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African Celebrations at UJ Weekend of Jazz

Joburg audiences are in for a treat with UJ Arts & Culture’s inaugural Weekend of Jazz at their Auckland Park Campus in Johannesburg, 25-27 May.

     Curated with the young and young-at-heart in mind, the programme nods to the ‘nostalgia’ of the genre and area, while offering new ways to experience the magic of the music.
     In line with UJ Arts & Culture’s ‘metamorphosis’-focused consideration of different perspectives; Christine Msibi from Jozi Unsigned, who curated this programme, explains: “We have adopted an intergenerational approach to programming the live jazz experience; pairing living legends with up-and-coming talent in order to diversify both the experiences we offer and the audiences they attract.”
     Coinciding with the ‘eve’ of Africa Day, UJ staff and guests will be treated to a programme opening performance by celebrated drummer Tlale Makhene, accompanied by UJ’s Soweto Campus Jazz Band. Flirting with the edges of expectation right from the beginning, world music band Sun Xa Experiment kicks off the Africa Day celebrations on the Friday evening. R&B soul singer Langa Mavuso brings a bit of ‘contemporary, with an air of nostalgia’; before local afro-balkan legends Bombshelter Beast takes to the floor to get the party truly started.
     In tune with the essence of jazz composition, and this urban melting pot of musical influences, Saturday evening brings with it a showcase of further incredible local talent in Soweto-born master collaborator Mandla Mlangeni and avant-garde musical artists the Jazz Cats, with respected songstress Zoe Modiga bringing the night to a close.
     Sunday, May 27 is dedicated to an appreciation of Jazz in the form of a Jazz jam picnic hosted on the UJ Arts Centre piazza. Offering an opportunity for various local jazz groups to show off their own music collections in a relaxed setting, the event is family-friendly and long lazy picnics are encouraged. This showcase will include a performance by the Steve Dyer Quartet, presenting Anglo African. This new body of work reflects part of a growing global movement re-examining, revising and re-aligning personal and collective identities.

The details of the programme are as follows:

UJ Weekend of Jazz
UJ Weekend of Jazz, Sun Xa Experiment

Friday May 25
     19:00: Sun Xa Experiment
     20:00: Langa Mavuso
     21:00: Bombshelter Beast
Saturday May 26
     17:00: Mandla Mlangeni
     18:00: Jazz Cats
     19:00: Zoe Modiga
Sunday May 27
     14:00 – 16:00: Jazz Jam Picnic with Steve Dyer Quartet, presenting Anglo African – is dedicated to an appreciation of Jazz, in the form of a Jazz jam picnic hosted on the UJ Arts Centre piazza.

All performances take place at the UJ Arts Centre on the University of Johannesburg’s Kingsway Campus, Auckland Park. Tickets are R200 for a Day Pass (R120 for students), or R400 for a Weekend Pass (R200 for students) and are available via or at the door.

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