Good times ... and all that jazz

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - FRONT PAGE -

SCORES of mu­sic lovers from across the con­ti­nent will be tak­ing their an­nual jour­ney to the Stan­dard Bank Jazz Fes­ti­val in Gra­ham­stown from June 29 to July 8.

This year marks the 20th an­niver­sary of Stan­dard Bank’s spon­sor­ship of South Africa’s old­est and long­est-run­ning jazz fes­ti­val, an im­por­tant com­po­nent of the Na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val.

Top­ping the line-up will be one of the world’s premier multi-in­stru­men­tal­ists, the Aus­tralian James Mor­ri­son Quin­tet, along with Estafest from the Nether­lands and Andy Nar­rel from the US.

Other high­lights will in­clude the likes of Ju­dith Se­phuma, The Soil, Zinzi Makeba Lee and Africa Mkhize, Yaron Her­man and Ziv Ravitz, Jimmy Ne­vis, Mar­cus Wy­att’s Bomb­shel­ter Beast, Shane Cooper, Kyle Shep­herd, Thandi Ntuli, Des­mond and The Tu­tus.

This year’s fes­ti­val show­cases artists that have made their name at the event over the past 20 years while also giv­ing a plat­form to ex­cit­ing new young play­ers such as the sen­sa­tional Brazil­ian bassist Michael Pipo­quinha who, at the age of two, is re­ceiv­ing crit­i­cal ac­claim world wide.

The Stan­dard Bank Jazz Fes­ti­val is known for its col­lab­o­ra­tions across styles, con­ti­nents and gen­er­a­tions and man­ages to at­tract se­ri­ous mu­si­cians year af­ter year.

For 10 days the DSG cam­pus or “Jaz­ztown” and the Mon­u­ment are jam-packed with per­for­mances that con­tinue long af­ter the lights have gone out. The per­for­mances then move to the Stan­dard Bank Jazz Cafe in down­town Gra­ham­stown, where the mu­si­cians hang out for some se­ri­ous spon­ta­neous im­pro­vi­sa­tion.

The fes­ti­val is a launch pad for South Africa’s next gen­er­a­tion of jazz stars and where the Stan­dard Bank Young Artist for Jazz makes his or her big de­but per­for­mance.

This year’s win­ner, bassist Ben­jamin Jephta, will be fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of suc­cess­ful alumni that in­clude Glo­ria Bos­man, Vic­tor Ntoni, Si­bongile Khu­malo, Siya Makuzeni, Ke­si­van Naidoo, Me­lanie Scholtz, Kyle Shep­herd, Bokani Dyer and oth­ers.

ý For more in­for­ma­tion on where to stay in Gra­ham­stown and sur­rounds, and to book tick­ets, visit www.na­tion­alarts­fes­ti­val.co.za

JAZZING IT UP: The Soil and Ju­dith Se­phuma, far right

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