DEBBIE MARI is a Durban-based vocalist and pianist. She is a Lecturer in the Jazz Studies programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Arts (Music) and is the Project Manager of the UKUSA Arts Programme. She is a Board member of KUMISA (KwaZulu-Natal United Music Industry Association). Debbie has enjoyed many musical collaborations as a performer who enjoys singing jazz standards and original compositions such as those she recorded with Darius Brubeck (Before It’s Too Late, title track), George Mari (Since I Met You) and Richard Walne (The Only One Around, title track) and more recently Piano Passion, Vol 1 (2018) – a live piano concert recording at Howard College Theatre with Darius Brubeck, Melvin Peters, Andile Yenana, Burton Naidoo, Nishlyn Ramanna and Neil Gonsalves. Recent performances include the Playhouse Company’s Valentine’s Day Virtual Concert recorded as a live concert in December 2020; Grahamstown Arts Festival (Virtual Fringe Festival 2021), the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, UNISA Concert Series and the Lusaka Arts Festival (2019). Debbie has vast teaching experience which includes primary school Music classes, developing and managing community music projects and Higher Education. In 2013, Debbie and George Mari established Marigold Music School as an opportunity to share their knowledge and skills, as professional musicians and experienced educators, with people of all abilities in the greater Durban area. Debbie frequently adjudicates national and international singing eisteddfods and music competitions. She has presented Vocal Jazz workshops for the South African Music Teachers’ Society, UNISA International Jazz School (2012) Festival In The Hills (2015) South African National Arts Festival – National Youth Jazz Festival (2015), the UNISA National Vocal Competition (2017) and the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition for Singers (2019). Debbie has been a preliminary judge for SA Idols (2012, 2014), SA’s Got Talent (2014-2017) and The Voice South Africa, Durban auditions (2016 - 2019). She was the Vocal Coach for SABC 1’s Season 1 of X Factor South Africa (2014). More recently, Debbie was invited to join the jury of the International Online Jazz Competition the 7Virtual Jazz Club Contest (2017-2021).
Debbie’s next performance takes place on Thursday 19th August at the South African Women’s Arts Festival at the Durban Playhouse
NAF vFringe: https://nationalartsfestival.co.za
Playhouse Valentine’s Day Special: