2015 will be an exciting year for our local Jazz artist as they will get more opportunities to showcase their talent every month at Fairgrounds holdings Pavillion Restaurant. This is according to Shima Monageng, organiser of last week’s jazz show dubbed Holland, Botswana and South Africa “Meet through jazz concert” hosted at the Pavilion in Fairgrounds. This particular installment featured jazz artists Banjo Mosele and Badisa band, alongside Soul Afrique band ‘ a collective made up of Paul Van Kemenade, Louis Mhlanga, Fezile ‘Feya’ Faku, Sydney Mnisi, Louk Boudesteijn.
“These monthly shows will be hosted on the last Thursdays of each month because on weekends people are usually engaged. The shows mostly prioritize and feature local jazz artists because these artists have never had a chance to come together as locals except at corporate events. I feel our artists will grow from these shows as our aim is see them growing from home to the international stages. However we will also be bringing in jazz artists from our neighboring countries now and then so that they may interact and learn from each other. The shows will be a build up to the annual show that will feature international jazz legends who will promote a cultural exchange as well as school our artists about the industry and professionalism,” Monageng told Time Out.
According to Monageng one of their focus areas is to further their mission of developing the industry and to create opportunities for young and emerging artists to acquire knowledge, skills and experience in various aspects of music as an art form and a discipline. He went on to say the jazz shows will benefit different stakeholders, “The older and mature audience have been neglected when it comes to entertainment in this country and these shows will cater for them. Many business sectors will also benefit because pulling a show means engaging other business people, for example security and lighting equipment. Our local artists are the greatest beneficiaries as they will gain exposure and create a following here at home.”
Commenting on last week’s inaugural show, he said, “we are still negotiating with stakeholders to name the festival because we would someday like to see it grow and become something like South Africa’s Standard Bank Joy of Jazz. Last week we were launching the first installment of the show and we promise that next year it will be bigger and better as it will be used to sell Botswana through these visiting artists and guests.”
For his part altosaxophonist/composer Paul Van Kemenade, who is part of the Soul Afrique group comprising of trumpeter Fezile ‘Feya’ Faku, tenorist Sydney Mnisi, guitarist/vocalist Louis Mhlanga, Louk Boudesteijn and saxophonist Sydney Mnisi said, “even though this is our first time in Botswana we are loving the vibe. Our group Soul Afrique prides itself with artists collaborations and we are hoping that one day we will collaborate with one of your local artists.”