One of the six themes around which this year’s Standard Bank Jazz Festival programme, taking place alongside the 38th National Arts Festival (from 28 June to 8 July in Grahamstown), is developed, is World Music / Gospel.
On Saturday 7 July, Mango Groove headlines the World Music / Gospel theme with a once-off performance by Claire Johnston (vocals), Beaulah Hashe (vocals), Khanyo Maphumulo (vocals), Siziwe Ngema (vocals), Kelly Petlane (penny whistle), Sydney Mavundla (trumpet), Percy Mbonani (sax), Michael Bester (guitar), Harold Wynkwardt (keyboards), John Leyden (bass/vocals), and Neill Ettridge (drums). As a band, they have helped pioneer the course of South African music for over 25 years, helping to shape the sound and identity of South African music. They have enjoyed twelve Number 1 hits, performed to an estimated audience of a billion people via direct satellite link-up, and received every conceivable South Africa n music and video award, making them undoubtedly one of the most iconic South African bands of all time, and a part of South Africa’s heritage.
Every once in a while a musician emerges who is able to surpass the limitations of traditional musical approaches, to create a sound of transcendent musical feel and emotion. Never satisfied with the musical status quo, steel pan player Andy Narell continuously pushes the boundaries of musical innovation and performance. On Friday 6 July and Saturday 7 July he presents a fascinating collaboration of steel pan fused with World Music and Jazz; with Louis Mhlanga (guitar), Xoli Nkosi (keyboards), Denny Lalouette (bass) and Rob Watson (drums).
Known as South Africa’s “King of R&B”, Loyiso Bala has broadened his musical horizons to concentrate on Gospel with his recent CD release. He has walked away with South Africa’s most prestigious music awards, but he remains most appealing on the stage, where he is able to carry audiences through an astonishing blend of Jazz, Classical, Gospel, R&B, Soul and traditional South African music. On Thursday 5 July he will be accompanied by Sydney Mavundla (trumpet), James Bassingthwaighte (trombone), Michael Bester (guitar), Jaydine Baron (piano), Denny Lalouette (bass) and Rob Watson (drums).
Audiences can expect to be wrenched from their seats by the captivating collection of polyrhythms, sound textures, and musical colours created by Hassan’adas. Under Mozambiquan leader John Hassan, the band blends original African rhythms and sounds with eclectic influences from musicians around the globe. Hassan’adas features John Hassan (percussion/vocals – MZ), Buddy Wells (sax), Nathan Carolus (guitar), Camillo Lombard (piano), Lucas Khumalo (bass), and Kissangwa Junior (drums – CD). They will perform on Wednesday 4 July and Thursday 5 July.
With smooth and enchanting melodies and a beautiful fusion of Gospel, Jazz and R&B, Durban songbird Natalie Rungan compels listeners to relax, unwind and reconnect with the harmonious soul of music on Friday 6 July. Having performed on top international jazz and world-music stages, garnered a host of awards, and released her own albums, Natalie’s musical experience has earned her a place amongst South Africa’s greats. She performs with Mark Royeppen (keyboards), Jared James (guitar), Mazwakhe Gumede (bass), Bruce Baker (drums) and guest Ernie Smith (guitar).
The other themes for this year’s programme are Youth, Cross-over Jazz, Afro-Jazz, Mainstream Jazz and Modern Jazz.
The Standard Bank Jazz Festival is presented with support funding from:
* The French Institute / French-South African Season
* Paul Bothner Music
* Royal Netherlands Embassy
* Royal Norwegian Embassy
* Swedish Arts Council / Scenkonstbolaget
* US Consulate General
Bookings for this year’s “11 Days of Amaz!ng” open in May. Tickets are available through Computicket. Booking kits available from selected Standard Bank Branches, selected Exclusive Books and all Computickets. For more information on the programme, accommodation and travel options visit www.nationalartsfestival.co.za. Also join the National Arts Festival group on Facebook for all the latest competitions and news, or follow us on Twitter @artsfestival
The National Arts Festival is sponsored by Standard Bank, The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, The Eastern Cape Government, The National Arts Council, City Press and M Net.