A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

festivals
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

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

NAF JAZZ (article first published : 2008-06-4)

From around the world - but this time for only 10 days - comes a selection of the top international jazz performers from Sweden, Zimbabwe, Australia, Norway, Mozambique, Switzerland, Netherlands, Britain, Israel and the US. They will perform with their South African counterparts to bring festival goers a programme that promises to blow them away.

This year the Standard Bank Jazz Festival, which started in 1988 as a separate entity on the main programme of the Festival, will showcase a fascinating variety of collaborations between international and local jazz artists in a number of unique performances that create an interesting mix of African and foreign jazz sounds. Top notch international jazz artists, such as Oliver Mtukudzi (Zimbabwe), Amikam Kimelman (Israel), Frank Paco (Mozambique), Per Thornberg (Sweden), Adrian Mears (Australia), Mike del Ferro (Netherlands), Carl Allen (USA) and more will be entertaining audiences at this year’s festival.

Oliver Mtukudzi, better known to his audiences as “Tuku”, is a Zimbabwean artist whose career has spanned more than 30 years and produced more than 40 original albums - nearly all of them best-sellers. Tuku started his music career in the mid-1970s and he has appeared on leading stages on four continents. He incorporates traditional mbira patterns, popular Zimbabwean “Jiti” style, mbaqanga inflections and traditional Korekore drumming patterns in his music to create a genre all on its own – “Tuku Music”. He has produced an amazing skill of fusing traditional African music styles, modern dance trends and jazz improvisation. His powerful voice musical energy have won him fans all over the world. During his Festival debut, Tuku introduces his son and musical heir, Sam Mtukudzi (quitar, sax), accompanied by his stalwart Zimbabwean band: Patricia Onai Mutizwa (vocals, mbira), Peggy Namatayi Mubariki (vocals), Never Mpofu (bass) and Tendai Smason Mataure (drums). See Tuku on July 4 and 5 at 19h30 and 22h00 respectively.

For the past four years, Tucan Tucan has been led by renowned Mozambican drummer/percussionist, Frank Paco. He composes and arranges the music, which is rooted in the vibrant polyrhythms of Mozambique and incorporates a wealth of influences ranging from Latin-Jazz to chacarera, marrabenta and hi-life. Latino rhythms such as Salsa, Samba and Bossa Nova and African elements such as those ultilised in Kwassa Kwassa, Marrabenta, Ju Ju and High Life are used in the compositions which, combined in the songs, create a unique sound that appeal to both local and international audiences.

Frank Paco, a self-taught musician, started playing drums at the age of 16 whilst living in Mozambique. Since then he has established a strong reputation in South Africa, playing with the likes Jimmy Dludlu, Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie, Judith Sephuma, Hugh Masekela and Jonathan Butler. Frank also holds an Honours' Degree in jazz Performance with distinction from the University of Cape Town. He is joined by band members: Muriel Marco (keys), Buddy Wells (sax), Angelo Syster (guitar), Helder Gonzaga (bass), Teshito Langa (percussion), Xixel Langa (vocals) and Cindy Gibbons (vocals). See them in action on July 2 at 22h00.

The United Nations of Grahamstown brings together an outstanding group of musicians who will teach at the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival (SBNYJF) by day and will perform on the Main Jazz Stage at night. More than 350 students, 100 musicians and 50 teachers participate in the SBNYJF. Here students are schooled in new musical ideas and are privileged to interact with the 80 musicians invited as performers, coaches and mentors. These pros come from ten different countries and represent some of the latest directions being taken in jazz internationally.

As an introduction five stars from around the world will perform in the United Nations of Grahamstown. Swedish tenor saxophonist Per Thornberg frequently plays with the likes of Bobo Stenson and Fredrik Norén. Australian trombonist Adrian Mears, now resident in Switzerland, has worked with the Vienna Art Orchestra, McCoy Tyner’s Big Band and Paquito DeRivera, among others. Dutch pianist Mike del Ferro is in great demand in Amsterdam and has collaborated with Toots Thielemans, Jack de Johnette and rural singers from Latvia to Myanmar. On base is South African Marc Duby, recently appointed Professor of Music at Rhodes University. From New York comes Carl Allen (drums), who is Artistic Director of the Juilliard School of Music. Catch this magic on June 26 at 22h00.

The Human Factory and John Davies is an Israeli quintet which continues its exploration of jazz with a Middle Eastern inflection, this time with John Davies. He has appeared with Tina Turner, Shirley Bassey and Natalie Cole and has performed and recorded with many of the South African top musicians. He and Amikam Kimelman are well known composers and the performance will no doubt produce some outstanding work and new interpretations. The band features Amikam Kimelman (sax), Idan Walish (trombone), Aharoni Benari (guitar), Dima Grotsky (bass) and Roy Oliel (drums). The Human Factory appears courtesy of the Embassy of Israel and its funding arm Tararam. All this at the DSG Auditorium on June 27 at 21h00.

Hot on its heels is The Northern European Jazz Quartet (June 27 at 22h00). In 2004 one of the most exciting jazz trios in the world - Norway’s Urban Connection – blew audiences away at the Jazz Festival and during the performance they invited London sax legend Dave O’ Higgins to join them and this was the start of a collaboration which returns to Grahamstown four years later as a new unit after a tour of Scotland, England, Norway and Sweden. Norwegians Frode Nymo (sax) and Håkon Johansen (drums) from Urban Connection join Dave O’Higgins (sax) and Swedish bass player Torbjörn Zetterberg. The participation of these four musicians was made possible by the support of Norwegian funding organization, Mmino.

From Sweden comes the talented young trio of Mattias Lindberg (sax) Ville Bromander (bass) and Johan Malmberg (drums) who won the Swedish Jazz Federation Competition in 2007.

Sweden’s Peter Asplund Quartet performs startling revitalizations of jazz standards and original compositions with strong Swedish folk origins, featuring Peter Asplund (trumpet), Jacob Karlzon (piano), Hans Andersson (bass) and Johan Ramsay (Drums). Peter Asplund performed at Festival 2005 as part of the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra and he is back with his own quartet – a dynamic and closely knit grouping of some of the strongest voices on the Scandanavian jazz scene today. (June 28 at 21h00 and July 1 at 22h00)

The Standard Bank Jazz festival has huge international status and that is why this event is so popular with all these musicians, who forever seek to collaborate and create in new ways and across all borders.

With 41 performances running for 16 hours a day for 10 days, Grahamstown will pump with sound and audiences will be able to get their ‘jazz-fix’ for the year.

Be at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown from June 26 to July 5, 2008. Booking at Computicket and for further information visit the website www.nationalartsfestival.co.za




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart