Thandiswa a joy to fans
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.”
Thandiswa Mazwai opened the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival, held at the Sandton Convention Centre.