The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz opened to much fanfare and gave the audience a reminder of how long they have supported the arts
The first night of the 22nd Standard Bank Joy of Jazz wasted no time getting the audience into the groove and showcased a never-to-be repeated all-star band performance celebrating 35 Years of the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards.
The Standard Bank Young Artist All Star Band comprised of alumni’s: Sibongile Khumalo, Gloria Bosman, Melanie Scholtz, Bokani Dyer, Shane Cooper, Nduduzo Makhathini, Shannon Mowday, Kesivan Naidoo, Afrika Mkhize, Concord Nkabinde, to name a few.
Oh boy, did they not disappoint.
Nduduzo Makhathini on piano and the enthralling voice of Gloria Bosman gave the audience an absolutely awe filled experience. Makhathini was nothing short of breathtaking and had the crowd going gaga over his skills.
Shannon Mowday on bass saxes, bass and contra-alto clarinet had the crowd eating out the palm of her skillful hands with her song Woza Waltz. Victor Masondo on bass had people who had travelled far and wide going “ooh aah” at his prowess on bass.
Cool and calm as the setting was, the cheers and claps when the artists hit the right note let you know everyone was having a great time.
In attendance where former South African Presidents, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe; Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa; Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba and Yvonne Chaka-Chaka, to name a few.
A jazz heritage celebrated
The main show for the night was the battle of the bands.
The Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra led by trumpeter and multi-Grammy Award winner, Wynton Marsalis shared the stage with Mzansi’s own ZAR Jazz Orchestra led by Marcus Wyatt.
This performance stood out because of the honour bestowed upon legendary jazz musician, Jonas Gwangwa. Both bands performed their own renditions of his popular songs Emaxhoseni and Diphororo. It was befitting considering that South Africa is still celebrating Heritage Month and Standard Bank has been supporting jazz for 35-years.
The Joy of Jazz is the mecca of all live jazz performance shows in South Africa and people from all walks of life converge every year to celebrate the genre. It brings people together and you are urged to experience it at least once in your life.
The show still goes on though with Day 2 and 3 promising to be even better with the likes of Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Rahsaan Paterson, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Stimela and many more on the line-up.