Twitter Jam turns magic of jazztown into a digital thrill

People will now be able to interact with jazz performances through Twitter. Photo: supplied.

In celebration of the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival’s 25th anniversary, Standard Bank is bringing you a special treat at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown: a Twitter Jam at the Village Green on Saturday 8 July from 12pm-3pm.

While the Twitter Jam is a scintillating way of giving Festival-goers an added way of experiencing a specially curated live jazz performance, it also opens a portal to jazz lovers who, for whatever weird reason, are unable to attend the Festival this year.

Basically, the Twitter Jam is a slick digital way to give music lovers a rare chance to participate in the improvised magic taking place on a jazz stage in real time. They do this by tweeting requests to the band as it plays on. The requests are beamed onto a big screen for both the band and other participants to see. The requests may include the instrument a particular member of the audience wishes to hear more solos of, by using the hashtag #NAF17 and then the instrument you want to hear, eg. #Drums. The band responds to these requests live in the heat of the jam session.

This way, the audience becomes a part of the vibrant improvisation live and through Twitter. It lives up to the truth that jazz is closer than you think. Especially for those who may not be physically near the bandstand, but are brought closer to the performance and affect its direction through their tweets.

This year, the Twitter Jam will feature a band led by the 2017 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz, Benjamin Jephta on bass. He will be joined in the rhythm section by Sphelelo Mazibuko on drums, and with Keenan Ahrends and Justin Bellairs respectively on guitar and saxophone, handling the melodic thrust of the tunes.

Get down to the Village Green this Saturday 8 July from 12pm-3pm for the exciting Standard Bank Twitter Jam, and discover how jazz is closer than you think. It’s free.

If you’re not in Grahamstown, you can still participate and follow the live stream on Facebook, or Twitter Periscope @standardbankart #NAF17