‘I can never predict what music will do to me on stage’ – Thandiswa Mazwai

Image: Supplied
Image: Supplied
Nick Boulton

Are you excited about going back to Joy of Jazz?

I have a long relationship with the Joy of Jazz and have always had amazing shows on their stages. This will be my first time at the new Sandton location, so I look forward to the experience.

What can people expect from your performance?

I can never predict what music will do to all of us on the night. We will play from our hearts and hope that some magic or some healing can come out of it for all of us.

What’s the creative process for you when prepping for performances?

It involves a couple of rehearsals to keep the band in line, but we rehearse just enough to leave space to engage the true spirit of music and improvisation on the day of the performance.

What has been your favourite stage to perform on and why?

Every stage has its own magic. Over the years I have shared stages with everyone, from Ray Charles to Beyoncé, Salif Keita to Mercedes Sosa, Damian Marley to Lauren Hill, and Miriam Makeba to Brenda Fassie. It's been a beautiful ride so far. But for the purpose of this interview I will very affectionately say, the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz.

How has Belede been received since its release?  

Interestingly enough, young people are the ones who engage me about it the most. Ndiyahamba is a firm favourite. Mothers also play the album relentlessly. It's incredibly adorable.

You’ve been in the music industry for a very long time. What’s next?  

It has been 22 years now since I started with Jacknife in 1996. I have never been about achievements and I realise that's a very strange thing to say after I have achieved so much, but I have always only been about finding peace for myself through the music. Needless to say, as a procrastinator, I have always felt that finishing my work is the greatest achievement.

Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre from the 28th - 30th September

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