World-renowned soprano saxophonist Marion Meadows has joined the line-up of Jazz On The Rocks 2014 which, as usual, is being held at Tietiesbaai beach in the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve on the West Coast from Thursday, February 27 to Monday, March 3.
Born in West Virginia in the United States, Meadows grew up in Stamford, CT, where he began playing clarinet and studying classical music at age eight. He naturally gravitated to the soprano sax in his high school years, and his passion for various types of music led him to appreciate numerous jazz musicians, including Stanley Turrentine, Sidney Bichet, Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington and Coleman Hawkins.
Meadows took a few very important trips to Europe with his high school band during his junior and senior years. Originally planning to enter a college pre-med program (he had aspirations to pursue a career in veterinary medicine or zoology), he considered the saxophone a hobby until he saw the way audiences reacted to him and his fellow student performers in Holland, Italy and Austria.
Meadows first hit the airwaves in 1991 with ‘For Lovers Only’, but his career really began one day in the late 1980s at New York’s Grand Central Station. He had been a sideman with drummer Norman Connors for three years, with only vague notions of eventually going solo. One day, while waiting for a train, he pulled out his horn and began playing under the huge dome. His sweet sound caught the attention of fellow traveller and TV composer Jay Chattaway, who was so impressed that he hooked Meadows up with legendary keyboardist Bob James. James signed Meadows to a deal with his TappanZee label, and though Meadows’ first recording went unreleased, the experience put him on the road to his eventual success.
Meadows hooked up with numerous artists and musicians and became a well known sideman in his own right, recording or performing over the years with Brook Benton, Eartha Kitt, The Temptations, Michael Bolton, Will Downing and Native American flute player Douglas Spotted Eagle, among many others.
Meadows joins an already great line-up featuring:
LIRA, Judith Sephuma, Euphoria; N2; Ernie Smith; Nash Reid; DJ Keith; Stanley Engelbrecht; Zami Mdingi; Just Listen feat Lee Stag; Salome; Andrew Young; V.J.R; Public Opinion; Vernon Castle; SAX Appeal feat Don Veno Prins; Classic Jazz Masters; Stan the Jazz man; West Coast All Stars feat Allou April; DJ Brain Bohorne and Uncle Cal.
Clarence Ford, Jazz on the Rocks founder, says that the Tietiesbaai camp site within the Nature Reserve has already been sold out. “Sites went on sale on June 1 and were sold out by June 7. But don’t panic, there are lots of accommodation options in the area. Tietiesbaai is close to Paternoster (the crayfish playground in the Western Cape), Langebaan (with its casino) and the town of Vredenberg so you will find plenty of options from camp sites to luxury accommodation.”
The local community will provide delectable West Coast seafood to visitors. Visitors are encouraged to buy food from these vendors for a holistic West Coast experience. This area relies on fishing generally and crayfish in particular and sadly crayfish has recently been added to The Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) ‘Orange’ List –endangered but not yet illegal – so by purchasing your seafood there you will be helping our efforts of encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit in this poverty stricken community.
* Those who will be staying in the area, regardless of where, qualify for a weekend pass at R400 per person. Find purchase details on www.jazzontherocks.net.
Visitors with weekend passes will find parking allocated in Cape Columbine Nature Reserve with regular and efficient shuttle services operating from the parking area to the stage on the beach.