It Has To Be Jazz Review


A Review by Rethabile Mpatane


Mopathi Molosiwa, Part time music teacher

There are a lot jazz shows and live musical performances that can be life changing and simply exciting but the question here is, did this show make the list? It Has to Be Jazz is the name of the band but it can also be seen as a movement. According to their website, “It Has to Be Jazz project is a gift of love from a father to a son. The project remained a concept for a while – waiting for the right opportunity to be explored and implemented.”   This is the main reason why they performed this show.


On Saturday 10 March 2018, the Maitisong theatre doors were to open at 6:30pm for their show, which included a first time screening of their documentary “It has to be Jazz: A New Generation”, as well as a live performance of their band. The documentary was really enjoyable mainly because it wasn’t too hard to understand the style and sound of the music. Non jazz listeners and new listeners of It Has To Be Jazz could understand the content easily and they would find the music appealing. The documentary was self-explanatory and engaging. It included the purposes of the movement and it showed how involved they are with youth development, in terms of jazz. A wide variety of different people spoke on the movement and what it means to them. The speakers were a South African radio personality, a Bassist teacher, audio technicians, two local Batswana youth and even the director of Maitisong. It was a beautiful blend of old and young talent. The main theme was “Know your change” due to their desire to be musicians that makes a difference, that understand the music, and know why they play. This ‘New Generation’ is a testament to the past great fathers of jazz. It allows the band members to see the appreciation of jazz through young people.


It Has To Be Jazz: New Generation Documentary Preview Screening


The next, and most amazing, part of the show was the live band performance. The band consisted of a pianist, drummer, bassist and saxophonist and, of course, a singer. The second part of the show kicked off with a poetic, and musical tribute to Women’s International Day. The music was spectacular. It was the best way to show the content in the documentary. It was rhythmic, powerful, soulful and interactive. The music speaks for itself and every instrument tells you a story consisting of opulent highs and smooth lows while being accompanied by a singer with a beautiful voice. You just can’t help moving along to the music while in your seat.


Overall, It Has to Be Jazz: New Generation-Documentary Preview Screening was an amazing event and a worthwhile show to go to. The Documentary was a good watch and was put together well and the live music was excellent. I would give it a four, out of 5 stars.