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Human Rights Day sees a big party in Soweto. The Soweto Jazz Meander will take place at Ubuntu Kraal just below Vilakazi Street.
Headlining the event is Marcus Wyatt’s Blue Note Tribute Orchestra. Joining them are two of the country’s hottest new bands, The Muffinz and The Brother Moves On. Completing the line-up is a new artist called Ayanda Nhlangoti. Festival organiser Sifiso Ntuli describes Ayanda as “doing soulful jazz to maskandi. Think Macy Gray and think Phuzekhemisi”.
Ntuli also explained the significance of the Blue Note Tribute Orchestra on Human Rights Day.
“The Blue Notes were one of the first non-racial bands in South Africa over 50 years ago. One of their last gigs was the Castle Milk Stout Jazz Festival. That was in 1964, just before they left for Europe and went into exile. In Europe they revitalised the European free form of jazz. The jazz scene was falling apart because there was the new sound of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
“We are doing this gig in a time when serious human rights violations are happening in our country.”
Staying with the socio-political angle, Ntuli says he wants to encourage people in Soweto to go to Vilakazi street.
“The concept is to encourage Sowetans to showcase who they are. The government put millions into developing Vilakazi Street. We have tourists coming to learn about our painful past. However, South Africa is also known for its music. So now they can come out of the Hector Pietersen memorial crying and then go to the party. This is like an after-tears party.”
“The event is also child-friendly which is why it starts at 2pm. We even have a jumping castle.”
For those who need transport to Soweto there will be a taxi outside Lucky Bean in 7th Street, Melville, from noon. For more information visit Nsako.com.