Joy of Jazz swings in

Tight security measures will be put in place to ensure the safety of jazz lovers and artists during the Joy of Jazz festival.

Tight security measures will be put in place to ensure the safety of jazz lovers and artists during the Joy of Jazz festival.

The event takes place from August 23 to 25 at various venues at the Newtown precinct in Johannesburg.

Festival organiser Peter Tladi said: "We have enlisted the services of professional security companies, the Johannesburg Metro police department and the South African Police Services."

Regular patrols will be carried out and Bree and Jeppe Streets will be cordoned off between 6pm and 2am on show days.

This year's festival breaks new ground.

"What makes it different from previous festivals and other jazz fests in South Africa is that it will feature the first American big band to play here in about 30 years, the world famous Count Basie Orchestra," Tladi said.

The event, sponsored by Standard Bank and supported by Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA), takes place in Women's Month and boasts a line-up of powerful divas, Miriam Makeba, Dorothy Masuka and Gloria Bosman who replaces Thandi Klaasen. Klaasen has been booked off because of ill health. Letta Mbulu also forms part of the line-up. Other great artists to appear include Caiphus Semenya, Jonas Gwangwa, Stimela and Sipho Mabuse.

Young South African performers on the bill include Siphokazi, Nokukhanya, Nombulelo Maqetuka and Shannon Mowday.

There are also international acts such as The Clarke/Duke Project with Stanley Clarke and George Duke, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, acclaimed fusion jazz band, Pieces of a Dream, Israel's Common Band and France's No Jazz.

GTA chief executive Cawe Mahlati said: "This magnificent event celebrates our culture and heritage."

A Jazz Dome and the Mbira Stage will be erected on Mary Fitzgerald Square. There is free entrance to Kippies, Sophiatown and Nikki's Oasis where development bands will perform. There is a secured park-and-ride facility at the Oriental Plaza.

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