McCoy Mrubata. Picture: Supplied

This year’s Standard Bank Jazz Festival will host some exciting and iconic performances to mark key milestones for jazz legacies.  

Taking place during the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown this year, jazz aficionados  can sway to performances from The Blue Notes, led by trumpeter Marcus Wyatt, 50 years of Yakhal’inkomo - the historic record by Winston Mankunku Ngozi; 30 years of the collaborative relationship between McCoy Mrubata and Paul Hanmer.

Jazz lovers can also look forward to 30 years of Mike Campbell at the helm as founding head of the UCT Jazz School; and an imaginative memorial to Michael Brecker, the American saxophonist and composer by Norwegian saxophonist Petter Wettre.

The longest-running jazz festival on the African continent - will live up to its reputation of providing great music and also pay homage to historic jazz projects, iconic records, and groundbreaking musicians, all presented with a youthful energy.


Marcus Wyatt, who will be one of the artists at the festival and who has established the Blue Note Tribute Orchestra, did so with the intention of reminding musicians and South African audiences of the immense impact made by the passionate young quintet led in the 1960s to 80s by pianist Chris McGregor.

The Blue Notes impacted significantly on the development of European and British jazz in the period of the South Africans’ exile, and that music has yet to be appreciated fully at home.

“As the longest running jazz festival not only in South Africa but on the African continent, we’ve been witnesses to some memorable milestones in the development of the music. Many iconic musicians have been on our stages over the years as they built careers that have become important parts of our shared jazz heritage and legacies. It makes sense for us to celebrate these musicians and their work with imaginative programming that re-imagines their work for a new audience,” said Alan Webster, director of the Standard Bank Jazz Festival.

Check out the playlist preview here: