Standard Bank Joy of Jazz – now in its 19th year – reinforces its status as South Africa’s foremost jazz festival, and one of the best on the African continent, thanks to a stellar line-up of musicians from around the globe.
Renowned American musician Bob James will join the galaxy of stars at the event including Gerald Albright and South Africa's Jonathan Butler. James is two-time Grammy Award-winning smooth jazz keyboardist, arranger and record producer.
The line up includes Grammy® Award winner Bill Champlin joins forces with four time Grammy® Award winning vocalist Deniece Williams; Brenda Russell and drummer Paul Peress in a not-to-be-missed collaboration called Sounds of Love.
Other big international names in the jazz world include the award-winning José James, tenor saxophonist Houston Person, known for his legendary partnership with the great vocalist Etta Jones. Canadian based vocalist Ranee Lee, popular for her ability to channel the grand dames of jazz.
South African greats billed for this year’s edition, are legends Barney Rachabane, Sibongile Khumalo, 2015 Grammy® Award-winning flautist Wouter Kellerman; The Voice South Africa coach Lira and perennial favourites Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse and Ringo.
There are some exciting collaborations at this year’s Standard Bank Joy of Jazz. The Graz Roots Project celebrates past South African composers and musicians who gave future generations the sound of mbaqanga, mgqashiyo, maskandi and African jazz and features a powerhouse of musicians including Billy Monama, Concord Nkabinde, McCoy Mrubata, Lwanda Gogwana, Mduduzi Mtshali, Paki Peloeole and Themba Mokoena.
The inimitable firebrand percussionist and leader of the legendary Ritual Trio, Kahil El’Zabar brings an outfit that features jazz tenor saxophonist Teodross Avery and the incredible vocalist Dwight Tribble who makes his second return to the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz stage.
Senegalese bass player and vocalist Alune Wade brings the Havana-Paris-Dakar project to this year’s festival. The project is an eclectic celebration of the Afro-Cuban jazz tradition with musical sojourns into Wade’s Franco-Phone Senegalese heritage. It features Argentinean piano maestro Leonardo Genovese.
US-born vocalist Deborah J Carter teams up with Paul van Kessel from The Netherlands for New York Round Midnight which involves a rhythm section, horns, and vocalists from the cream of the Dutch jazz scene to take listeners back to the heyday of jazz in the '50s and '60s. It includes everybody’s favourite jazz hits from My Funny Valentine to I Love You Porgy.
Trumpeter Feya Faku presents The Swiss Unit Project– featuring music from his album Le Ngoma (The Song) - with Swiss musicians Domenic Landolf (tenor sax, alto flute), Jean-Paul Brodbeck (piano), Fabian Gisler (acoustic bass) and Dominic Egli (drums).
The star-studded line-up will also feature the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year for Jazz Siya Makuzeni; Nonfunda Xaluva; America’s Kendrick Scott; Max-Hoba; Israel’s Ester Rada; Lindiwe Maxolo; Mozambique’s Moreira Chonguica;Judith Sephuma; Ntjam Rosie accompanied by the Dutch All Stars Orchestra in a programme titled Jazz Roots, the Music Academy of Gauteng and the National Youth Jazz Band.
Standard Bank Joy of Jazz takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre, three days four stages – Dinaledi, Conga, Mbira and Diphala and Thirty Eight perfomances.
Commented Jenny Pheiffer, Executive Head, Group Brand and Sponsorship at Standard Bank Group: “We once again look forward to celebrating a rich and warm blend of African and international jazz in the heart of Johannesburg, bringing jazz lovers together in a truly united and global celebration of jazz and its heritage.”