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Standard Bank Joy of Jazz celebrates its 21st edition with a diverse line-up of all-star talent.
T Musicman, promoters of the annual jazz event, last night announced a stellar line-up for the three nights of music which takes place on September 27, 28 and 29 at the Sandton Convention Centre.
Five stages will be used where jazz lovers will be treated to ground-breaking collaborations and tributes by new masters to older jazz giants of music.
The festival kicks off with a megastar one night only set of performances featuring David Sanborn, the iconic American smooth jazz innovator and multi-Grammy award winning saxophonist and composer.
The festivities will then swing into action with a host of diverse performers that include American song-stylist, Cassandra Wilson and The Horn Summit who will honour the memory of Bra Hugh Masekela on the Dinaledi Stage. This musical outfit features such illustrious names as Feya Faku, Khaya Mahlangu, Mthunzi Mvumbu, Barney Rachabane, Sydney Mavundla, Siphamandla Bhembe and Mandla Mlangeni.
More than 30 musicians representing five continents will be serving up power-house music.
A highlight will be the Louis Armstrong All-star band. It features the great trombonist, Wycliffe Gordon, tenor man, Roderick Pauli, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, bassist Reginald Veal, Courtney Bryan on piano, Herlin Riley on drums. Louis Armstrong was the American musical giant who have Bra Hugh his first trumpet.
Phenomenal pianist, Amina Figarova, who is based in Holland and New York, will lead two collaborative projects. First it will be with the ThabaJabula School Choir, and then with the award-winning South African pianists, Kyle Shepherd and Bokani Dyer on the Dinaledi Stage.
American pianist, Diane Schuur, will share the stage with the reigning Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year for Jazz, Thandi Ntuli and the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band on the Diphala Stage.
Grammy nominated singer-songwriter, Buika is set to dazzle jozi jazz junkies with her unique brand of flamenco fusion. The Spanish songstress will perform on the Conga stage. American singer-songwriter, Bilal will lay his retro rooted brand of futuristic soul music on the Mbira Stage.
Continental Africa will get a nod at the Conga and Mbira Stages with acts such as the afro-beat sensation, Femi Koya (Nigeria); Kenya’s Nairobi Horns and the leading voices of Mozambican marrabenta music, Wazimbo and Banda Kakana. Also in the spotlight will be singer songwriter Mbuso Khoza and Zimbabwe’s, Oliver Mutukuzi who will hold the fort along with Gugu Shezi.
Peter Tladi, CEO of T Musicman, spoke about what it meant for him and his company to step into this 21-year milestone. “Twenty-one years ago we began our journey as a jazz festival with world class ambitions. It was a challenge. Today we have the security and confidence of two decades of living up to the promises we make annually to jazz lovers.”
Thulani Sibeko, Standard Bank’s Chief Marketing Officer, said they have a clear sense of the growth of the festival and what still needs to be achieved. “We, as the headline sponsor, are looking forward to providing unparalleled access to the best jazz music in the world through our expertly curated programme and line-up. We are also excited to be able to contribute to the development of our cultural economy. The jobs created annually by the festival, and the education and training opportunities for young people on and off the stage, are all part of one vision that underpins what we mean by Joy, in Standard Bank Joy of Jazz.”
The festival, she added, made a deep social and impact by improving the lives of many young people through training and other opportunities. “We are proud to continue to partner with T-Musicman on a brand that is so proudly African and showcases a wide range of our talent from across the continent, while at the same time welcoming international talent to our shores.”