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Newport Live Presents: Siya Charles—Jazz from South Africa


Siya “Jazzmatic” Charles is a tenor/ bass trombonist, composer and arranger based in New York City. An alumnus of the University of Cape Town’s South African College of Music, she has worked with the likes of the late Hugh Masekela, Jimmy Dludlu, Nduduzi Makhathini, American/Costa Rican trombonist Luis Bonilla, trombonist Steve Turre, bassist Endea Owens, saxophonist Chad “LB” Lefkowitz Brown, and Grammy Award-winning drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. Siya has won the jazz component of the Fine Music Radio Bursary, as well as the 1st Emirates Pursuit of Jazz Competition. She has performed in the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival, Grahamstown Jazz Festival, Arcevia Jazz Feast (Italy), Stockholm Jazz Festival (Sweden), Kongsberg Jazz Festival (Norway), Blue Note Jazz Club (USA), Birdland Jazz Club (USA), Dizzy’s Jazz Club (USA), Calabar Jazz Festival (Nigeria), Standard Bank Acacia Jazz Festival (Moçambique), Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland) and the Jazz is Back Festival (Croatia).

After many years of serving as a reliable sideman, she has established her newly formed musical collective titled: “The Siya Charles Sextet”, featuring some of South Africa’s finest jazz musicians. The compositions and arrangements of The Siya Charles Sextet are inspired by classic jazz, South African jazz, the bebop and post-bop era, as well as Brazilian jazz.

Siya is currently completing her Masters in Music degree in jazz studies at the world- renowned Juilliard School. She is a FirstRand Laurie Dippenaar laureate, Jerome L. Greene Fellow and National Arts Council scholarship recipient.


18 Valley St.
Jamestown, RI United States + Google Map