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Arena Holdings Announces Its Partnership In Joy Of Jazz Festival

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The VIP Joy of Jazz event has a collaboration with Arena Holdings, which was announced on Wednesday.

The yearly event features the top jazz greats from both the local and global jazz scenes. The festival organizers claim there is a “promise of exhilarating experiences for music lovers to Feel the Jazz, Everywhere!” that this year’s event will hit all the right notes.

There are four primary stages of the festival, which is held on September 29 and 30 at the Sandton International Convention Center.

“The Dinaledi Stage will be headlined by the most successful crossover musician of his generation, Grammy Award winning Swiss harpist Andreas Vollenweider and friends Ayanda Nhlangothi, Vusi Nhlapo and Vuyo Tshuma on vocals who will represent the Mzansi version of the grand doo-wop tradition with inimitable style,” said the organisers.

“The Grand Stage will feature the marvellous trumpeter, multi-band leader and composer Marcus Wyatt and KwaZulu-Natal-bred guitar maestro Ernie Smith.

“Another Grammy Award winner, pianist and composer Robert Glasper, will headline the Conga Stage, alongside a league of contemporary jazz giants respected in straight-ahead jazz and their foray into other genres.

“Both casuals and connoisseurs will be wowed by leading reedman Alexander Beets’ Quintet with pianist Miguel Rodriguez, bassist Marius Beets, drummer Sven Rozier and tenor man Lucas Santana. They will present a perfect blend of swing, ballads, standards and originals, drenched in verve of contemporary jazz.

“As part of a series of specially curated tribute performances, guitarist Billy Monama will pay tribute to Allen Kwela. He will be joined by special guests Titi Luzipo and Mimi Mtshali.”

His Hugh Masekela Band will pay tribute to the late South African jazz maestro Hugh Masekela this year. Leeroy Sauls, Godfrey Mgcina, Fana Zulu, and Cameron Ward will join them. vocalists include Selema Mokgothi, Johan Mthethwa, Sydney Mavundla, Percy Mbonani, and Mluleki Chuma.

“Music lovers can also look forward to a not-to-be-missed offering by the amazingly gifted vocalist and song-stylist, Zoe Modiga. The imaginative composer and bassist, Carlo Mombelli, also returns to thrill fans with his unique angular brand of jazz.

“In what is to be the most high-powered tribute on the bill, bassist and composer Herbie Tsoaeli will present Bassline: a project in tribute to the late legendary bassist and jazz pioneer Johnny Dyani. The tribute will feature contemporary bass kings Viwe Mkizwana and Dalusi Ndlazi. The instrumental tribute will have warm counterpoint with Titi Lozipho paying tribute to Gloria Bosman, a timely ode to the recently departed singer and composer.

“Sagacious reedman McCoy Mrubata and Brasskap will ascend the Joy of Jazz stage which includes Hlubi Kwebulana, Lwanda Gogwana, Jabu Magubane, Gareth Harvey, Wandile Molefe, Nhlanhla Radebe and Bernice Boikanyo.

“Jazz lovers can also look forward to multi-award-winning pianist and Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz (SBYA) award alumnus the Nduduzo Makhathini Trio with Cuban drummer Francisco Mela and bassist Zwelakhe-Duma Bell Le Pere featuring Omagugu Makhathini.

“The Mbira Stage will feature an exciting selection of musical entertainers with an appeal to a broad sonic taste spectrum, Zonke, Buhle Bendalo of The Soil fame, Max-Hoba will present a tribute to Jabu Khanyile; other soulful singers on the bill include Ami Faku, Langa Mavuso, Samthing Soweto, along with the voice of our contemporary political conscience Simphiwe Dana.

“There’s also iNkabi Zezwe Reframed, an exciting outfit that features SAMA award-winning trumpeter Ndabo Zulu and the current Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz (SBYA), Linda Sikhakhane.”

The event’s organizers assert that the Lounge Jazz Market would appeal to music fans with a softer and more open-minded palate. Percussionist Thomas Dyani will perform at 4EVERJAZZ, which is being presented by Nothemba Madumo. Marumo Femme will also be there with Mammello and Kopano.

“The slick sonic selectors on the decks, DJ HAPPY J as well as Di Castro, along with the inimitable maestro DJ KENZHERO EXPERIENCE featuring Melo B Jones on vocals and Drum Machine and Me-Ko on keys and trumpet. Lounge and house heads can also look forward to a uniquely delicious musical experience with the return of Breakfast at Khujos to the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz.”

Festival producer Mantwa Chinomadi said: “We feel very excited about this year’s festival offering. It allows us to reconnect with our patrons and jazz lovers everywhere with the same passion and excitement they are used to. This year feels like we are really back and have turned the page on the interruption of the pandemic years, much more than last year.”

Yolisa Koza, the head of brand experience at Standard Bank stated: “We have been a sponsor and partner to the Joy of Jazz for more than 20 years, and we are immensely proud to be affiliated with an event of such high quality. We’re excited about this world-class festival’s future and our continued association with Johannesburg’s premier jazz event — it is cause for celebration and a tribute to the city.

“Since its inception in 1997, the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festival has provided a platform for African artists to join the world stage along with global icons.”

She added: “Bringing international artists to local audiences is as important to us as nurturing and growing local jazz talent. The 2023 Joy of Jazz will bring jazz enthusiasts the best of both. Standard Bank is committed to supporting the arts as we recognise the importance of encouraging creative expression, engagement and social interaction. We have seen the role that the arts play in meaningfully growing and transforming people and communities.”

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