Port Elizabeth jazz quartet, Ricochet, who uplift youngsters in the Northern Areas through music, will perform at a special Christmas benefit concert at Word of Faith Christian Centre on December 21.
PE Jazz lovers Shaun Draai and Manny Eagle decided to organise the event “because of their [Ricochet’s] big hearts and incredible talent” and also to give them more exposure, said Draai.
“I’m still so humbled to have met them,” raves Draai. “What really touches me is to see the conditions in which most of them live in, yet they are still able to produce such a high standard of jazz music.”
Band leader of Ricochet and lead guitarist, Mano Smith said: “Some of the biggest challenges we face in the Northern Areas include drug abuse, poverty and gangsterism.”
But these maestros are determined to uplift, inspire and educate the youth in the area, despite the circumstances.
“We are always trying to educate our people and trying to get them involved in any form of art.” said Smith.
The Jazz quartet, comprising Smith, Dennis Spence (bass), Marcus Williams (keyboard) and Clayton Human (drums) have started an initiative called M3 Music School where they teach youngsters from their area to play musical instruments.
They are determined to make a change one song at a time, in an attempt to restore society to what it once was, by creating music that is unrestricted and true to who they are.
Established in 2012, Ricochet has quickly progressed on the local scene and some of the highlights of their career include playing at the Bay Summer Festival and the Grahamstown Arts Festival.
Putting energy and resources together, Draai and Eagle have coordinated a very special Christmas show where Ricochet will be performing some all-time favourite Christmas carols, with a jazzy twist.
All proceeds will go to a special ‘Christmas fund’ which will ensure that the band and their families have a good Christmas.
“My favourite thing to do at Christmas time is to play my guitar while everyone sings along” says Mano, and we get to see this in action on December 21 at Word of Faith Christian Centre at “Christmas with Ricochet and Friends.”
Admission costs R30 and the event will run from 6pm till 9pm.
The quartet’s debut EP is due to be released mid-March in 2014.
More information about the event or Ricochet, is available from Shaun Draai at 084 771 8412.