The Artist Line-up Of The Standard Bank Jazz Festival 2018. The annual musical festival made to feed the heats and souls of Jazz lovers is finally about to take place and has announced the artists that will be featured to dazzle the stage.This year’s programme which is aimed at celebrating jazz legacies with a focus on the future is set to take place in Grahamstown from 28 June-7 July 2018.
Classics from the great pool of hip-hop and soul music genius are given a jazz treatment by the Rebirth of Cool led by pianist Thandi Ntuli – the current Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz (SBYA) – and DJ Kenzhero. The lofty legacy of the historic band, the Blue Notes is revisited with dexterous musical adoration by star-studded Blue Notes Tribute Orchestra led by trumpeter Marcus Wyatt. Award-winning writer Percy Mabandu will lead an interdisciplinary performance to mark the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Yakhal’inkomo, the historic record released in 1968 by the late saxophonist, Winston Mankunku Ngozi. The project will bring together literature with the masterful jazz musicianship of Andile Yenana, Shane Cooper, Ayanda Sikade and Linda Sikhakhane and Sisonke Xonti.
The festival is going to be a rare feast for jazz piano enthusiasts too. Pianist and composer Thandi Ntuli will showcase music from her new genre-defying album Exile at DSG Hall on 29 June 2018. Andile Yenana’s sextet Umnqgonqgo Wabantu will ascend the DSG Hall stage on 1 July 2018. The band will include both the best SA and Swiss players like bassist Christoph King-Utzinger and drummer Michi Stulz on the rhythm section and a local horn line that includes Wyatt and Sikhakhane.
On 29 June 2018 at the DSG Hall, American composer and pianist Aaron Goldberg will lead his trio with Matt Penman on bass and Leon Parker on drums and percussions. Afrika Mkhize will be on stage with Zenzi Makeba Lee and Amanda Tiffin as they break new ground with their collaboration on 30 June 2018. SBYA alumnus and visionary pianist Nduduzo Makhathini will also set the piano on fire when he plays music from his latest album Ikhambion 4 July 2018.
“This year’s programme will celebrate key jazz milestones, give a nod to great musical traditions from across the African continent and showcase some of the best among what Europe and the United States has to offer today,” says Alan Webster, director of the Standard Bank Jazz Festival.