Tumi Mogorosi and his Project Elo have taken Grahamstown by storm. With just four shows they were able to get people talking, and after two productions had already secured an ovation award.
Project Elo is a musical project that preaches freedom, equality through a seven piece band and four vocalists. The jazz style music combines in a beautiful and unique way with operatic vocals to provide a sound that blasts the senses and haunts simultaneously. This production of Project Elo in Grahamstown at the 2014 National Arts Festival Fringe took place at St Aiden’s, a narrow old stone chapel with very high ceilings, a venue that couldn’t have been more approriate for this beautiful sound. The acoustics in the venue adding to the magic. Added to this was the series of black & white photographs, many highlighting the daily lives of people and how they’ve been touched by history.
JazzE was able to attend the last performance of Project Elo on the Festival Fringe and saw a performance that played to a small crowd on Tuesday at midday. In spite of the small crowd the band performed well and judging from the response of that small audience, the announcement that Project Elo have won a Standard Bank Ovation Award should not surprise anyone.
The Standard Bank Ovation Awards started in 2010 and are decided by a panel after nominations are received by visiting critics and the media. Some Standard Bank Ovation Award winners are announced from the fringe daily, and on the last evening of the festival the gold and silver awards are announced.