Newtown jazz a joyous affair

THE sound of some of the world's best known musicians and artists might still be reverberating in the heads of revellers who attended the three-day Joy of Jazz festival in Johannesburg, but the organisers are already planning ahead.

THE sound of some of the world's best known musicians and artists might still be reverberating in the heads of revellers who attended the three-day Joy of Jazz festival in Johannesburg, but the organisers are already planning ahead.

Promoter Peter Tladi said this year's festival, the 10th, had been a resounding success but that "we will not stop until we have 50000 people in the Newtown precinct".

Tladi said this year's figures were expected to better last year's 20 000 by at least 10percent.

The festival attracted musicians and revellers from all over the world.

Top visiting artists were US guitarist Norman Brown, Swiss harpist Andreas Vollenweider, Canadian trumpeter Ingrid Jensen accompanied by drummer Jon Wilken and bassist Ben Williams.

The Nigerian All Stars featuring Kúnlé Ayo and Rwanda's Somi represented the African diaspora.

The local fraternity was represented by the likes of trombonist Jonas Gwangwa, Afro-jazz artists Jimmy Dludlu, Brian Thusi, Sterling EQ and the 2009 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for jazz Kesivan Naidoo.

Tladi said beyond providing international entertainment to Joburg, the aim of the festival was to help debunk the myth that central Johannesburg was a violent place.

The streets of Newtown buzzed into the early hours on each of the festival days, while music lovers moved from stage to stage to follow their favourite musicians and sounds.

Modelled on the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage, Jozi's Joy of Jazz, like the more famous Louisiana fest, gives a stage to non-jazz musicians who in the view of the promoters represent a music heritage worth celebrating.

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