Than­diswa a joy to fans

The Sunday Independent - - FRONT PAGE - AMANDA MALIBA @Aman­daMal­iba

IT IS said that mu­sic is food for the soul, and this was ev­i­dent at this year’s Stan­dard Bank Joy of Jazz mu­sic fes­ti­val, where artists got re­sound­ing ap­plause from fans.

Not only is the event a cel­e­bra­tion of mu­sic, it also serves as a meet­ing point of var­i­ous artists from across the world.

One such artist whose jour­ney in the local and African mu­sic land­scape has al­ways been a strong fea­ture is Than­diswa “King Tha” Mazwai.

Pop­u­lar since her time singing with the group Bongo Maf­fin, Mazwai’s voice put a soul­ful and spir­i­tual twist into what was known then as kwaito.

She then went solo, and now em­bod­ies jazz in the fresh­est way.

Mazwai’s Belede al­bum – a trib­ute to South Africa’s jazz leg­ends – is nothing short of spec­tac­u­lar. And her stage pres­ence evoked a sense that one was re­liv­ing past mem­o­ries; mo­ments shared with late jazz leg­end Miriam Makeba and Busi Mh­longo, among oth­ers.

Al­though not a stranger to the Joy of Jazz stage, her trans­for­ma­tion into a jazz artist em­bod­ies strength, wis­dom and a lot of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the African mu­si­cal cul­ture.

As she ended off her set, she gave a ren­di­tion of Makuben­jalo, taken out of the orig­i­nal South African na­tional an­them, and took the masses on an emo­tional roller-coaster. This earned her a stand­ing ova­tion and gave bub­bling ex­cite­ment to the au­di­ence.

Mazwai was not the only artist who had fans eat­ing from her palms. Tutu Puoane, Maleh and Nnenna Freelon, who said she was ex­cited to be in Africa again, all be­came in­stant hits with fans.

The week­end of jazz was also graced by other il­lus­tri­ous per­form­ers such as Chris­tian McBride, Bran­ford Marsalis, Joshua Red­man, The Clay­ton Broth­ers, Peter Beets and Roy Ay­ers.

Or­gan­iser Mantwa Chi­noa­madi said: “We are over­joyed and proud of this year’s artist line-up and overall fes­ti­val of­fer­ing. It was a fit­ting line-up as Stan­dard Bank Joy of Jazz cel­e­brates 20 years of cre­at­ing mag­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ences and pro­ject­ing the mean­ing of the hard work and pas­sion that went into build­ing one of Africa’s most important jazz fes­ti­vals.”

PIC­TURE: MATTHEWS BALOYI

Than­diswa Mazwai opened the Stan­dard Bank Joy of Jazz Fes­ti­val, held at the Sand­ton Con­ven­tion Centre.

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