Joy of Jazz: New Orleans in Johannesburg

Some of the world’s top jazz musicians will be hitting Jozi for the upcoming Standard Bank Joy of Jazz and one of the star attractions will be the world-class New Orleans jazz superstars who have been invited to play at this sell-out festival which takes place in nine venues over three days.

They will perform at The Dance Factory on Friday, August 23 and Saturday, August 24.

The signing of these music ambassadors is the culmination of an ambitious project that has been in the offing for a long time and is part of a jazz cultural exchange programme which will see the on-going sharing of musical talent between South Africa and the US.

Over the past decade a relationship between Standard Bank Joy of Jazz and The New Orleans South Africa Connection (NOSACONN) was developed, culminating in the visit. Plans are also underway to galvanise resources to ensure that South African artists will have opportunities to perform at festivals throughout New Orleans and Louisiana with the focus on The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival next year.

Mbuso Khoza – who is part of this year’s array of Standard Bank Joy of Jazz artists and who will be appearing on the Conga Stage on Saturday, August 24 – is one of the musicians who will take part in this exchange and will perform next year in New Orleans. Others are still to be announced.

The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz/New Orleans relationship is endorsed by governments and local officials of both cities – Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu and the Johannesburg Executive Mayor Parks Tau are both supporters of this international cultural exchange.

It will be the first time jazz fans will get the full impact of these amazing musicians, who include the acclaimed Satchmo Trumpet Summit of James Andrews, Kid Merv and Marlon Jordan. Also on the programme are Father & Sons of the New Millennium with members of the world famous Batiste music family – David and his sons Damon, Ryan and Jamal.

Trumpeter extraordinaire James Andrews has earned the nickname “Satchmo of the Ghetto” while Marlon Jordan has been called “the best trumpeter of his generation”.

Mervin “Kid Merv” Campbell’s great uncle, Kid Rena, was a New Orleans star during the infancy of jazz in the early 20th century, a rival of Louis Armstrong’s who replaced Satchmo in Kid Ory’s band in 1919. But Merv is also close to the source in the 21st century as a member of the Treme Brass Band and protégé of that group’s lead singer and bass drummer, the late “Uncle” Lionel Batiste.

The Batiste family is a musical legend in New Orleans and holds the title of “Louisiana’s largest musical family” with performances sometimes featuring nearly 25 family members.  

The New Orleans contingent will share the stage with a powerhouse of South African female performers namely Swazi Dlamini, Asanda Bam, Nokukhanya Dlamini and Mimi.

Says Peter Tladi of T Musicman, the promoters of Standard Bank Joy of Jazz: “The exchange will greatly aid the development of the arts in both countries; promote cultural tourism and, most importantly, provide artists with an exposure they wouldn’t otherwise have had. It will also ultimately benefit South African audiences who will be exposed to wonderful New Orleans sounds.”

President and Culture Ambassador of NOSACONN Damon J. Batiste appreciates the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz platform: “It is a great anchor and job incubator for cultural arts that echoes the recent speech by President Obama to further establish relations between the US and South Africa. We see this exchange going from strength to strength.”









Tickets are on sale at Computicket.

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Peter Feldman
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