Discover Newtown, the home of Joy of Jazz

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The gentrifi ed urban centre of Newtownin Johannesburg is a meltingpot for contemporary South Africanpopular culture and is characterized by vibrancy,colour, creativity and the rich historyof the people of South Africa embodiedin the youthful demographic that frequentsthe district. Located in the buzzing andbusy downtown Johannesburg, Newtowncompliments the cultural diversity and theenergetic atmosphere that encapsulates thespirit of Johannesburg, a world class city.Strolling around Newtown, one cannotmiss the artistry of the place. The Sophiatowninspired fashion, the monuments andstatues, unique restaurants, all speak volumesabout the creative spirit of this oncerun down part of Johannesburg.

 

For thosewho will be heading of to the Stanbic Joyof Jazz festival this month, Time Out hascreated a quick guide to Joburg’s most happeninglocation for the arts.Mary Fitzgerald SquareMary Fitzgerald Square, will host the Dinaledistage, the main hub of the total ninestages of the Joy of Jazz festival, named.The square also hosts international eventssuch as the prestigious Mercedes BenzFashion Week and the Freedom day celebrations.During the 2010 FIFA World cup,the square was used as one of the main fanparks in the city of Johanneburg.Performing on the Dinaledi stage on theopening night of the three day Joy of Jazzmusical extravaganza this year will be thelegendary pianist and composer, AbdullahIbrahim alongside American jazz trumpeterTerence Blanchard and renownedAmerican pianist Ahmad Jamal. Vocalist,Carmen Lundy, keyboardist Adam Glasser,guitarist Peter White and the South Africanjazz band, Peter Auret Trio, will also taketo the grand stage.

 

 

BasslineRight in front of Bassline, one can fi nda life size statue of South Africa’s mostcelebrated singer, the late Brenda Fassie.Bassline is a venue popular amongst theyouth, where all kinds of music genresare celebrated. According to the Basslineweb page, Bassline has hosted over 3000concerts in the 15 years it has been in existence.Vusi Mahlasela, the late Zim Ngqawana(whom Sipho Hotstix Mabuse willpay homage to in this year’s show), thelate Moses Molelekwa and Jimmy Dludluare some famous artists who startedtheir careers at Bassline. Performing onthe Bassline stage will be Sibongile Mngoma,Mabuse, Japanese pianist TsuyoshiYamamoto, Shane Cooper Quartet as wellas award winning American singer, ReneMarie.Market TheatreThe Market Theatre is situated in the vicinityof the Mary Fitzgerald Square andwas opened in 1976, operating as an independent,non-racial theatre during thecountry’s apartheid years.

 

 

The theatre wasplayed a signifi cant cultural role duringthe apartheid era, challenging the systemthrough music, dance and theatre, as it wasone of the few theatres where both blackand white people could come together. Itwent on to be internationally renowned asthe ‘Theatre of the Struggle’.Today, The Market Theatre remains atthe forefront of South African theatre, ac-tively encouraging new works that continueto reach international stages; It housesthree theatres, a restaurant, a bar & bistro,and a Drama School for the youth. Expectto experience at the Market Theatre stage:Tia Fuller, a saxophonist popularly associatedwith pop star Beyonce as a member ofher all-female tour band; Themba Mkhize;Mlungisi Gegana (paying tribute to JohnnyDyani); US saxophonist Donald Harrison;New Orleans Grammy nominated jazztrumpeter Christian Scott and SA’s LwandaGogwana who is a trumpeter, composer,arranger & producer.