Durban Living Legend – Jerry Kunene

Saxophonist Jerry Kunene “KZN Old Lion of Jazz” began his music career in the 1950’s. His group Jerry’s Sextet (formed in the 1960s) changed their name to Jerry and His Men when its membership grew. Kunene has played with a number of local and famous musicians and has traveled extensively all over the world with different groups.

Jerry Kunene is a saxophonist who has worked with Mbongeni Ngema on the Township Fever Musical in New York, and African Jazz Pioneers, the late Sipho Gumede, Brian Thusi, The Key Notes, and Darius Burbeck, Jonathan Ngema, Theo Bophela, Dudley Dlamini, James Mbambo and Clarence Khumalo.

Jerry’s story is not uncommon of truly talented individuals. Despite growing up in Apartheid South Africa, with no access to a formal music education, Jerry found music. It was unstoppable. He describes learning music as a process of trial and error, experimenting with sounds and becoming quite ingenious in finding moments to practice. He remains, to this day, entirely self-taught.

Jerry’s successes were impressive, he has visited over 8 countries and collaborated with some of the biggest names in local and international music. He recently performed at the Bat Centre with other artists.

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