6 artists to watch at Joy of Jazz


Johannesburg - It’s an astounding and wonderful feat that the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz has accomplished – it’s kept crowds moving, laughing and entertained solidly for two decades now.

Taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre next weekend, the annual event will be hosted on four stages – Dinaledi, Conga, Mbira and Diphala – and there’ll be well over 40 performances.

With so much on offer, we chose six performances that are not to be missed:

SOMI  - SEPTEMBER 29 AND 30

Somi’s music has always been infused with the African diaspora’s richest political and artistic traditions. Her dazzling 2014 album, The Lagos Music Salon, was born from an 18-month sabbatical in Lagos, Nigeria. Her latest album, which was released earlier this year, Petite Afrique, deals with subjects close to her heart, such as immigration, xenophobia and blackness.


TUTU PUOANE - SEPTEMBER 30

Atteridgeville-born Tutu Puoane is blessed with one of the most angelic and seductive voices in jazz.

Puoane, who has won two SA Music Awards (Sama), is a skilled and experienced singer and performer, having gained respect from musicians and audiences alike. One of Europe’s best big bands, the Brussels Jazz Orchestra, invited her to work with them, which resulted in an album celebrating the late Miriam Makeba, which scooped a Sama award in 2011.


TSEPO TSHOLA - SEPTEMBER 29

Every performance by Lesotho-born singer Tsepo Tshola will appeal to both his devoted followers and new fans alike. The dapper music maestro’s storytelling prowess and energetic stage presence always stand out. Tshola’s instantly recognisable baritone has dominated the music scene and thrilled audiences across South Africa, Lesotho and Europe for more than 40 years.


CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE - SEPTEMBER 29 AND 30

Christian McBride is a five-time Grammy Award-winning bassist/composer, who, since the early 1990s, has recorded more than 300 performances as a sideman, and he’s released albums as a leader since 1995. Apart from various stints with musicians including Sting, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny and Roy Haynes, McBride has been artist-in-residence and artistic director with some of the world’s greatest music organisations.


MUSIQ SOULCHILD - SEPTEMBER 29 AND 30

If you missed him last time around, the smooth, soulful sounds of Musiq Soulchild are back. His music blends R&B, funk, blues, jazz and gospel, fused with hip-hop. He has just released a new album called Feel the Real, where he shows off his smooth vocal prowess.


NNENNA FREELON - SEPTEMBER 29

Six-time Grammy Award-nominee Nnenna Freelon has earned a reputation as a compelling and captivating live performer. This vocalist is a composer, actress and playwright, and has toured with luminaries such as Ray Charles, Ellis Marsalis, the late Al Jarreau and George Benson.



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