Star-studded Global Line-up for Standard Bank Joy of Jazz

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Bob James, José James, Houston Person, Kendrick Scott and Kahil El’Zabar join SA luminaries Jonathan Butler and Sibongile Khumalo in three days of not-to-be missed performances and collaborations.

Estelle Kokot and the Sound of You band on stage at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz 2015
Estelle Kokot and the Sound of You band on stage at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz 2015

Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, now in its 19th year, reinforces its status as South Africa’s foremost jazz festival, and one of the best on the African continent, thanks to a stellar line-up of musicians from around the globe.

American jazz giant Gerald Albright and South Africa’s Jonathan Butler join forces at the opening night of Standard Bank Joy of Jazz and kick-start South Africa’s premier jazz festival which runs at the Sandton Convention Centre for three days from September 15 to 17.

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Renowned American musician Bob James will join the galaxy of stars at the event. James is two-time Grammy Award-winning smooth jazz keyboardist, arranger and record producer. He is recognised as one of the original founders of smooth jazz, is renowned for the complexity of his arrangements and instrumentals.

The line up includes Grammy® Award winner Bill Champlin who co-founded the legendary Bay Area band the Sons of Champlin but who is perhaps best known for his nearly three decades as a member of Chicago. He joins forces with four time Grammy® Award winning vocalist Deniece Williams; Brenda Russell (the co-creator of the music and lyrics for the Tony Award winning Broadway hit The Color Purple) and drummer Paul Peress in a not-to-be-missed collaboration called Sounds of Love.

Other big international names in the jazz world include the award winning José James, tenor saxophonist Houston Person, known for his legendary partnership with the great vocalist Etta Jones. Canadian based vocalist Ranee Lee, popular for her ability to channel the grand dames of jazz.

Barney Rachabane leading on sax
Barney Rachabane blew up a storm at the Standard Bank National Jazz Festival

South African greats billed for this year’s edition, are legends Barney Rachabane, Sibongile Khumalo, 2015 Grammy® Award winning flautist Wouter Kellerman; The Voice South Africa coach Lira and perennial favourites Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse and Ringo.

There are some exciting collaborations at this year’s Standard Bank Joy of Jazz. The Graz Roots Project celebrates past South African composers and musicians who gave future generations the sound of mbaqanga, mgqashiyo, maskandi and African jazz and features a powerhouse of musicians including Billy Monama, Concord Nkabinde, McCoy Mrubata, Lwanda Gogwana, Mduduzi Mtshali, Paki Peloeole and Themba Mokoena.

The inimitable firebrand percussionist and leader of the legendary Ritual Trio, Kahil El’Zabar brings an outfit that features jazz tenor saxophonist Teodross Avery and the incredible vocalist Dwight Trible who makes his return to the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz stage. El’Zabar comes out of the resilience of Chicago’s pro Africanist avant-garde jazz tradition. His music is as intense as it is swinging.

Senegalese bass player and vocalist Alune Wade brings the Havana-Paris-Dakar project to this year’s festival. The project is an eclectic celebration of the Afro-Cuban jazz tradition with musical sojourns into Wade’s Francophone Senegalese heritage. It features Argentinean piano maestro Leonardo Genovese.

US born vocalist Deborah J Carter teams up with Paul van Kessel from The Netherlands for New York Round Midnight which involves a rhythm section, horns, and vocalists from the cream of the Dutch jazz scene to take listeners back to the heyday of jazz in the ’50s and ’60s. It includes everybody’s favourite jazz hits from My Funny Valentine to I Love You Porgy.

Trumpeter & Fluegelhorn player Feya Faku will take to the stage at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz 2016
Trumpeter & Fluegelhorn player Feya Faku will take to the stage at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz 2016

Trumpeter Feya Faku presents The Swiss Unit Project featuring music from his album Le Ngoma (The Song) with Swiss musicians Domenic Landolf (tenor sax, alto flute), Jean-Paul Brodbeck (piano), Fabian Gisler (acoustic bass) and Dominic Egli (drums). The concept includes tribute songs such as : Miss Benjamin (for Sathima Bea Banjamin) and Dirge (for Zim Ngqawana): “I created this concept to celebrate legends that came before me. I am what I am because of them. My quest is to recognise them and keep them alive,” he says.
The star-studded line-up will also feature the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year for Jazz Siya Makuzeni; Nomfundo Xaluva; America’s Kendrick Scott; Max-Hoba; Israel’s Ester Rada; Lindiwe Maxolo; Mozambique’s Moreira Chonguica; Judith Sephuma; Ntjam Rosie accompanied by the Dutch All Stars Orchestra in a programme titled Jazz Roots, the Music Academy of Gauteng and the National Youth Jazz Band.

Standard Bank Joy of Jazz takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre, with 38 performances over three days on four stages: Dinaledi, Conga, Mbira and Diphala.

Audiences will be able to buy a DAY PASS with access for either Friday or Saturday, a 2 DAYS FESTIVAL PASS providing access for Friday and Saturday.

Event executive producer Peter Tladi of T-Musicman is delighted with this year’s artists: “As festival promoters we spend a great deal of time searching for artists who will appeal to a broad base of music fans. We want to present a diverse range of jazz styles inclusive of the giants of jazz and the upcoming young lions. There is something for everyone with this year’s line-up which is truly international and inspirational. We are particularly delighted to bring audiences some exciting and innovative collaborations this year.”

Commented Jenny Pheiffer, Executive Head, Group Brand and Sponsorship at Standard Bank Group: “We are delighted that Standard Bank has become synonymous with jazz in South Africa. Our continued support for the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz has seen this prominent social music fixture become one of the continent’s premier jazz festivals. We once again look forward to celebrating a rich and warm blend of African and international jazz in the heart of Johannesburg, bringing jazz lovers together in a truly united and global celebration of jazz and its heritage.”

The 2016 Standard Bank Joy of Jazz is produced by T-Musicman and brought to audiences by Standard Bank in association with the Department of Arts & Culture, Gauteng Province and the City of Joburg.

Tickets are on sale at Computicket. A one-day pass costs R750 with a two-day pass at R1250.

Discounted tickets are available for all Standard Bank card holders. There is a 10% discount when tickets are bought using a valid Standard Bank debit and cheque card. The discount is 15% when payment is made with a valid Standard Bank credit card at a Computicket outlet or online at www.computicket.com
The offer is limited to two tickets per person who meet the criteria. Terms and conditions apply.

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