Trio to jazz up arts festival

2012-06-08 12:07

The National Arts Festival always boasts a celebrated line-up for jazzheads of all shapes and hues, and this year is no different.

Visitors to 2012’s festival would be remiss not to focus their attention on three particular performances – pianist Afrika Mkhize, the Double Bass Project and Jitsvinger.

As the reigning Standard Bank Young Artist of the year for the genre, Mkhize’s chops as a pianist are unquestionable.

His CV includes the magic he helped create on trumpeter Marcus Wyatt’s 2011 Sama-nominated album, ZAR.

He’s also played with the likes of Miriam Makeba and late saxophonist Moses Khumalo. Beyond the jazz world, the Durban-born pianist is remembered for producing crooner MXO’s 2004 album, Peace of Mind.

Mkhize’s first show will see him leading a quintet featuring British flautist Eddie Parker to showcase his own compositions.

The second will include an all-star, eight-piece band to pay tribute to the late pianist Bheki Mseleku. Will he sink or swing? You’ll have to be there to find out.

The Double Bass Project’s Hein van de Geyn from the Netherlands was voted this year’s best european acoustic bass player by a referendum on Belgian radio stations RTBF and VRT.

When he’s not pleasing crowds, he teaches music – particularly bass – at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.

Apart from leading his own bands on eight albums, he’s handled bass for stellar company, such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Chet Baker and Lee Konitz.

His partner in rhythm for his Grahamstown gig, Martin Sjostedt from Sweden, has appeared on more than 30 jazz albums since 1998.


His accolades include being a side man for the likes of Bob Mintzer, Joe Lovano, Jim McNeely, Maria Schneider and others.

The duet will be celebrating jazz’s most iconic instrument at the festival and will be joined by a host of musicians gathered around Grahamstown, all in the name of demonstrating why the double bass is the harmonic and rhythmic foundation of all instruments in any jazz ensemble.

Quinton Goliath, AKA Jitsvinger, is a Cape Town-based hip-hop artist with a refreshing vernacular Afrikaans style.

He has worked with luminaries such as poet and author Antjie Krog, poet Kgafela oa Magogodi, and has collaborated with Khoisan praise poet Jethro Louw to perform traditional cultural music in the Taiwanese cities of Tainan and Taipei.

His openness to a variety of sounds now takes him to the jazz bandstands.

He will team up with one of South African jazz’s most exciting and promising pianists, Kyle Sheppard, and a fascinating rhythm section that includes Shane Cooper on bass and Jonno Sweetman on drums.

The collaboration should benefit from Sheppard’s depth and propensity for bringing eclectic elements, both indigenous and modern, into his music.

» The National Arts Festival takes place in Grahamstown from June 28 to July 8. For bookings, visit Computicket


» Mkhize will perform at the DSG Hall on June 30 at 5pm and July 3 at 5pm. Tickets are R60 (adult) or R50 (student)

» The Double Bass Project will perform at the DSG Auditorium on July 1 at 9pm. Tickets are R50 (adult) or R45 (student)

» Jitsvinger will perform at the DSG Hall on June 29 at 10pm. Tickets are R60 (adult) or R50 (student)

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