Guitars are an important theme of the 2019 NSA Festival of the Arts which is open to the public from 6-10 March.
This five-day celebration of youth arts is a showcase event for The National School of the Arts. The exciting and diverse programme spans the spectrum of performing and visual arts. Adding an impressive international component to the 2019 Festival line-up is a Guitar workshop and a spectacular performance from the 19-year-old Polish wunderkind “finger-style” guitarist Marcin Patrzalek, who appears under the Guitar Wizards banner along with the celebrated South African guitar duo – CH2.
Guitar aficionados will enter the NSA to be greeted by 36 hand-painted guitars suspended in a remarkable large-scale installation in the foyer of the National School of Arts. Titled Rhythm, this unique exhibition is made up of a collection of unused or unwanted guitars – donated, or found in second-hand stores – which have now been given a second chance to shine! With designs by the Grade 10 visual artists of the NSA, this exhibition will be a fixture in the foyer.
The workshop commences at 15:00 on Wednesday 6th with Robert Mutero’s African Guitar Making Workshop. This 3-stringed instrument kindled his love for music when it was placed in his eager hands as an 8-year old boy in Lubumbashi, DRC; and ultimately propelled his career as a professional musician. Uncle Rob, as he is fondly known, will share the technology and the elements that go into making a 3-stringed African banjo. A traveller from across the great lakes of Africa, his ‘banjo’ carries a special message of peace and harmony. With deep affection, he creates these African guitars to teach his young students and to strengthen their fingers in preparation for playing the 6-string Western Guitar. Mutero now spends his time teaching music and training Church choirs. Audiences can look forward to him playing this gentle folk instrument and singing familiar songs like ‘Malaika’.
Following the African Guitar making workshop, the Western Guitar will make an impressive entrance in the hands of the NSA guitarists who will perform a programme of solos and duets, in both the rock and classical genres. This will be a springboard for CH2 and Marcin Patrzalek to demonstrate, play, engage, share, improvise, comment, teach in a masterclass-like setting with a mass-guitar moment the likely result.
This section of the programme will be followed by a short comfort break, during which time food will be available to purchase in the school quad.
At 19:00, the Guitar Wizards, fresh from their successful Joburg Theatre season, will lay their unique spell on the Festival audience in a masterful performance by CH2 and Marcin Patrzalek. Their new, exciting fusion of guitar sounds, flawless technique, pulsating rhythms and virtuosity will no doubt charm yet another audience, leaving an echo in the corridors and memory on the NSA for a long time to come.
The NSA is grateful to Ticket to the Moon Management for reaching out to the NSA and bringing world class musical performers right into the heartland of youth arts at South Africa’s Leading School of Specialisation in Performing and Creative Arts – The National School of the Arts.
The Festival of the Arts is hosted in Braamfontein from 6-10 March. It will see a range of professionally-staged productions and exhibitions on offer, from both NSA learners and professional artists. Tickets are available via Joburg Theatre, or the school. See www.nsafestival.co.za for more information.
The NSA Festival of the Arts is made possible through funding from the National Lotteries Commission, the RMB Fund, the National Arts Council, Business and Arts South Africa and Tastic. The NSA also wishes to acknowledge Assitej and Prosound for their support.