CityPress - - News - PHUMLANI S LANGA phumlani.sithebe@city­press.co.za

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.

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