The build-up to the 20th Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festival kicked off with Champagne and a fireworks display at Montecasino in Fourways this week. The South African Field Band provided the ambience with its robust ethnic sound. The people in the ballroom at Monte enjoyed stellar food, as well as a Lindor chocolate dessert that could spark riots. With his smooth, laid-back delivery, Bob Mabena hosted the event. “I hope you all have your hats on,” he said to the room of people who had been equipped with a Joy of Jazz trilby, which, honestly, made everyone in the room look the same and more than a tad corny. The line-up this year is as strong as always: Caiphus Semenya, Thandiswa Mazwai, Abdullah Ibrahim, Salif Keita and Hugh Masekela, as well as US R&B star Musiq Soulchild. Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse was in attendance, as was iconic trombonist Jonas Gwangwa. The crowd overall was a mature one – something that probably reflects the jazz culture in the country. There are, however, a few young musicians on the bill, including Kyle Shepherd from Cape Town and soulful songstress Maleh. Mabena shared the schedule for each of the three days of the festival with the crowd. However, he refrained from mentioning the price of the tickets because, “if you need to know the price of the tickets, you shouldn’t be coming”. The festival will run from September 28 to 30 at the Sandton Convention Centre and will include more than 35 acts on four stages.