Category: Jazz

Kesivan__The_Lights

Kesivan Naidoo is a man steeped in paradox. He is one of the most accomplished musicians in South Africa, yet he remains a figure of relative anonymity. He is a bandleader but he does so from the back via a drum kit. The 36-year-old jazz maestro is marking his 20th year of visiting the National Arts festival, an event which he credits with his career, and he is doing so in some style.

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Kyle Shepherd (left) and Shane Cooper (right)
hope to inspire young musicians.
Photo: Charles Harry Mackenzie

Kyle Shepherd and Shane Cooper are two of the 80 jazz artists who have taken the time to nurture the next generation of South African jazz stars at this year’s Youth Jazz Festival. “As a young musician, a festival like this is actually amazing, because chances are there are a few professional bands playing in the style you like,” says Shepherd, the 2014 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Jazz.

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Being acquainted with tenor saxophonist Yuri Honing’s music of about a decade ago, I was slightly taken aback by his disappointedly-attended performance at the DSG Hall on Thursday night.

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Swiss jazz artist Donat Fisch, who played sax with jazz pianist Bokani Dyer in his Festival quintet. Photo: CuePix/Niamh Walsh-Vorster

“The thing about playing with these cats,”  says pianist Bokani Dyer before opening  the 2015 jazz program with his quintet,  which features four veteran Swiss musicians, on  Thursday evening, “is that they play with a different  sensibility.

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The Standard Bank tent outside the VIllage Green is letting festival-goers experience a short jazz performance using an Oculus Rift and headphones, fully immersing the viewer in a virtual in a virtual world of jazz. The Oculus Rift is principally designed for video games, but has many uses. Photo: Greg Roxburgh.

The little girl gasps as the headphones and goggles are turned on. She is sitting in a small booth on Village Green, but she is about to experience a jazz concert from a front row seat. She has just been transported into an alternate reality. A virtual reality.

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CN0305

It is tempting to term Carlo Mombelli’s compositions ‘intergalactic’ or ‘extra-terrestrial’ but that would be wrong. Mombelli is quintessentially of this earth, like some faun or demi-god one might stumble upon in an enchanted forest, bass guitar adjoined to his belly like an extra limb, playing music that pops the hinges of the brain wide open.

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MG_7063_web

To untrained ears the sounds of classical music and jazz may swirl together, but to pianist Thandi Ntuli, the genres couldn’t be more different.

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The first weekend of the National Arts Festival 2015 is upon us. With an abundance of international and local performances, the Standard Bank Jazz Festival aims to keep music-lovers hooked.

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Jazz pianist Kyle Shepherd, a past winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Jazz, performing at last year’s Festival. Photo: CuePix/Michelle Cunliffe

The Standard Bank Jazz Festival – undoubtedly the true jazz lover’s favourite annual gathering – favours collaborations. Not all the artists are at peace with some of these teamings, but for the audiences it provides stimulating listening – even though, occasionally, a promising collab disappoints.

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Capture

Saints Bistro on High Street is playing host to no fewer than 16 jazz and blues gigs this Festival. Cue reporter Kate Maclean put together this graphic of the line-up: 

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