New appointment in the Department of Music at UP

Posted on April 21, 2016

Prof Mageshen Naidoo was appointed as an Associate Professor and Director for Jazz Studies in the Department of Music at the University of Pretoria (UP) in November last year. He is the former Director of the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), where he also served as Senior Lecturer and Acting Head of the School of Music from 2005 to 2011. He is a former Deputy Director of the Directorate of Music at the University of South Africa and was the editor of the academic journal Musicus from 2011 to 2015.

Prof Naidoo, an acclaimed guitarist, composer and educator, hails from the township of Chatsworth in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. He made his recording debut on Canadian pianist/composer Carol Ann Weaver's album Dancing Rivers in 1999 and also contributed to her album Every Three Children in 2008. In 2000 he recorded his own original compositions and arrangements with the South African band Tonk, and in 2009 he recorded his own album, Warwick Triangle. He has performed in the USA, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Canada and Mexico (Puebla and Veracruz), and also all over South Africa. His performance credits include internationally acclaimed artists such as Joanne Brackeen, Mike Rossi (USA), Yuri Honing (Holland), Ronald Snijders (Suriname), Marco Pignataro (Italy), Oscar Stagnaro (Venezuela), Karin Bengjmark (Sweden), Feya Faku and Ladysmith Black Mambazo (South Africa), and African pop star Angelique Kidjo. Some of the highlights of his career include performing at a private birthday party for former President Nelson Mandela and performances at both the Commonwealth Heads of State and African Heads of State conferences.

As a US Fulbright Student he graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree (Performance) from the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles. He also holds an MM degree (Studio/Jazz Guitar Performance) from USC, an MMus (Performance and Jazz Composition) cum laude and a BMus degree (Jazz Studies) from the UKZN. At the USC he studied guitar with the legendary Joe Diorio and attended master classes with Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Mike Stern, Paul Jackson Jr and Kurt Rosenwinkel. Prof Naidoo has won numerous awards for music, including awards in both the Composer and Performance categories of the Old Mutual Jazz Competition, and the USC's Faculty award for Distinguished Scholarship and Leadership.

At the thirteenth annual conference of the South African Association for Jazz Education, which took place at Wits University from 31 March to 2 April this year, Prof Naidoo was elected President of the South African Association for Jazz Education (SAJE) after having previously served two terms as Vice-President, from 2012 to November 2015. His appointment as President of the Association once again attests to his contribution to music, and especially to the genre of jazz.


- Author Myan Subrayan

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