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International and local artists to collaborate at 2018 Standard Bank Jazz Festival

This year's Grahamstown National Arts Festival will see creative musical collaborations come into sharp focus between 28 June and 7 July at the 2018 Standard Bank Jazz Festival. As the oldest jazz festival on the African continent, SBJF 2018 will feature a line-up of musicians from around the world collaborating to play music that celebrates various grand jazz legacies with youthful verve.

Leading the way is Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz, Thandi Ntuli who brings her enterprising band, Rebirth of Cool, which has found a fresh approach to playing jazz music in dialogue with everything from soul and rap to R&B. The group features a traditional band formation augmented by DJ Kenzhero spinning classic hits on the turntables. The pianist will also lead her group of rising jazz stars to present music from her new album, Exiled.

Celebrating the jazz spirt rhythm

The legendary ‘King of the Zulu Guitar’, Madala Kunene will lead a creative collaboration that brings together electric and acoustic folk sounds. Acts like The Brother Moves On, and the new face of Afro-folk, Bongeziwe Mabandla will join Madala Kunene in an extraordinary night of music.

The Brother Moves On
The Brother Moves On

Miriam Makeba’s granddaughter, Zenzi Makeba Lee will partner with Amanda Tiffin to present a collaborative project showcasing the power and prowess of their respective styles as vocalists. The pair will lead a band that includes bassist Romy Brauteseth, Afrika Mkhize on piano and Marlon Witbooi on drums.

Lisette Spinnler and Julie Fahrer, female vocalists from Switzerland – on residency made possible by Pro-Helvetia – will perform with a South African rhythm section as a nod to the collaborative spirit that underlies jazz in Grahamstown.

Zenzi Makeba Lee
Zenzi Makeba Lee

The duo will lead drummer Peter Auret, Thandi Ntuli on piano, and bassist Shane Cooper in an energetic collaborative project that reflects the spirit of Jazztown where young and older musicians, legends and emerging artists get together to define possible futures for jazz music. They also join pianist Nduduzo Makhathini and his band in a collaboration on his latest compositions.

Where literature, music meet

In a rare creative concept that converges literature and music, Percy Mabandu will collaborate with an all-star jazz band that includes pianist Andile Yenana, Shane Cooper on bass, Ayanda Sikade on drums and Sisonke Xonti on tenor saxophone to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic jazz album, Yakhal’inkomo by the late great Winston Mankunku Ngozi.

From Ghana comes pianist Victor Dey Jnr, who teams up with South African musicians Marcus Wyatt, Sisonke Xonti, Romy Brauteseth and Ayanda Sikade, while pianist Andile Yenana presents his latest compositions with a combination of Swiss and South African musicians.

Lisette Spinnler
Lisette Spinnler

The ultimate in collaboration takes place each night in the Standard Bank Jazz & Blues Café, where South African musicians meet up with some of the foreigners performing at the festival to explore each other’s music, ending often in a jam session to conclude a festival day.

Standard Bank card holders qualify for a 20% discount subject to terms and conditions. For more info and to book visit Standard Bank Jazz Festival page. Stay informed of the Standard Bank Jazz Festival by connecting with Standard Bank Arts on Facebook and Twitter.

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