Press release

10th Anniversary of International Jazz Day

2021 marks the 10th Anniversary of International Jazz Day (IJD). This year’s celebrations will focus on the history of Namibian jazz. To foreground the history of Namibian jazz, the film ‘Skymaster – Township Jazz from the Old Location’ will be screened. Additionally, the concert on IJD will feature The Ugly Creatures, one of Namibia’s oldest jazz bands, that celebrates its 5Oth anniversary this year.
Namibia’s celebration of IJD are organized by the FNCC in collaboration with the UNESCO Windhoek Office, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) TV and Energy 100FM. The events are co-sponsored by the FNCC and Rand Merchant Bank Namibia. Join us in celebrating #JazzDay10!
IJD was proclaimed during the UNESCO General Conference of November 2011. The day is intended to raise awareness in the international community of the virtues of jazz as an educational tool and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people. Many governments, civil society organizations, educational institutions and private citizens engaged in the promotion of jazz music embrace the opportunity to foster greater appreciation not only for the music but also for the contribution it can make to building more inclusive societies.
This year’s celebrations of IJD coincide with the celebrations of World Press Freedom Day (WPFD), as this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration for the Development of a Free, Independent and Pluralistic Press. The celebrations for WPFD will take place from 29 April to 3 May 2021 in Windhoek.

The objectives of IJD are to:
• Celebrate Namibian and regional jazz artists;
• Promote the history of Namibian jazz music, through public education initiatives and public engagements;
• Promote intellectual co-operation and mutual understanding of peoples;
• Contribute to peace and security in the world by promoting collaboration amongst nations and peoples;
• Highlight the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz, and its importance as both an historical and a living treasure;
• Promote jazz music’s strong positive values, including peace, intercultural dialogue and cooperation; and
• Provide enriching, entertaining, and educational cultural programming.

International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about jazz and its roots, future and impact; raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding; and reinforce international cooperation and communication. Each year on April 30, this international art form is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity; eradicating discrimination; promoting freedom of expression; fostering gender equality; and reinforcing the role of youth in enacting social change.

About the Public Documentary Screening and Jazz Band

Skymaster – Township Jazz from the Old Location’


‘Skymaster – Township Jazz from the Old Location’ is a documentary-film on pioneers of modern black music in pre-independent Namibia, featuring a dozen of witnesses and accomplices evoking the glorious days of Township Jazz. It is an anecdote of a migrant worker who returns to Windhoek armed with a Tenor Saxophone in 1942, formed the first known professional music band in Windhoek's shanty towns and influenced a whole generation of maestros. Against all odds, affection for music was all that was left when a star yearns for his freedom and loses glitter in a fierce battle of the bands. Namibia's home-brewed township jazz sub-culture disappeared by 1975. The myth of legends, Andreas Johannes Mureko, Albertus #Karixurob !Naweb and Naftali Leyden, are revealed in tales still echoing in a generation of musical instrument players. It's a cultural account of six musicians the film re-united in 2003 after 35 years of hiatus, all citing Mureko, #Karixurob and Leyden as their tutors and mentors. Revealing the myth of pioneers of township jazz in this documentary, former Journalist and Filmmaker Hidipo Nangolo, retraces the footsteps of the legends of township jazz.

Director: Hidipo Nangolo, production: 3rd Eye Production, 2008, English, 56 min


The Ugly Creatures

The final performance on IJD will feature one of Namibia's oldest bands, the Ugly Creatures. The Ugly Creatures was founded in 1971 as a high school band in a Lutheran boarding school in a rural setting. Their repertoire included psychedelic rock, soul and funk, but the roots of their music remained distinctively Damara punch. This year the Ugly Creatures celebrates their 5Oth year anniversary