Standard Bank Jazz Festival: Grahamstown Celebrates Collaborations

South African drummer Tumi Mogorosi will be performing at this year's Standard Bank Jazz Festival. Photo: supplied.

The Standard Bank Jazz Festival, Grahamstown (SBJF) celebrates the spirit of creative collaboration in jazz.

Lauded as the country’s oldest jazz festival, the SBJF takes place alongside the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, which is renamed #Jazztown for the duration of the yearly jazz jamboree.

The SBJF is featuring over 100 musicians from 12 countries set to share not-to-be-missed collaborative performances. The lush gathering of world-class local jazz players, international top billing stars, and young upstarts is curated as a unique jazz exchange across cultures, nationalities and styles.

Among the headline jazz musicians are the sagacious Swiss pianist and composer Malcolm Braff, billed to collaborate with the prodigious young Brazilian Bass player Michael Pipoquinha on Friday 7 July at 5pm at DSG Hall. Braff will also perform alongside other singular talents, South African drummer Tumi Mogorosi and Gabi Motuba’s collaborative project, Sanctum Sanctorium on Tuesday 4 July at 5pm at DSG Hall.

The Wizards, a magically collaborative band made up of two Dutch musicians, pianist Jeroen van Vliet and guitarist Anton Goudsmit, with a trio of leading South African jazz men are on Monday 3 July at 6.30pm at DSG Hall. The South African artists are two former Standard Bank Young Artist winners, saxophonist Mark Fransman, and drummer Kesivan Naidoo, who is now based in New York, along with the imaginative bassist and composer Carlo Mombelli.

The great trumpeter Feya Faku will share a charged exchange with Swiss drummer Dominic Egli’s PLURISM. Their project is titled More FUFU! after the West African staple food. It’s a collaborative celebration of African cultural heritages on Wednesday 5 July at 7pm and Friday 7 July 7pm at DSG Auditorium.

A highlight collaboration will undoubtedly be the opportunity for a full Big Band of alumni of the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band to play with the world’s leading multi-instrumentalist, Australian James Morrison.

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