The Joburg music-loving audiences are in for a treat this August with UJ Arts & Culture’s second iteration of the UJ Weekend of Jazz taking place at the UJ Arts Centre on the Auckland Park Campus in Johannesburg from 23-25 August.
Curated with the young and young-at-heart in mind, the programme nods to the ‘nostalgia’ of the genre and area, while offering new ways to experience the magic of music. With the UJ Arts & Culture theme #FollowYourHeART at the core of the programme, the weekend’s line-up, curated by the Jozi Unsigned, is set to offer something for all UJ Arts & Culture audiences – UJ staff, students and alumni, and of course, the Joburg public.
“Jazz musicians and their audiences are feeling the decline of Joburg City’s iconic jazz circuit and it is imperative to create new spaces where artists can let their riffs run wild and audiences can revel in the sound. Once again we have aimed for an intergenerational approach to our programming in a way which suits both artists and audiences,” says the UJ Weekend of Jazz curator Christine Msibi from Jozi Unsigned.
Friday is fresh and fun with SAMA award winner Nomi Supasta opening the weekend with her bold style and stellar voice. From love to politics Nomisupasta brings it all into her music, delighting audiences with her outspoken, energetic sound. The stage then becomes the domain of unique performance art ensemble The Brother Moves On who takes music, performance and storytelling to the next level.
Avid jazz lovers will find Saturday a treat with pianist, and composer Nduduzo Makhathini headlining the evening. A shining light in the industry Makhathini’s “bright lyrism and compositional clarity” defy expectation and leave audiences wanting more. And label-defying artist, Gabi Motuba, will deepen the experience with her rich vocals and inspired compositions.
Sunday is fun for the entire family. Patrons can come and enjoy the “Excerpts from the South African Song Book” sung by Titi Luzipo and Spha Mdlalose at the UJ Arts & Culture’s jazz jam picnic hosted on the UJ Arts Centre piazza. Art Centre café, Café-2Go, will be open and you can pre-order a picnic basket by contacting Lakin Morgan-Baatjies. Entrance for children under 12 is free. Children are welcome and can enjoy face painting and jumping castles in the designated play area.
This year’s programme has been bolstered by the inaugural Rhythm of the Bands competition; a student music competition open to UJ bands wanting to showcase their musical talents at the UJ Weekend of Jazz. Spearheaded by UJ Arts & Culture’s Theatre Leasing Liaison Fumani Mabogoane, the project seeks to open the stage for young artists.
“This project is very close to my heart. As a lover of jazz, I want to see young musicians given a chance to perform and to show us their talent and at UJ Arts & Culture we are able to give them that opportunity,” says Mabogoane.
Auditions for the competition open on 29 July and close on 7 August 2019. Ten bands will be chosen to perform at the finals on 22 August 2019 where one band will be chosen to perform during UJ Weekend of Jazz. The winning band gets to be the opening act for Gabi Motuba and Nduduzo Makhathini on Saturday 24 August. The runner-up gets to be the opening act for Spha Ndlalose and Titi Luzipho on 25 August 2019 at the UJ Weekend of Jazz.
UJ Weekend of Jazz 2019 Line Up:
Friday 23 August 2019
21:00 :: The Brother Moves On
Saturday 24 August
19:00 :: Rhythm of the Bands winner
19:30 :: Gabi Motuba
21:00 :: Nduduzo Makhatini
Sunday 25 August
13:00 :: Exhibition and live DJ
14:00 :: Rhythm of the Bands runner up
15:00 :: Excerpts from the South African Song Book” sung by Titi Luzipo & Spha Mdlalose.
All performances take place at the UJ Arts Centre on the University of Johannesburg’s Kingsway Campus, Auckland Park. Tickets start from only R80 – R120 and are available via https://arts.uj.ac.za/series/JAZZ19/ or at the door. Early bird tickets are available until the 21 August at noon. Thereafter full price tickets will apply. For more information, contact Lakin Morgan-Baatjies.
About UJ Arts & Culture
UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA), produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. A robust range of arts platforms are offered on all four UJ campuses for students, staff, alumni and the general public to experience and engage with emerging and established Pan-African and international artists drawn from the full spectrum of the arts.
In addition to UJ Arts & Culture, FADA (www.uj.ac.za/fada) offers programmes in eight creative disciplines, in Art, Design and Architecture, as well as playing home to the NRF SARChI Chair in South African Art & Visual Culture, and the Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre. The Faculty has a strong focus on sustainability and relevance, and engages actively with the dynamism, creativity and diversity of Johannesburg in imagining new approaches to art and design education.