August - September 2022 — Music
South African bassist and composer Benjamin Jephta will be on a research trip in Basel from 19 August to 19 September 2022. During this time he plans to develop compositions and collaborations with Swiss artists already in his network and beyond.
Benjamin is also interested in expanding his “Global Jazz concept”, which involves exploring a multidimensional approach to playing jazz and how that intersects with society. He explains, “I’ve been exploring these concepts since recently completing my masters degree at The Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI). I see this as an opportunity to expand and practice some of these concepts in the hope of improving my performance craft and resulting in new works. I am particularly interested in the Swiss free music (free jazz) scene as well as the electronic music scene.”
In the context of his research trip Benjamin has been invited by the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club in Basel to present his work “Born-Coloured; not Born-Free” through a collaboration with some Swiss based musicians. “In this project I dissect my experience as a so-called ‘Coloured’ born into a post-Apartheid, democratic South Africa,” Benjamin explains, “My aim is to educated, inspire and create a sense of hope, empowerment and unity in the South African experience, rather than alienating with a radical political approach.”
Bassist and composer Benjamin Jephta has made a name for himself as one of South Africa’s premier double and electric bass players. A graduate of the jazz programme at the University of Cape Town in 2013, he has performed both nationally and internationally since the age of 14 and has worked with notable South African jazz musicians including Hugh Masekela, Sibongile Khumalo and many others. With two albums as a bandleader, Benjamin has been the recipient of many nominations and awards including the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Jazz in 2017 and named in the Mail & Guardian “200 Young South Africans” list. Benjamin regularly sessions with various South African hip-hop and pop artists, as well as on TV programmes. He is now based in New York City after graduating from The Berklee Global Jazz Institute in Boston, USA, with a Masters degree. He has since performed with Danilo Perez, Terri-lyne Carrington, Jason Palmer and Dianne Reeves among others.