Standard Bank Joy of Jazz reinforces its status as South Africa’s foremost jazz festival, and one of the best on the African continent, thanks to a stellar line-up of musicians from around the globe.
ZANO hails from the mining township of eMbalenhle, Mpumalanga, where his days of
daydreaming about performing on the stage were met with discouragement from those
With only R150 in his pocket and a dream, ZANO made his way to Pretoria where he studied
music at the then Ochrim School of Music, graduating top of his class with a Diploma in Jazz
and Popular Music, majoring in vocals.
Reflecting on his dreams and aspirations, ZANO says: “Where I’m from, it’s either you work
in the mines or you starve. There really is no room to be chasing your dreams. I chose to
follow my calling where God and my Ancestors were leading me. Nothing came easy. From
starving my way to making my dream a reality, to fighting depression and anxiety, I really
had to push. Nothing of true value comes easy. I was raised by a religious mother who
always inspired me with her wisdom and gave life to my dreams."
Sibongile Khumalo is the most celebrated member of a musical dynasty. She has extraordinary vocal power and a deep passion for making music.
Sibongile, who was born and raised in Orlando West (Soweto) had devoted parents who instilled in her an abiding love and appreciation for music education and for South African music and culture. Through her father’s influence, she developed her singing talents which range from opera to jazz and choral music, but is grounded by the traditional and folk music genres of South Africa.
An award-winning performer, she has been lauded as one of the great singing talents of her
time, and has inspired the creation of new music by South African composers, both in the
classical and jazz genres.
Mandla Mlangeni is a jazz trumpeter and composer who has become a popular fixture on local and international stages since being selected for the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band in 2006. A gifted bandleader, Mlangeni has carved out a name for himself with various bands and ensembles, including the Amandla Freedom Ensemble, with which he has released two albums.
Mandla Mlangeni is a jazz trumpeter and composer born and raised in Soweto, Johannesburg. He’s a graduate of the University of Cape Town where he majored in music composition.
In 2006, Mlangeni was selected into the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band which toured South Africa and Sweden and performed at several jazz festivals including The Cape Town Jazz Festival, Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival and the Standard Bank Jazz Festival at National Arts Festival in Grahamstown now Makhanda.
Siphokazi Maraqana, whose name means "Gift, has become synonymous with soulful sounds, poignant lyrics and a sophisticated Afro-chic style. After releasing a clutch of singles, the award-winning Siphokazi produced her third album recently, simply entitled Siphokazi, which she describes as the one closest to her heart.
Her first album, Ubuntu Bam, was released in 2007 and since then she has been working the music circuit and combing her talents on stage with a diversity of acts, from Stimela to Tshepo Tshola and Abigail Khubeka.
The 42-year-old singer was born in Lusikisiki, in the Eastern Cape, and after her schooling in the province she relocated to Johannesburg in 1999 and enrolled at the Sibikwa Community Art Centre. In 2000, she received a bursary from The National Arts Council, enabling her to attend the Central Johannesburg College, where she completed her diploma in Music technology. She was later invited to Japan, making her first international trip.
Fondly known as the "Legend," Sipho Hotstix Mabuse is one of the stalwarts of the South African music industry whose career spans several decades, winning numerous awards and citations along the way. And his boundless energy shows no signs of slowing down.
He is still in great demand to perform at festivals and concerts and recent appearances included the Azgo Festival in Maputo, the Zakifo Festival in Durban, and the Bassline Festival at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. He was also one of the headline acts, together with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, at the MTN Bushfire Festival in eSwatini (Swaziland).
A career highpoint was when South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, honoured Mabuse with the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver, “for his contribution to the field of music and social cohesion and his spellbinding music which has consistently captured the imagination of the nation.”
LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO
Ladysmith Black Mambazo is one of South Africa's most famous exports with five Grammy Awards, a host of platinum and gold discs and a massive fan following around the world - thanks to their heavy international touring schedule.
The A capella group was formed in 1960 by Professor Joseph Tshabalala, who revived and reshaped the sounds of Isicathamiya from the homelands of Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal around Ladysmith, to attain the global prominence it now enjoys.
Joseph and Ladysmith Black Mambazo have won international accolades and became the world's most prominent A capella group. From the start, they took the South African music industry by storm and were the first A capella group to achieve gold disc status.
Don Laka is one of South Africa’s most innovative contemporary artists and producers whose career began in the politically volatile days of 1976 - and is still going strong after all these years.
He has achieved immense success in the South African music industry for almost half a century as a musician, composer, producer, a Grammy nominee in 2013 and the recipient of a SAMA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.
This Mamelodi-born musician knew he wanted to make music his career and formed his first band in 1969. His meeting in Johannesburg with the late Ray Phiri accelerated his career and the two musicians became firm friends and music collaborators. Phiri played a leading role in influencing the young musician.
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
he Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (JLCO) comprises 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today. Led by Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director, this remarkably versatile orchestra performs a vast repertoire ranging from original compositions and Jazz at Lincoln Center-commissioned works to rare historic compositions and masterworks by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Mary Lou Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Charles Mingus, and many others.
The JLCO has been the Jazz at Lincoln Center resident orchestra since 1988, performing and leading educational events in New York, across the United States, and around the globe. Alongside symphony orchestras, ballet troupes, local students, and an ever-expanding roster of guest artists, the JLCO has toured over 300 cities across six continents.
RJ Benjamin is an award-winning vocalist, songwriter, music producer, vocal coach, musical director and voice-over artist from Johannesburg.
He graduated from the Allenby Campus School of Contemporary Music in 2000 and began lecturing at the now defunct school shortly afterwards, working primarily as a vocal coach but also teaching music history and song writing. Some of his most successful students include the winner of Idols SA season 10, Vincent Bones.
In 2004, shortly after RJ had featured as the vocal coach on the music reality show Project Fame, he released his ground breaking debut album, Who I Am, a blend of neo-soul, funk and jazz. The critically acclaimed album featured collaborations with Tamara Dey, Ishmael, Amu and Pitch Black Afro and earned a SAMA nomination for Best Adult Contemporary Album.
His 2008 follow-up, Swimming in the Soul of Music, represented a more sophisticated artist in full control of his creativity featuring Dan Patlansky, Zubz, Nothende and the late HHP. He won a Metro FM Award for Best R&B Album.
Shannon Mowday Band
Roberto Fonseca is a 44-year-old Cuban Jazz pianist. From an early age, Roberto was surrounded by music - his father Roberto Fonseca, Sr, was a drummer, his mother, Mercedes Cortes Alfaro, was a professional singer (she sings on her son's 2007 solo album Zamazu) and his two older half-brothers from his mother's previous marriage are drummer Emilio Valdés and pianist Jesus 'Chuchito' Valdés.
Manu Katché is a 61-year-old French drummer of Ivorian origin. He was born in Saint Maur Des Fossés, France.
He became known to the music world in the mid-1980s, thanks to the massive success of Peter Gabriel's 1986 album titled “So”, and his subsequent work with Sting on the albums Nothing Like the Sun and The Soul Cage.
He blossomed as a contemporary Jazz drummer and band leader, emerging in the mid-2000s after having played with his share of popular musicians.
Manu is one of music's most prominent drummers who set a benchmark for his particular style. Though he studied at the Conservatoire, his musical origins are to be found in rock music and this he has pursued throughout his career.
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