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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

BLUES AND JAZZ HERITAGE FESTIVAL 2008 (article first published : 2008-09-9)

One of the most exciting events on the Celebrate Durban calendar this season is the Durban International Blues and Jazz Heritage Festival, which runs from September 23 to 28.

Now celebrating its fifth triumphant year, the benchmark event continues to bring a truly African flavour to the time-honoured musical heritage of Durbanís sister cities, New Orleans, the home of Blues, and Chicago, jazz capital of the northern hemisphere. This yearís Durban International Blues and Jazz Heritage Festival takes place in a variety of venues along Wilsonís Wharf, Durbanís vibrant and scenic waterfront setting overlooking the cityís harbour and yacht basin.

The Festivalís high-powered talent roster stars internationally acclaimed music icons Busi Mhlongo, Dan Patlansky and Brian Finch as this yearís headliners. Appearing alongside these legendary performers during the five-day celebration of South Africaís musical roots is a dazzling array of stars-in-their-own-right. Names to conjure with include luminaries such as Madala Kunene, Natalie Runyan, Khobi Xaba, Philani Ngidi, Will Wallace and Albert Frost, among a host of others.

The Durban International Blues and Jazz Heritage Festival opens with a Blues concert starring legendary Brian Finch. This will be presented at the Catalina Theatre September on 23 at 20h00. Tickets R65 booked through Strictly Tickets on 087 940 1937 or online at www.strictlytickets.com

Running through the first four evenings of the Festival (September 23 to 26) are free concerts to be presented in alternating 90 minute sets: on Zacks Deck from 18h00 to 19h30, and at Charlie Crofts from 20h00 to 21h30. These can be enjoyed from the comfort of the popular eateries situated along the waterside deck along the wharf.

The Festival climaxes with two Summit concerts on September 27 and 28 respectively, each starting at 19h00 and running until late. Tickets for each of these bumper events cost R90 booked through Strictly Tickets on 087 940 1937 or online at www.strictlytickets.com

Staged in collaboration with the Department of Arts and Culture Ethekwini Cluster, these Summit concerts will take place in a marquee on a specially-erected stage set on the peninsular adjacent to Wilsonís Wharf, to be enjoyed by audience members against the priceless backdrop of the Durbanís harbour and the cityís night-time skyline.

Busi Mhlongo takes centre stage for the first of these glamorous events, the Jazz Heritage Summit on September 27. This will also feature a variety of jazz bands and supporting acts. Tickets for this 5-hour extravaganza cost R90. Early door ticket purchases are advised as seating is limited.

The Blues Summit Concert on September 28 starring Dan Patlansky and the Summit Band promises an unforgettable final lift-off to this yearís unmissable Durban International Blues and Jazz Heritage Festival. Tickets cost R90.

The Festival is staged in collaboration with the Ethekwini Municipality and Dept of Arts, Culture and Tourism, with generous additional sponsorship from Nivea for Men, SAB Miller, Wilson's Wharf and Concorde Printing.




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