New Orleans is a city synonymouswith jazz music and the origins ofthe genre are usually traced backto the city located in the US state of Louisiana.The African infl uence on jazz musiccan be traced as far back as the 18th century,when slaves would congregate to play musicand dance at the now historical musicalvenue, Congo Square.This year, the annual Standard Bank Joyof Jazz festival is bringing together worldclass New Orleans jazz superstars and thevery best of African jazz over a period ofthree days from the 22-24th of August at theartistically vibrant and culturally rich precinctof Newtown.
There will be a line-upof over 50 artists on nine stages around thetrendy quarter of downtown Johannesburg.Performing at the festival is the acclaimedSatchmo Trumpet Summit featuringJames Andrews, Kid Merv and MarlonJordan as well as Father & Sons of the NewMillennium with members of the world famousBatiste music family – David and hissons Damon, Ryan and Jamal. The Batistefamily is legendary in New Orleans andholds the title of ‘Louisiana’s largest musicalfamily’ with performances which sometimesfeature nearly 25 family members.The New Orleans contingent will be performingat The Dance Factory in Newtownand sharing the stage with a powerhouseof South African female performers namelySwazi Dlamini, Asanda Bam, NokukhanyaDlamini and Mimi. Former lead singerfor the Motown act The Temptations,Dennis Edwards will be appearing in TheTemptations Review which features PaulWilliams Jnr, son of original Temptationsmember Paul Williams.
The South African contingent includesRay Phiri, Stimela, Jeff Maluleke andMlungisi Gegana who will be paying tributeto the late South African jazz double bassistand pianist Johnny Dyani. Sipho ‘Hot Stix’Mabuse, one of the country’s best-lovedand most respected musicians will throughhis performance also pay homage. SouthAfrican jazz legend Abdullah Ibrahim willbe joined by Grammy Award winning trumpeterTerence Blanchard and celebratedpianist Ahmad Jamal at the opening nightof the festival. Popular with the youngercrowd, neo-soul artist Kabomo of the hittrack ‘Uzobuya’ and newcomers Afrotractionwill also take to the Joy of Jazz stage.Botswana will be represented by CapeTown-based Bokani Dyer, a pianist, composerand 2011 winner of the StandardBank Young Artist of the Year. From acrossthe rest of the African continent, the followingartists will jazz it up; Ghana’s FrankTontoh; Cape Verde’s Marie de Barros andRay Lema of the Democratic Republic ofCongo.The international jazz collaboration ispart of a cultural exchange program whichwill see the sharing of musical talent betweenSouth Africa, other African countriesand the US.