2017 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz Bassist and composer Benjamin Jephta (24) has already made a name for himself as one of South Africa’s premier jazz double bass and electric bass players. Although Jephta grew up in Mitchells Plain, it was when he attended Muizenberg High School that he fostered a love for jazz under the mentorship of his music teacher Fred Kuit. Aside from performing in venues and festivals locally since the age of 15, Benjamin has also performed with various orchestras and small ensembles in Africa, Europe and Asia. A graduate of the jazzprogram at the prestigious South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town, he graduated in 2013 with the fourth year class medal.
Jephta has performed with a range of jazz musicians including McCoy Mrubata, Sibongile Khumalo, Paul Hanmer, Feya Faku, Jimmy Dludlu, Simphiwe Dana, Hugh Masekela, Marcus Wyatt, Kyle Shepherd and many others. His debut album ‘Homecoming’ has been nominated for both a Metro Fm and SAMA award and also won the Wawela SAMRO Award for ‘Best Male Artist’ and ‘Song of the Year’ in 2016. The Mail & Guadian 200 Young South Africans recipient for 2017 has also performed with various South African artists such as Ricky Rick, Mi Casa, Cassper Nyovest, Tresor, Lira and many more, as well as on TV programs including The Voice SA and musical directing The Bantu Hour on SABC 2