Some of the world’s biggest jazz innovators from 14 different countries will be on the bill at this year’s Standard Bank Jazz Festival, which runs in Grahamstown as part of the National Arts Festival from June 30 to July 9.
A is for Alan Webster – The Festival’s director has been in the job since 2001. He has influenced an amazing growth in South African jazz which was recognised by Government when he was awarded with a Lifetime Achievement in Jazz honour from the Minister of Arts & Culture in 2012.
B is for Big Band – 2012 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Jazz, pianist Afrika Mkhize, will be honouring the late jazz legend Bheki Mseleku with a powerful big band tribute that reflects a national and international potpourri of jazz talent.
C is for Collaborations – One of the Festival’s primary objectives is to open up opportunities for networking and collaboration between the international performers and their South African counterparts.
D is for Dan – The Standard Bank National Schools’ Big Band consists of the top young school jazz musicians in the country. This year under the musical direction of Dan Shout, the band performs material worked on over the five days of the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival.
E is for Eclectic – There’s something for all musical tastes. There’s everything from South Africa’s favourite live electronic act The Kiffness to musical legend Caiphus Semenya.
F is for the Frank Paco Art Ensemble – An amalgamation of jazz tones with its African roots from East to West.
G is for Grammy Award winners – Don’t miss double Grammy Award winners Petter Wettre and Trio Corrente.
H is for Hooked on Hot Jazz – Nuf said!
I is for Idols – Idols South Africa contestants Graeme Watkins and Lloyd Cele, along with Nathan Ro, pay tribute to the Swing tradition backed by a thrilling jazz band.
J is for Jazztown – It’s what the Standard Bank Grahamstown Jazz Festival is colloquially known as; with hundreds of musicians, students and fans descending on the DSG campus for 10 days of incredible jazz performances.
K is for Kickoff – The best way to start the National Arts Festival.
L is for Late Night Jazz Cafe Sit back, relax and listen to collaborations between musicians. The Cafe has a chilled vibe to go along with great food and drink and is the place where musicians go to meet and possibly jam. Shows start at 10.30pm.
M is for the media – SBJF is grateful for their ongoing support.
N is for National Youth Jazz Band – The SBNYJB presents a selection of the top young jazz musicians in the country between the ages of 19 and 25. The band is under the musical direction of legendary South African bassist, Carlo Mombelli.
O is for Oldest – The Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown is South Africa’s oldest, coldest and longest jazz festival having started in 1988!
P is for Petter Wettre – He is arguably one of the most virtuoso saxophonists in the world today with two Norwegian Grammys.
Q is for Question – So much jazz, so little time – so who are you going to see?
R is for Rabitsch & Pawlik Quartet – Michaela Rabitsch – Austrian singer, composer and trumpeter – has been called a modern-day female Chet Baker by the US magazine Jazzscene. She and her ingenious partner – fluid guitarist Robert Pawlik – present music inspired by their numerous tours through Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa.
S is for Siya Makuzeni – Don’t miss the 2016 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz as she leads an ensemble of young South African musicians
T is for Trio Corrente – Its members, Fabio Torres (piano), Paulo Paulelli (bass) and Edu Ribeiro (drums), are drawn from the highest ranks of Brazil’s jazz scene. In 2014 they won their second Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album for Maura, featuring Paquito D’Rivera.
U is for the Universal Language of Jazz!
V is for Vocal Power – Simphiwe Dana has been praised for her voice which blends sensitivity and sophistication. There’s also Ringo Madlingozi, Nokukhanya Dlamini …. The list goes on-and-on.
X is for Xtra – Read all about the artists on the festival website and daily in Cue.
Y is for You the audience – One of the most important pieces of the equation.
Z is for ZZZZ – For all the shut-eye you’re going to need after this jazz jol.
Twitter: @standardbankart #Jazztown #NAF16