George Mari – Jazz Conference Entertainer

George Mari - Jazz Conference Entertainer
George Mari - Jazz Conference Entertainer

George Mari – Jazz Conference Entertainer

Band leader George Mari – Jazz Conference Entertainer has an MMus in Jazz Composition and Arranging from the University of Natal. He currently teaches Trumpet at the University of KwaZulu Natal School of Music.

In 1995, while studying at UND, he was awarded a scholarship to study trumpet under the tutorship of world renowned trumpeter Arturo Sandoval at Florida International University, Miami, USA.

He also had the opportunity to study with South Africa’s legendary Hugh Masekela who was the ‘Artist-in-Residence’ for several months. Book through Speakers Inc

George Mari – Jazz Conference Entertainer

Although his first love is jazz, he has appeared in a wide range of musical settings including the concert stage, musical productions at venues such as The Cellar and the Playhouse and he was the leader of the popular Durban dance-band The Belltones.

In 2002, he was the Musical Director for Home Talk directed by Themi Venturas at the Sneddon Theatre and has appeared in several Barnyard productions, most recently La Vida, Boogie Wonderland, Walking In Memphis, Tonight’s The Night.

George has worked as a trumpeter, pianist, composer and arranger in Durban for several years and his own band has been instrumental in bringing his compositions to life, by performing them regularly at local Jazz venues.

In 1993 he was commissioned to write the anthem for the African Athletic Championships held in Durban.

He has performed at the Grahamstown Arts Festival, his favourite performance being Steve Dyer’s New Directions in South African Music.

He is also involved in several Community Arts projects and is a member of the teaching staff for the Grahamstown Schools Festival, VUKA Arts Project (Bloemfontein) and the UKUSA Arts Programme (Durban).

In October 2003 he recorded his debut album entitled Syringa Avenue.

In 2006, George recorded his second album ‘My Mecca’ – a collection of original compositions, featuring Melvin Peters (Piano), Bongani Sokhela (Bass), Bruce Baker (Drums) and Debbie Mari (Vocals).

George leads an active, working band which performs regularly at private and corporate functions in and around KwaZulu-Natal.

For private functions, the George Mari – Jazz Conference Entertainer is flexible and draws from a talent pool of professional freelance Jazz musicians working in the greater Durban area. Follow Speakers Inc on Twitter

Main stream Jazz selections include: Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Robbie Williams such as Fly Me to the Moon, Straighten Up and Fly Right, L.O.V.E, What a Difference a Day Made, Stormy Monday, Mustang Sally, Aint No Sunshine, Girl from Ipanema, All of Me, Mack the Knife, Green Dolphin Street, My Baby, Summertime, Watermelon Man and , Cantaloupe Island, Orange Coloured Sky, East of the Sun, Cry Me a River, Makin Whoopee …

The band’s extensive repertoire includes songs/arrangements by  Abdullah Ebrahim –Royal Blue, Mannenberg, African Market Place; other/traditional -Jikelemaweni, Shosholoza, mbaqanga  medlies, Yakal inkomo (Winston Mankunku), Click Song  (Miriam Makeba), Ntilo Ntilo (Peter Ngubane), Meadowlands, Skokiaan (Jazz Pioneers version), Mra (Ezra Ngakuna), Mamazela (Zim Ngqawana) etc

George Mari – Jazz Conference Entertainer

Regular appearances at various Durban venues include a residency at Zacks at Musgrave Centre (2003-2004) and Wilson’s Wharf, the BAT Centre, Gateway, Centre for Jazz & Popular Music (University of KwaZulu-Natal) and the Sun Coast and Sibaya Casinos.

The band is regularly hired for a wide variety of corporate functions in KwaZulu-Natal (See below) and recently concluded a 2-year contract as resident band at St Tropez Sidewalk Café in Essenwood Road (2007) George Mari-Jazz Conference Entertainer has previously performed for the following functions: