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Jazz on demand: What to watch at this year’s Standard Bank Jazz Festival

With the 2021 National Arts Festival in full-swing, offering an array of theatre, dance, visual arts, talks, webinars and more, there’s also the much-anticipated Standard Bank Jazz Festival to look forward to. This year’s Jazz Fest line-up is a formidable one, with some of the country’s top performing artists, both young and old, gearing up to play their hearts out. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve put together a few of our top picks from this year’s Jazz Fest, all available for streaming on demand.

Siya Charles Standard Bank Jazz Festival

Siya Charles

Trombonist Siya Charles grew up in Gqeberha and was a member of both the Standard Bank National Schools and Youth Jazz Bands and, with a Master’s in Music in Jazz Performance from the University of Cape Town, she has gone on to perform internationally in Italy, Sweden, Norway, Nigeria, Botswana, and in most South African jazz festivals and performing venues. Bolstered by some of South Africa’s top young South African musicians, this performance showcases the exciting future of South African jazz.

Dates: 8 – 31 July 2021
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: R50


Lira Standard Bank Jazz Festival 2021

Lira
Good Vibrations

The one and only Lira returns to the Standard Bank Jazz Festival this year and we couldn’t be more pleased. Speaking on this year’s performance, the multi-platinum, award-winning singer says: ‘It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to perform with my full band, so we would like to offer an inspiring and uplifting set that brings a mood of celebration for our audiences.’ We can’t wait!

Dates: 8 – 31 July 2021
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: R50


Mandisi Dyantyis Standard Bank Jazz Festival 2021

Mandisi Dyantyis

Vocalist, trumpeter, and musical director Mandisi Dyantis also takes to the Jazz Fest stage this year. The Gqeberha-born musician was selected for the Standard Bank National Youth Big Band and the Youth Jazz Band while completing his BMus Honours degree in Jazz Performance at UCT. His 2019 SAMA-nominated debut album Somandla exemplifies the Dyantyis sound with its hauntingly beautiful melodies that are also deeply moving. His lyrics explore Xhosa folklore and culture and question the deeply embedded issues within society, all while producing music whose gentle tones and fluid harmonies make you want to move.

Dates: 8 – 31 July 2021
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: R50


Bokani Dyer Standard Bank Jazz Festival

Bokani Dyer
Kelenosi

Another Jazz Fest highlight comes in the form of Botswana-born pianist, composer, and producer Bokani Dyer. A previous winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Jazz, Dyer’s recent album Kelenosi was produced during the Covid-19 Pandemic Level 5 Lockdown of last year. Kelenosi – ‘I am alone’ in Setswana – is a reflection on the isolation and soul-searching of the lockdown experience, as well as bearing tribute to jazz greats Bheki Mseleku, Ahmad Jamal, and Fela Kuti.

Dates: 8 – 31 July 2021
Duration:
60 mins
Tickets:
R50


Asanda Mqiki Standard Bank Jazz Festival

Asanda Mqiki (Live Stream)

The award- winning vocalist Asanda Mqiki hails from Gqeberha, where her music draws from the strong choral tradition of the Eastern Cape. Her signature musical style brings together jazz, soul, R&B and sometimes even a touch of kwaito and her vibrancy on stage is complemented by her deeply sensitive singing, which often results in audiences on their feet or accompanying her in song. For the Jazz Fest, Mqiki presents a much-anticipated live-stream performance straight to the homes of audiences across the country, and the globe. Don’t miss out!

Dates: 11 July 2021 at 18:00
Duration:
60 mins
Tickets:
R50

Browse the full Standard Bank Jazz Festival programme here, check out our Virtual Events Portal for our top picks in the National Arts Festival programme, or read our article to find out how the National Arts Festival had only ten days to change their hybrid live and virtual programme to a fully only one, due to the announcement of lockdown level 4: The National Arts Festival’s ten-day lockdown pivot.

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