Myesha's Memoirs - Living with Jazz and Poetry

JAZZUARY FM  |  Podcast , ±39 min episodes every 6 days  | 
Myesha Jenkins is a poet and spoken word performer, known for her feminist outlook and a writing style that is open, descriptive, revealing and sometimes challenging. Myesha has lived and worked in Johannesburg since 1993 when she relocated from California. In 2013, Myesha won the Mbokodo Award for Women in the Arts in the Poetry category.

In 2017 she edited the groundbreaking, To Breathe Into Another Voice: A South African Anthology of Jazz Poetry, featuring the work of 45 poets, from all over the nation, writing about the impact of jazz in their lives, and published by Real African Publishers. She has published two poetry collections, Breaking the surface, (Timbila,2005) and Dreams of Flight (Geko, 2011.) She has also been anthologized in We Are (Penguin, 2010) and Isis X (Botsotso, 2006). 

Myesha’s Memoirs, Living with Jazz and Poetry explores the deep connection between poetry and jazz. Myesha’s draws on her extensive experience, and love for poetry, to deliver a show enriched with stories from the past, present and future, elevated with the sounds of jazz.

On a monthly basis, Myesha’s Memoirs, Living with Jazz and Poetry, will host live poetry sessions. These sessions will be accompanied with a live band as the backtrack, and poets performing live.

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Sydney Mavundla on Living with Jazz and Poetry with Myesha Jenkins

In classical field Sydney has worked with Johannesburg Music Initiative (JMI), Kwa Zulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (KZNPO), Johannesburg Festival Orchestra (JFO), and the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO).
Presently Sydney is working with Andile Yenana Quartet, Johannesburg Big Band, Graham Scott Big Band, Themba Mkhize, Khaya Mahlangu, Blue Bam Boo, Mango Groove, Stimela and Victor Ntoni’s Mzansi Ensemble where served as the assistant music director to Victor. He also leads his own Quintet.

Salimah Valiani on Living with Jazz and Poetry with Myesha Jenkins

Salimah Valiani is a poet, an activist and a researcher. She is the author of two collections of poetry-- breathing for breadth (2005) and Letter Out: Letter In (2009). An Associate Researcher with the Centre for the Study of Learning, Social Economy and Work at the University of Toronto, she is also the author of Rethinking Unequal Exchange: The Global Integration of Nursing Labour Markets (2012). In June 2012, she was awarded the Feminist Economics Rhonda Williams Prize, an award recognizing feminist scholarship and activism in the spirit of the African American economist and activist, Rhonda Williams. Her poetry and essays have appeared in a number of Canadian journals and anthologies.

Nkateko Masinga on Living with Jazz and Poetry with Myesha Jenkins

Nkateko Masinga is a South African poet and 2019 Fellow of the Ebedi International Writers Residency. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2018 and her work has received support from Pro Helvetia Johannesburg and the Swiss Arts Council. She is the Contributing Interviewer for Poetry at Africa In Dialogue, an online interview magazine that archives creative and critical insights with Africa’s leading storytellers. She has poetry chapbooks forthcoming from Praxis Magazine (2019/2020) as well as the African Poetry Book Fund’s New Generation African Poets series (Spring 2020).

Gabi Motuba on Living with Jazz and Poetry with Myesha Jenkins

Gabi Motuba, is a 2019 SAMA nominated avant-garde and jazz vocalist born in Mamelodi Pretoria 1992. She studied at Tshwane University of Technology and completed her studies in 2013. She has performed with numerous young, prominent artists of South Africa e.g. Tumi Mogorosi, Malcolm Jiyane, Mthunzi Mvubu.

Duduzile Mabaso on Living with Jazz and Poetry with Myesha Jenkins

Duduzile Mabaso founded online magazine Poetry Potion in 2007 to showcase pan-African and, more recently, international poets, and in 2011 she created her own publishing company, Black Letter Media (BLM). At high school, she and her friends would write themselves into story poems in which they dated celebrities (Usher was her boyfriend at one point). She started performing in the early 2000s, including at the Grahamstown Festival. But when the nerves became too much, she decided to stick to writing. BLM recently published print editions of Poetry Potion as well as four novels. They were mainly sold online, of course, as it’s not easy for an independent publisher to compete against the big names for shelf space. Poetry Potion and BLM are self-funded with the money that Mabaso makes from her other passion, TV scriptwriting. She has worked on household names, like Muvhango and other scripts for the SABC.Ultimately, she wants her television and literary careers to sit under her own umbrella company, but for now, she’s enjoying where the storyline is taking her.

Maren Bodenstein on Living with Jazz and Poetry with Myesha Jenkins

Maren has written stories for children and adults. In 2009 she was commissioned to write a story for BBC Radio 3. The result was “Love Song to the Rocks” – an ode to love and the landscape of Emoyeni. Her first novel, ‘Shooting Snakes’, was published by Modjaji Press in 2012. A second one is currently looking for a home. Recently she has discovered the pleasure of poetry and is working on an anthology. Maren makes her living by writing.

Sibusiso Simelane on Living with Jazz and Poetry with Myesha Jenkins

Sibusiso Simelane is a writer, poet and spoken word artist.Sbu was born and raised in a township called Duduza in the far east of Johannesburg. His work is significantly influenced by the experiences and stories of township life. He started writing in 2006 inspired by how language can be used as a tool for social transformation. He is the founder and managing director of Black House Literature which is an NPO aimed at establishing regular spoken word platforms and cultivating a culture of reading and creative writing in townships.

Maakomele R. Manaka on Living with Jazz and Poetry with Myesha Jenkins

Maakomele R. Manaka is a Soweto born poet with a strong artistic heritage.At the age of 5, he received a Young Artist Award at the once famous Funda Arts Center in Soweto .as he is widely known, has published three collections of poetry If Only (self published, 2003. Edited by Don Mattera) and In Time (Geko,2009. Edited by Andrew Miller) and Flowers Of A Broken Smile (Inksword, 2016); two of which have been translated into Italian and German. His writings have appeared in literary journals and news papers globally and in South Africa

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