zim Ngqawana in 2006.
San Song (1996, with the Norwegian San Ensemble)
Zimology (1998)
Ingoma (1999)
Zimphonic Suites (2001)
Vadzimu (2004)
The Best of Zim Ngqawana