Johannesburg – Five stages offering a melting pot of soothing sounds from a variety of local and international jazz stars and legends were successfully delivered by the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz.
Each year, this premium music festival strives to bring new audiences of young and old revellers closer to their idols while growing the festival.
Music lovers who flocked to the Sandton Convention Centre when the festival kicked off on Thursday night got value for their money.
Local giants Sibongile Khumalo, Gloria Bosman, Nduduzo Makhathini and Marcus Wyatt flew the rainbow flag high with their mesmerising performances, proving that local is indeed lekker.
One of the most anticipated performances of opening night was American jazz legend Wynton Marsalis. Alongside the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra, he performed Jonas Gwangwa’s Emaxhoseni. Gwangwa was also honoured with an art installation at this year’s event.
The festival featured a never-to-be-repeated all-star band performance to celebrate 35 years of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award winners.
It also featured previous award winners such as Norway-based South African-born saxophonist Shannon Mowday (2007), who joined South African jazz artists Sibongile Khumalo (1993), composer-pianist Nduduzo Makhathini (2015), bassist, Concord Nkabinde (2006), and others such as Gloria Bosman (2000), Bokani Dyer (2011) and Mark Fransman (2008).
The 2019 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz, trumpeter Mandla Mlangeni, also performed at the festival. The gifted artist showcased his eclectic music style, swiftly switching from classical to jazz and infusing his set with indigenous African beats.
On day two, young and old artists showcased their talents much to the delight of the mixed-generation audience. Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Don Laka and Stimela shared the evening with The Soil, Nokukhanya Dlamini and Nomfundo Xaluva.
Day three saw the return of diva Sibongile Khumalo and Siphokazi, who proved to the audiences that she is more than an Afro-pop singer. The multiple Grammy award-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo had revelers eating out of their hand.
Going beyond straightforward jazz, the line-up also featured soul singer Rahsaan Patterson, while RJ Benjamin shared some soulful sounds.
The festival continues to show how appreciated jazz is by local fans and it is also a platform for showcasing international artists from as far afield as Thailand, the US, Cuba, Indonesia, Nigeria and even introduce some incredible talent from Mozambique.