Benjamin Jephta (24) counts a drum kit, a piano, a guitar, and a bass guitar among his childhood gifts from his parents.

Jephta, the 2017 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz, enjoyed a culturally rich upbringing, influenced by his father’s love of music and the jazz shows they attended together. At live shows in Cape Town, Jephta remembers being captivated by artists like bassist, Sam Weber, and his magical hold over the audience.

His time at Muizenberg High School under the mentorship of Fred Kuit (winner of the 2012 SAJE Lifetime Achievement Award in Jazz Education) only fuelled Jephta’s love of jazz, the bass guitar, and the double bass. He went on to attend the UCT College of Music.

Since graduating in 2014 with the fourth year class medal, Jephta has played bass guitar and double bass for South African greats like Jimmy Dludlu, Hugh Masekela and Sibongile Khumalo. In 2015, the Benjamin Jephta Quintet released its debut album, Homecoming, and performed at the 2016 Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

He was one of the youngest artists on the lineup. The album also received a SAMA and Metro FM award nomination as well as a SAMRO Wawela Awar win for ‘Male Artist of the Year’ and ‘Song of the Year’.

Homecoming represents the signature sound of the Benjamin Jephta Quintet, influenced by the choral music that Jephta enjoyed as a child, as well as hip hop, electronic music and pop.

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