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The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival 

Jazzed Magazine • News • September 2, 2016

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Standard Bank Joy of Jazz FestivalThis year’s edition of Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival is a mix of popular favorites alongside great classics, with groups that also stretch audiences’ imaginations with some visionary musical concepts and collaborations, with established jazz heavyweights and upcoming rising stars. will be reporting live with video, photos, and interviews on Facebook and Twitter

In three days of missed performances and collaborations. American jazz giant Gerald Albright and South Africa’s Jonathan Butler join forces on the opening night of Standard Bank Joy of Jazz and kick-start South Africa’s premier jazz festival which runs at the Sandton Convention Centre for three days from September 15 to 17.

The lineup includes GrammyAward winner Bill Champlin who co-founded the legendary Bay Area band the Sons of Champlin, but who is perhaps best known for his nearly three decades as a member of Chicago. He joins forces with four time GrammyAward winning vocalist Deniece Williams; Brenda Russell and drummer Paul Peress in a special collaboration called “Sounds of Love.”

Other big international names in the jazz world include the award winning Bob James, José James, Kendrick Scott Oracle, tenor saxophonist Houston Person, known for his legendary partnership with the great vocalist Etta Jones. Canadian based vocalist Ranee Lee, popular for her ability to channel the grand dames of jazz.

South African greats billed for this year’s edition include legends Barney Rachabane, Sibongile Khumalo, 2015 GrammyAward winning flautist Wouter Kellerman; “The Voice South Africa” coach Lira and perennial favorites: Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse and Ringo.

There are some exciting collaborations at this year’s Standard Bank Joy of Jazz. The Graz Roots Project celebrates past South African composers and musicians who gave future generations the sound of mbaqanga, mgqashiyo, maskandi and African jazz and features musicians Billy Monama, Concord Nkabinde, McCoy Mrubata, Lwanda Gogwana,Mduduzi Mtshali, Paki Peloeole, and Themba Mokoena.

The percussionist and leader of the legendary Ritual Trio, Kahil El’Zabar brings an outfit that features jazz tenor saxophonist Teodross Avery and the incredible vocalist Dwight Trible who makes his return to the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz stage. El’Zabar comes out of the resilience of Chicago’s pro Africanist avant-garde jazz tradition. His music is as intense as it is swinging.

Senegalese bass player and vocalist Alune Wade brings the Havana-Paris-Dakar project to this year’s festival. The project is an eclectic celebration of the Afro-Cuban jazz tradition with musical sojourns into Wade’s Franco-Phone Senegalese heritage. It features Argentinean piano maestro Leonardo Genovese.

US born vocalist Deborah J Carter teams up with Paul van Kessel from The Netherlands for “New York ‘Round Midnight” which includes a rhythm section, horns, and vocalists from the cream of the Dutch jazz scene to take listeners back to the heyday of jazz in the ’50s and ’60s. 

Trumpeter Feya Faku presents The Swiss Unit Project- featuring music from his album Le Ngoma (The Song) – with Swiss musicians Domenic Landolf(tenor sax, alto flute), Jean-Paul Brodbeck (piano), Fabian Gisler (acoustic bass) and Dominic Egli (drums). The concept includes tribute songs such as “Miss Benjamin” (for Sathima Bee), and “Dirge” (for Zim Ngqawana). “I created this concept to celebrate legends that came before me. I am what I am because of them. My quest is to recognize them and keep them alive,” he says.

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