Durban’s big jazz jol

2010-12-18 00:00

JAZZ and Afro-Soul fans are in for a treat on December 26, when well-known musicians and up-and-coming stars take to the stage at Hazelmere Dam for the 2010 MTN Durban Jazz Festival.

Now in its eighth year, the festival this year features talented vocalist and composer Siphokazi Maraqana, Afro-Pop sensation Nthando; legendary Zimbabwean singer, songwriter and guitarist Oliver Mtukudzi; jazz guitarist Jimmy Dludlu; vocalist Zamajobe; violinist, producer, arranger and music director Thespo Mngoma; Zakes Bantwini, known as the man who discovered kwaito sensation L’vovo Derrango and a musician in his own right; a former member of Boom Shaka, Theo Nhlengethwa; the Jabu Khanyile Band; and Sindi Nene, who was part of this year’s edition of Idols.

Responding to criticism that not all the performers could be called jazz musicians, Lindelani Mkhize of Lindelani Mkhize Entertainment said the organisers had tried to diversify the line-up to suit the tastes of the audience.

“We stick to the stalwarts of the jazz genre, but the audience does also enjoy the Afro-Soul movement and our line-up is reflective of that,” he said, adding that the festival has become more of a “lifestyle event” since he and Mdu Ngcobo of Touch Africa first came up with the idea.

“We felt that there was something missing in Durban as everyone was flocking to the beach on December 26 and we were sure that some people would want an alternative,” Mkhize said at the launch of the festival at Moyo’s on the Pier in Durban.

Over the years, the jazz festival has proved to be a good platform for artists like Lira, Siphokazi and Malaika, giving them a springboard into the big time, while at the same time continuing to give emerging artists the chance to showcase their talent.

Last year’s festival attracted about 25 000 people to Hazelmere Dam and this year sponsor MTN is planning to provide extra activities for festival-goers. These include a competition for music fans to win access to a special Yellow Experience Area where they will enjoy five-star treatment and a digital photo studio where they can get lasting memories of the event.

MTN will also have staff on hand to assist with Rica registrations and its customers will be able to recharge their phones at special stations around the grounds.

Bernard Pieters, senior manager for sponsorship at MTN, said: “The Durban Jazz Festival not only brings together people from all walks of life, it allows them to enjoy and appreciate a soothing blend of harmonious talents in a break-taking location.”

• Tickets for the MTN Durban Jazz Festival range from R190 to R250 and can be bought through Computicket and at Checkers and Shoprite stores.

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