Globally acclaimed jazz singer and teacher Lenora Helm Hammonds to receive Javett-UP Music Award

Globally acclaimed; widely recognised as a composer, jazz musician and singer of exceptional talent and quality; and dedicated teacher and mentor to thousands the world over, Lenora Helm Hammonds has been named recipient of the 2018 University of Pretoria Javett Music Award. 

Professor Helm Hammonds will receive the accolade at an event on the University of Pretoria (UP) campus in early September when she begins an artist-in-residence period at the university’s Department of Music. The University of Pretoria Javett Music Award acknowledges excellence and celebrates outstanding musical production.

Alexander Johnson, Professor and Head of the Department of Music at UP, says Professor Helm Hammonds will add tremendous value to an already exceptional department.

“Lenora is a musician of rare talent and quality. Her academic reputation and standing are exceptional and her contribution to jazz has been, and continues to be, profound, insightful and deeply enriching. We look forward to welcoming her to campus, introducing her to our students and watching as she unleashes her special brand of magic here.”

She will perform at the 2018 UP Music Festival on 14 August 2018.

While in residence on campus, Professor Helm Hammonds will conduct jazz workshops; perform; give jazz and music masterclasses; lecture on a wide range of jazz subjects (including improvisation, directing ensembles, composition and arranging); invest one-on-one time with UP’s students of jazz; and address music symposia.

She’s a Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist and educator and a professor of jazz studies at North Carolina Central University. She’s been described variously as an in-demand global inter-disciplinarian; and a musician of staggering breadth of expression, phenomenal technical prowess and superb creative arranging skills.

She’s a Fulbright Senior Music Specialist; a fellow in digital humanities at John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute; a past president of International Women in Jazz (New York); and holds a Master of Music degree (from East Carolina University). She has released six albums as a soloist.

For more information, please visit Follow the UP Department of Music on Twitter @tuksmusic and on Instagram @tuks_dept_of_music.




The Javett Foundation is a South African trust, established to support philanthropic activities in line with the Javett family’s long standing passion for, and commitment to, the arts, education and culture. The Javett Foundation supports organisations both through direct grant making, as well as through partnerships with other philanthropic foundations.


The Javett-UP is a collaborative venture by the University of Pretoria and the Javett Foundation. Set to open in 2019, it will comprise nine galleries, with spaces for exhibitions, multi-disciplinary events and performances in an iconic building spanning Lynnwood Road. This will give the Art Centre a footprint both on the campus of the University of Pretoria and in the city itself, with easy access for the public. In addition to showcasing the Javett Foundation’s rich collection of twentieth century South African art, the Centre will provide a space for the treasures of Mapungubwe and pieces from the University's collections. For the University, the Centre provides resources to strengthen teaching and learning, research and community engagement and outreach.

Issued for and on behalf of the Javett-UP Art Centre by Flow Communications. More information: Allison MacDonald ( and/or Mohau Ravhudzulo ( 011 440 4841.