Pictures: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)
Pictures: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

What is described as one of the country’s biggest jazz festivals, the Joy of Jazz, which attracts music lovers from more than five continents, was launched this week. Now in it’s 21st year, details on the star-studded event were unpacked for the media and fans outside Parktown’s hippest restaurant, the Milk Bar.
Descending a staircase overlooking the sports facilities guests walked into a deluge of delightful colour and music, while outside tables made of packing pallets were decorated with colourful throw blankets, scatter cushions, colourful antique lantern lights and other small decorative pieces. This creative touch gave an old-fashioned picnic feel to the event which closely resembled a picnic under the stars.

Inside the main hall, a modern-yet-retro atmosphere was recreated with stacks of old TV sets piled up on one side, antique telephones, netted carpets and different styled armchairs and sofas on the other.

The laid back scenery made it comfortable for guests to lounge around, with no hurry, and enjoy watching the music giants striking poses as they went about their business.

It was also a beautiful sight to see Gloria Bosman, a frontline player of the jazz genre, walking the “blue” carpet. Others who graced the launch were singer and composer Mbuso Khoza, jazz pianist and composer Thandi Ntuli, Wanda Baloi and McCoy Mrubata among others.

Leading the programme, music lover and radio host MC Thabo “Tbose” Mokwele just happened to be celebrating his 21 years in the industry this year.

Also present was the Premier of Gauteng David Makhura and Rami Chuene among the many guests.

The Jazz Fest will unfold across five stages over three nights (September 27 to 29) at the Sandton Convention Centre. The line up includes Cassandra Wilson (USA). The Horn Summit, with Feya Faku, Khaya Mahlangu, Mthunzi Mvumbu, Barney Rachabane, Sydney Mavundla, Siphamandla Bhembe and Mandla Mlangeni, who will all come together to honour the memory of the late, great Bra Hugh Masekela on one of the festival’s stages.

Among the names of the more than 30 other performers are Femi Koya of Nigeria; Kenya’s Nairobi Horns, the leading voices of Mozambican marrabenta music, Wazimbo and Banda Kakana, incredible singer/songwriter Mbuso Khoza. Meanwhile the “musical conscience” of Zimbabwe, Oliver Mtukudzi, will be holding fort over the weekend, along with Gugu Shezi. The line-up represents some of the greatest talent in Africa. Don’t miss it.


The Sunday Independent