Rediscovered photos of Blue Notes give insight into SA's jazz history

A rare set of photographs of South Africa's most famous jazz ensemble, the Blue Notes, has added valuable insights to the music archive.

The pictures were taken in 1964 by young South African student and photography enthusiast, Norman Owen-Smith.

University of Witwatersrand (Wits) music lecturer Dr LindelwaDalamba says the photos are a "rare and unexpected contribution to a hungry archive for jazz lovers all over the world".

Dalamba tells John Maytham how the story of the Blue Notes is 'inextricable from apartheid’s exiling of the musical– specifically jazz – imagination.'

He (Owen-Smith) had taken the pictures, developed a few, one of which had won a prize and he just carried the negative with him throughout his life.

Dr.Lindelwa Dalamba, Music lecturer - University of the Witwatersrand

The pictures enable us to remember how during those times, those post-Sharpville times, university performances spaces were one of the last few spaces that were open to these kinds of ensembles.

Dr.Lindelwa Dalamba, Music lecturer - University of the Witwatersrand

Listen to the full interview below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Rediscovered photos of Blue Notes give insight into SA's jazz history


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