Bewitching night at Jazz on the River
Jazz on the River, at Dickenson Park in Sedibeng on the Vaal at the weekend, brought back sweet memories of successful jazz festivals at the same venue in the past.
The programming was tight because artists stuck to the time allotted them. The performances were bewitching and the musical styles as varied as the cultures of the African continent.
From our own Hugh Masekela, Gloria Bosman and Ringo Madlingozi to Lesotho cultural ambassador Budhaza Maphefane and rare Malian music talent Salif Keita, revellers had fun dancing and singing along.
The weather was perfect in the afternoon after worries about possible chilly conditions that proved to be baseless.
People from all corners of the province arrived in large numbers. Tickets selling at R150 each were not a deterrent.
After the local development bands, including Bow and Arrow, managed by Msukwini Velly, had done their best to warm up the stage, Bosman did what she knows best, managing to drive a sizable group to the dance floor.
Ringo Madlingozi's performance found a captive audience that sang along. The female audience was particularly taken by his performance.
If there is one thing Bra Hugh is capable of doing without failure it is to perform. You can debate whether his brand of music is jazz or not but one thing that cannot be debated is his ability to command the stage.
When Salif Keita came on stage he demonstrated that there are many people who love him dearly in this country.
Coming against the backdrop of recent xenophobic attacks, it was spiritually uplifting to see so many South Africans enjoy Keita's music.
One of those charmed by Keita is schoolteacher and staunch African music fan Seipati from Springs.
"He is my man and I have come here especially for him," she said. "I just love his music."
There was a bit of chaos at one stage during Keita's performance when excited fans, in a trance-like fashion, climbed onto the stage to dance alongside their idol.
This prompted T-Musicman senior staffer Mojalefa Gwangwa to force the excited audience off the stage.