Arts Alive Festival is back

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Arts Alive 2015 Logo
Arts Alive 2015 Logo

The 2015 ARTS ALIVE FESTIVAL is back and truly alive!

It is back with a full programme traversing the continents from Africa to the Caribbean to the USA, to showcase the diversity and quality artistic offerings for the residents of Joburg.

The festival will feature a range of exciting overseas and local artists within literature, poetry, master class workshops, music and dance; a diverse range of music from Jazz to Afrobeat, Hip Hop, Dancehall reggae and traditional rhythms to Kwaito.

Robbie on bass, from the world famous Jamaican drum and bass duo who will appear at Jazz on the Lake, a part of this year's Arts Alive Festival.
Robbie on bass, from the world famous Jamaican drum and bass duo who will appear at Jazz on the Lake, a part of this year’s Arts Alive Festival.

“We have come full circle, Arts Alive, a Johannesburg City festival was fully managed in the first decade of its existence, by the City of Joburg. For 2015, we are exploring and reincorporating the festival as a fully managed festival through the Joburg City Theatres. This allows us to use all our resources including staffing, to maximize the quality and sustainability of the festival. We believe that all people have a right to arts and culture and every year this festival hopes to serve as a conduit for the people of Joburg to talk, laugh and enjoy together.” MMC Chris Vondo, City of Johannesburg.

The festival launches with the Izigi Traditional Music & Dance Celebrations at Soweto Theatre, in partnership with Jozi FM and Soweto TV, on Saturday 5 September – a free event for the whole family.

Angelique Kidjo (Benin/West Africa)
Angelique Kidjo (Benin/West Africa)

The City of Joburg is exploring new venues and parks and the flagship festival event, JAZZ ON THE LAKE, will take place at a new venue; the James and Ethel Gray Park in Melrose JHB (less than 1km from the Wanderers Cricket stadium) situated between North, Edgewood and Melrose Street. JAZZ ON THE LAKE takes place on Sunday 6 September with an exciting line-up of award-winning artists, from African superstar, Angelique Kidjo (Benin/West Africa), to the world’s most famous drum and bass duo: Sly and Robbie from Kingston (Jamaica) collaborating with acclaimed South African musicians, to guitar maestro Jimmy Dludlu (SA/Mozambique). JAZZ ON THE LAKE will also feature Nigerian saxophonist Femi Koya with his Pan African Big Band. Entrance is free and the concert starts at 11am.

The festival will feature a DOUBLE BILL indoor concert at the Bassline on Tuesday 8 September with Sly and Robbie and power house singer-and-composer, Nomfundo Xaluva. The award-winning Nomfundo Xaluva, will perform with her jazz quartet featuring the rising and celebrated pianist and songwriter, Thandi Ntuli. Entrance is R120 and the concert starts at 8pm.

The festival will partner with Moshito, a pertinent music symposium and exhibition event, which includes the Moshito Concert on Saturday 12 September in Newtown Park, featuring a cross section of artists covering the entire South African song book. Entrance is R120, and the concert starts at 1pm.

Arts Alive, together with the National Department of Arts and Culture, will present the third African Women Writers Symposium under the theme Peace and Turmoil: African Women in the World. This will take place at The Fringe, Joburg Theatre, from Thursday 17 September to Saturday 19 September. The symposium will feature poetry, music, talks and workshops from award-winning writers, from South Africa, the continent and it’s Diaspora. The literary symposium will also host a special tribute to the life and work of the late Noble Laureate, Nadine Gordimer and African- American poet Jayne Cortez. Writers and poets featured this year include Sapphire (NY), whose book ‘Push’ was the basis for Oscar winning movie ‘Precious’, Linton Kwesi Johnson, the father of dub poetry (Jamaica/UK), Natalia Molebatsi (SA), Myesha Jenkins (SA), Afro Latino poet John Murillo (NY) and various other exciting South African women writers. Entrance is free, and the sessions start at 6pm on the 17 & 18 September and from 11am to 10pm on the 19 September. Booking is essential as seats are limited.

Joburgers will be spoilt for choice with the SPEAK THE MIND POETRY FESTIVAL at Bassline on Saturday 19 September with a range of poets and music, including Tony Award-Winning Poet Black Ice, Leshie Lovesong (Botswana), Maskandi’s living legend Madala Kunene and various others. Entrance is R100 through Computicket, R150 at the door, and the concert starts at 4pm.

The Arts Alive URBAN VIBES CONCERT on Saturday 26 September, for the innercity and greater Johannesburg urban youth, is not to be missed! Taking place simultaneously in both the outdoor Newtown Park and the Bassline, it will feature a range of local and international live bands and DJs including; Kwesta, Freshly Ground, Tumi, dancehall reggae singer and guitarist Cherine Anderson, Jah Vinci from Jamaica, DJ Cleo and many other exciting live acts. Entrance is R120 and the concert starts at 5pm until late.

The ARTS ALIVE FESTIVAL will end on a high note, partnering with Eldos Jazz at the much awaited annual ELDOS JAZZ MUSIC CONCERT, on Sunday 27 September at the Ext 6, Soccer grounds in Eldoradopark. With an upbeat programme, this concert attracts thousands of residents from Eldos and surrounding areas, and remains a much awaited event on the cultural calendar of the year. Entrance is free and the concert starts at 10am.

There are many more exciting events as part of the ARTS ALIVE 2015 programme. Please visit the Arts Alive International Festival Facebook page and website for more details, www.arts-alive.co.za

FB: africanwomenwritersnetwork

For general inquiries and booking your seat at the African Women Writers’ Symposium, please call: 011 373 7508/7526 / jacquij@joburg.org.za

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