WEDNESDAY marks a decade for the Durban Jazz Festival which is bigger and better than ever before. Taking place in the picturesque setting of Hazelmere Dam, the event offers a day of fun-filled entertainment, relaxation and a killer line-up.
Jazz lovers can unwind and enjoy the likes of international R&B sensation Kenny Lattimore, Senegalese singer Ishmael Lo and Soshaoshaye from Kansas (US) as headline acts.
Many of you may not know this, but Lo soared to fame after his sixth album with the single Tajabone which became a hit on the European charts and subsequently launched Lo’s international career.
Also on the bill are local acts such as Ringo, Zakes Bantwini, Kelly Khumalo, Khaya Mthethwa, Zahara and the list goes on.
Tonight caught up with the organiser of the Durban Jazz Fest, Wanita Ngcobo, to find out what’s in store for festival goers: “I think the line-up is very strong and we’ve been getting rave reviews about it. People are really excited.
“We are constantly trying to build the event, making it better each year.
“We want to try and add another day to the festival, open more clubs and jazz spots in Durban to support South African acts and development. I think in South Africa, jazz is declining so we are trying to raise that element as well and motivate people to get more involved in this genre.”
Offering a friendly and tranquil atmosphere, the event is an outdoor affair. Asked why they chose Hazelmere Dam as opposed to a concert venue, Ngcobo said: “For this jazz fest, we are trying to elevate the picnic idea. We find that people can’t bring their braais, their drinks and cooler boxes to a normal concert venue so we chose Hazelmere Dam as the venue as we are trying to promote an outdoor family-orientated kind of the thing.
“Also, we are trying to create a summer vibe in December so people can bring their jet skis to the dam and make a day out of it.”
In it’s tenth year, Ngcobo shared some of the ups and downs the fest has experienced over the years: “I guess the only downfall is that we only have one entrance that is used as the exit as well and that creates traffic, but we have tried to overcome that.
“As for the highlights, I would say the fact that the event is growing is amazing and it features about 90 percent South African music. It’s been better than we hoped it would be and it’s not just KZN-based people who attend, but people outside the country, and that is what we want.”
• Catch the Durban Jazz Fest on Wednesday at Hazelmere Dam. For more information: www.dbnjazzfestival.co.za