US vibraphonist and singer Roy Ayers shocked people yesterday when he lambasted South African journalists at a Market Theatre media conference in Newtown.
Ayers jetted into the country as part of the Joy of Jazz festival taking place in Newtown, which ends tomorrow.
The celebrated vibraphonist "insulted" journalists for failing to ask serious questions about jazz-fusion or about the musicians billed to take part in the JOJ festival.
"This is depressing guys. You cannot even ask relevant questions. I have travelled all over the world and have never seen anything like this. I have been in the plane for many hours. I was excited, looking forward to this media conference. I'm disappointed."
A local journalist asked: "Do you think South Africans understand jazz music?"
To which he cheekily replied: "I don't know. I realised there are no stories in a single newspaper that talked about the Joy of Jazz festival or us."
Ayers is a member of the original Superstars of Jazz Fusion that featured him, Tom Browne, Wayne Henderson, Miki Howard and Lonnie Listen Smith.
Saxophonist Joshua Redman, who is accompanying Ayers, has promised jazz lovers a night to remember when he performs tonight at Bassline, Newtown.
Local artist Lira said it was an honour for her to be part of the festival.