Jam Sandwich is a South African docu-reality music series created by Michael Lee, Deon Maas, Senele Nkosi and Pauli van Dyk and co-produced by Mahala Media and Meerkat Media in which musicians from different market segments of the South African music industry are put together to collaborate on writing a new song in a set number of days, despite their contrasting musical styles.
During the process they are expected to create one new original song and do a cover of an existing South African song.
Each show starts with a background on each artist, followed by various jam sessions during which the creative process is followed.
After the recording of the song, each artist is given R10,000 to spend in whatever way they see fit and in agreement with their collaborative partner.
Artists have the option of making a video, organising a live gig, buying new musical equipment, putting mags on their cars, going skydiving or blowing the money however they like. The only rule is they are not allowed to bank the money.
Participants in the first season included MXO & The New Academics, RJ Benjamin & Albert Frost, Madala Kunene & Valiant Swart, Gumshev & Blackie Swart, Cassette & Tidal Waves, DJ Cleo & Brickz with Snotkop, Radio Kalahari Orkes & Kwela Tebza, Karen Zoid & Dokte from Kallitz and others.
Season 2 saw collaborations including Van Coke Kartel, KB, Big Nuz, Bongani Nkwanyana, Gerard Steyn, Alter Irving, Babsy Mlangeni, Kalahari Surfers, Zuluboy, Amu, Death Valley Blues Band, Mapaputsi, Juggernaught, Sonja Heroldt, Phinda, Tlokwe Sehume, Hog Hoggidy Hog, Terrible Twinz, JR and for the first time an international recording artist, Gemma Ray from the UK.
Musos who took part in the third season included Mandoza & Afrotraction, Piet Botha and Soweto String Quartet, Lloyd Cele and Laurie Levine, Mr. Selwyn and Nancy G, Pops Mohammed and The Frown, and Jack Parow and Klipwerf Orkes, Chris Chameleon and Ihashi Elimhlope, Auriol Hayes and Tribal Echo, Driemanskap and Mr. Cat and the Jackal, The Soil and Bittereinder, ProVerb and Nomfusi, iFani and H20/Stethoscope and EJ von Lyrik and Kunle Ayo.
Participants in Season 4 include Robbie Malinga, Maleh, Claire Johnston, Arno Carstens, Black Motion, Soweto Gospel Choir, Brian Temba, Bongeziwe Mabandla, Mfiliseni Magubane, L'vovo, Die Campbells and many more.
Season 5 includes artists as diverse as Mango Groove, The Soil, Ready D, Jack Parow, Francois van Coke, Emtee, Ringo, Shortstraw, SAI & Ribatone, Sibot, Mandoza, DJ Shimza, Dozi and a host of others. The 52 artists collaborating in the 26 episodes represent the wide footprint of the South African music industry.
Jam Sandwich is a joint venture between Meerkat Media and Mahala Empowerment Media. Meerkat Media is co-owned by music industry expert, Deon Maas.
The producer is Pauli van Dyk and Michael Lee is the director. Sibusiso Molefe of Publicity Stunt is the Associate Producer.
The first four seasons aired on SABC2, ending in 2013. After three years the show was resurrected on sister channel SABC3. Episode in the first four seasons were an hour long; this changed to half-hour episodes for Season 5.