Femme power for the jazz fest

A history-making female conductor and several jazz greats are part of the line-up for next week’s Standard Bank Joy of Jazz in Jozi

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Standard Bank Joy of Jazz comes of age this year turning 21, and to celebrate, organisers have created a memorable line-up of legends. Some 30 musicians will fly the flag for regions across the globe – Africa, the Middle East, Japan, Europe and the USA.

Crowning the local lineup is reigning Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year for Jazz, Thandi Ntuli, who will share the stage with American pianist Diane Schuur. Ntuli is still riding the crest of the success of Exiled, her second album, which was released earlier this year. Hailed for its eclectic musical sound, the work draws beautifully on Malian and Ethiopian influences. Her performance next weekend is expected to touch on all her strengths, from spoken word to jazz and soul.

One of the headliners jetting in is the bluesy Cassandra Wilson, the musician, vocalist and producer from Jackson, Mississippi. Wilson will open proceedings at the Dinaledi Stage on Thursday night with fellow American jazz legend David Sanborn.

On Friday, Gloria Bosman takes the stage and will be performing with American contemporary jazz and funk instrumentalist Brian Culbertson. Grammy-nominated Spanish singer-songwriter, Buika is also set to mesmerise audiences with her innovative flamenco-fusion.

Another performance to look out for will be the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band, under the tutelage of a female conductor for the very first time. Amanda Tiffin is a respected performer, with three jazz records already to her credit as a band leader. The Head of Music at the University of Cape Town, Tiffin has also presided over the education of more than a handful of SA’s most brilliant vocalists.

Other collaborations include an exciting Horn Summit in honour of the late Hugh Masekela, featuring Sydney Mavundla, Feya Faku and rising trumpet stars Siphamandla Bhembe and Mandla Mlangeni.

The music unfolds over three nights, between September 27 and 29, at the Sandton Convention Centre. Tickets are available at Computicket.

Want to win tickets? We’re giving away two sets of doubles to the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz. Enter here.

For more information, visit: standardbank.com/joyofjazz