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Impressive line-up for jazz connoisseurs includes Grammy winner Kurt Elling.
The second International Jazz Extravaganza (IJE) will once again be wowing Durban jazz fans with inspiring star performances and unmatched hospitality when it returns to the Durban International Convention Centre-Arena (Durban ICC-Arena) on 17 June 2017. So far three acts for the night have been announced – edgy US jazz vocalist Kurt Elling, well-known local artist Nduduzo Makhatini and sensational new vocalist and pianist Thandi Ntuli.
“The first IJE, held in March last year, offered something that no other jazz event in South Africa caters for – entertainment for the pure jazz lover. This, along with a luxurious hospitality experience that combines music, food, and travel, is what makes IJE so unique, and sets us apart. Our second extravaganza will be even more memorable than the first, and as a result, seats are already selling out fast” notes Sindile Xulu, President and CEO of the IJE.
Real treat in store for jazz lovers
Music icon Kurt Elling will no doubt be a huge drawcard for jazz aficionados to the IJE. With every one of his ten albums being nominated for a Grammy, Elling is well known for the impressive technical mastery and emotional depth of his rich baritone voice. A renowned artist of vocalese – the writing and performing of words over recorded improvised jazz solos – Elling is revered in the jazz world for his dynamic lyrics and creative spirit.
Another artist who will be performing at this year’s IJE, and has won the heart of many jazz lovers globally, is local muso Nduduzo Makhathini. His chosen instrument is the piano, which he feels allows him to express himself best through his music. He has been nominated for numerous SAMAs, both for production and performance, and has played, toured and recorded with Busi Mhlongo, Zim Ngqawana, Feya Faku, Jimmy Dludlu, Herbie Tsoaeli and many others.
“I am honoured to be returning to the IJE stage for a second year, as it is an event that puts jazz artistry at the forefront,” explains Makhathini. “For this year’s performance, I will be focusing on my umbrella project that I call ‘iKhambi’, which celebrates blackness through our various modes of healing through music. The IJE is also a wonderful platform to highlight my home province, KZN, and what it has to offer in terms of cultures, traditions, food and music.”
The IJE’s focus on emphasising what Durban has to offer as an intimate music destination aligns with the focus of one of its presenting partners, the City of Durban. “Our city is well known for our generous hospitality, warm weather, and engaging cultures. The IJE gives us an opportunity to showcase more of Durban, and also accelerates our economic growth and local employment. We are proud to host this event for the second year running,” says City of Durban Mayor, Cllr Zandile Gumede.
Says Nontokozo Madonsela, Head of Marketing for Standard Bank Personal and Business Banking, “We are thrilled that Standard Bank has become synonymous with jazz in South Africa. Our support of events such as IJE and the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, as well as the Standard Bank Young Artists Awards, only cements our association with this phenomenal art form and, we trust, will go far in seeing this genre of music growing from strength to strength across Africa. We look forward to partnering with IJE, the City of Durban, KZN’s Provincial Department of Arts and Culture and SAA in celebrating a rich blend of African and international jazz in the heart of Kwa-Zulu Natal, bringing jazz enthusiasts and connoisseurs from across the continent together for one night in a truly global celebration of the art of jazz and its heritage.”
The second IJE is brought to you by its presenting partners, the KZN Provincial Department of Arts and Culture and The City of Durban, along with its association partners, Standard Bank Personal and Business Banking and SAA. Media partners for the IJE are Mzanzi Magic Music, Kaya FM and East Coast Radio and their official suppliers are Aha Hotels & Lodges, The Blue Train, and SMG-Durban BMW.