Winners of the first annual Javett Music Awards announced

Posted on September 13, 2018

Sandisile Gqweta and Olu Yakhe have been named the winners of the 2018 Javett Music Awards, hosted at the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria.

Sandisile, a BMus (Performing Arts) final year jazz student at UP, won in the Jazz Vocal Category. Olu, who hails from Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape, won in the Classical Singing Category. They each win R25 000 and the opportunity to perform at UP’s Musaion Theatre.

The annual awards alternate between composition and performing arts in any musical genre (classical, jazz or electro-acoustic). The awards acknowledge excellence and celebrate outstanding innovation and musical creativity, targeting the best young talent in the country.

Sandisile and Olu performed at the awards function at the Javett Music Awards concert on 5 September, and were joined onstage by Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Professor Lenora Helm Hammonds. Professor Helm Hammonds arrived in South Africa recently from North Carolina Central University to take up her residency as the Javett Jazz Artist-in-Residence, awarded by the Javett Foundation at UP's Department of Music.

“We have, in Olu and Sandisile, young musicians of rare talent,” says Prof Alexander Johnson, Head of UP’s Department of Music. “It’s wonderful to provide them with a platform to develop and grow their skills. Winning the Javett Music Award is not only an honour they both richly deserve, but it also gives them well-deserved exposure and recognition.”

The Javett Awards represent the first element in an expanding and evolving partnership between UP and the Javett Foundation. The partnership is rooted in a shared belief in the value of the arts for society in general, and for education in particular. The partnership will be consolidated and strengthened in 2019, with the launch of the Javett Art Centre at UP (Javett-UP).

Both Professor Helm Hammonds and Professor Johnson served on the adjudication panel that chose the student winners. Their fellow adjudication panelists were Professor Mageshan Naidoo (UP), Professor Albie van Schalkwyk (University of Cape Town), Professor Karendra Devroop (UNISA); Dr Soon Cho (Texas State University); and Themba Maseo (UP).


- Author Department of University Relations

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