Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, which takes place from September 25 to 27, will mark 20 years of South African democracy with two performances by Mzanzi Golden Voices who will perform the music of the late Brenda Fassie who died 10 years ago.
A younger generation of songbirds – Asanda Bam, Brenda Mtambo, Lindiwe Maxolo, Nonfundo Xaluva, Thiwe Mbola and Wanda Baloyi – who have made a mark in the jazz, Afro-soul and gospel genres will pay homage to the undisputed queen of pop with renditions of some of her memorable compositions.
They will be accompanied by Germany’s Hessian State Jazz Youth Orchestra (Kicks & Sticks) under the direction of conductor Wolfgang Diefenbach with Tshepo Mngoma as the musical director.
Brenda Mtambo, Nonfundo Xaluva and Thiwe Mbola share the stage for the first performance on the Mbira Stage on Friday, September 26, at 19h45 with Asanda Bam, Lindiwe Maxolo and Wanda Baloyi headlining on Saturday, September 27, at 19h00 on the same stage.
The mercurial Fassie was the first musician of her generation to publicly sing about the then jailed Nelson Mandela in a stirring song titled Black President (1989), a soulful track that poignantly captures those dark days of apartheid 50 years ago when “the people’s president was taken away by security men”. She sings about the struggle hero who broke rocks but whose spirit was never broken.
In the 1980s, a period when the apartheid authorities and the recording industry made it a crime to perform songs that captured the social and political mood of the times, Fassie stood up to be counted among the few who dared to sing truth.
A song such as Too Late for Mama captured the hardships of the time in black rural communities and still rings true today. I’m a Good Black Woman affirmed Fassie’s position in a society that relegated women of her race to the lowest rung of the social ladder. Jail to Jail is a marvellous dance classic but with a powerful message about “people going to jail for the truth” while Boipatong – a duet with Tsepo ‘The Village Pope’ Tshola – is a lament for Vaal residents who were butchered in the dark of the night in 1992 by hostel dwellers believed to have been IFP members.
The new-look 2014 Standard Bank Joy of Jazz takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre from September 25 to 27 with more than 70 artists on the bill. For the first time, audiences will be able to buy a full festival pass to the four main stages – Dinaledi, Conga, Diphala and Mbira – in line with jazz festivals around the globe.
The 2014 Standard Bank Joy of Jazz is produced by T-Musicman and brought to audiences by Standard Bank in association with the Department of Arts & Culture; the City of Joburg, Gauteng Province and South African Tourism.
• Tickets for Standard Bank Joy of Jazz are available through Computicket and Shoprite Checkers. The day pass costs R750 for 16 acts on four stages while the weekend pass is R1250 for 32 acts on the four Standard Bank Joy of Jazz stages at the Sandton Convention Centre.
Tickets are available at a 15 percent discount for all Standard Bank customers subject to availability and on presentation and usage of a valid Standard Bank debit, cheque and/or credit card at a Computicket outlet. The offer is limited to two tickets per person who meet the criteria. The offer is not available for online bookings. This discount is only available until August 31, 2014.