Africa music tour for 2010 Standard Bank Group Young Artists: Quattro Fusion
10 September 2010

Standard Bank Young Artist award winners for 2010 Melanie Scholtz and Samson Diamond will be touring selected African countries in a collaborative project between Standard Bank Group (also trading as Stanbic Bank) and the Alliance Francaise. 

The Quattro Fusion tour will see the combination of the musical talents of jazz winner, Scholtz, and classical music winner, violinist Diamond, with fellow South African musicians, pianist Melvin Peters and percussionist Godfrey Mcgina. 

The programme of fusion of African and classical rhythms from the quartet will include the works of Bach, Gershwin, Abdullah Ibrahim and Miriam Makeba. 

The tour begins in Ghana on 2 October, travelling to Nigeria and Kenya with public performances to be held in Accra, Lagos and Nairobi. 

The Standard Bank Young Artist Awards are granted annually to emerging, young South African artists who have demonstrated exceptional ability in their chosen field. 

Last year Standard Bank initiated the tour for its young Artist Award winners in conjunction with the French Institute of South Africa. 

With its key focus on Africa and the continent's leading bank with a business presence in 18 countries Standard Bank, together with its Stanbic partners, plans and supports the tour with the assistance of the Alliance Francaise in each country. 

Mandie van der Spuy, Head of Arts & Jazz Sponsorships, Standard Bank Group, says: "The success of this collaboration in 2009, and the extremely positive reception from audience on last year's tour created opportunities for this venture to become an annual extension of the work by our Young Artist Award winners. 

"Supporting jazz and music excellence for more than 25 years in South Africa is now extended to our business operations across the continent, for the benefit of cultural exchange not only for the artists, but for our customers and staff as well." 

The Quattro Fusion tour schedule
Accra, Ghana
Saturday 2 October - public performance at the Alliance Francaise Jazz Festival
Sunday 3 October - private performance hosted by Stanbic Ghana at Hotel Novotel 

Lagos, Nigeria
Tuesday 5 October - Performance hosted by Stanbic and the Alliance Francaise at the Lycee Pasteur
Wednesday 6 October - public performance at Muson Centre hosted by the Musical society of Nigeria 

Nairobi, Kenya
Friday 8 October - public performance at Alliance Francaise 

About the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards
The Young Artist Awards were started in 1981 by the National Arts Festival to acknowledge emerging, relatively young South African artists who have displayed an outstanding talent in their artistic endeavours. These prestigious awards are presented annually to deserving artists in different disciplines, affording them national exposure and acclaim. Standard Bank took over the sponsorship of the awards in 1984 and presented Young Artist Awards in all the major arts disciplines over their 26-year sponsorship, as well as posthumous and special recognition awards. The winners feature on the main programme of the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown and receive financial support for their Festival participation, as well as a cash prize. 

About Melanie Scholtz
Melanie Scholtz, the 2010 Standard Bank Young Artists Award winner for Jazz, is one of South Africa's rapidly rising musical stars. As a vocalist, she has been likened to greats Dee Dee Bridgewater and Billie Holiday. Her classical training gives her spectacular vocal technique, and she employs this as a basis in her search for jazz expression. She has performed in Spain, Portugal, Holland, Morocco, Norway, Sweden and Austria, and has lectured in jazz vocal studies at the University of Cape Town from 2004 - 2005. 

About Samson Diamond
Samson Diamond is an internationally acclaimed violinist, and is the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Music 2010. Diamond has a Masters of Music Performance degree (with distinction) in 2007 from the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester. He has performed for Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth II, The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Duke of York, Tony Blair, Thabo Mbeki, Gerhard Schr??der, and New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark. In 2009, Diamond toured Europe, performing at prestigious halls including the Berlin Philharmonie in Berlin, Bela Bartok National Concert Hall in Budapest, and the Musikverein in Vienna, with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields conducted by Sir Neville Marriner. He has also toured South America, Germany, and Austria with the Hall?? Orchestra conducted by Sir Mark Elder. Diamond is also a former leader of the internationally acclaimed Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble, from its inception in 1997.

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