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Symphonic Jazz Concert | A collection of iconic jazz songs from the last half-century

By Creative Feel

In celebration of South Africa’s jazz heritage, the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO), in collaboration with the ZAR Jazz Orchestra led by celebrated South African trumpeter, conductor and SAMA Award-winner, Marcus Wyatt, will be presenting the Symphonic Jazz Concert. The concert takes place on Thursday 21 September at 19:30 the Linder Auditorium. 

The repertoire is drawn from The Songbook – a collection of some of the most iconic and important South African jazz songs from the last half a century – orchestrated for a full orchestra with big band and rhythm sections.

Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra Symphonic Jazz Song Book
Marcus Wyatt PHOTO Jonathon Rees

Audiences can hear the Marabi and Mbaqanga influence in Dudu Pukwana’s Mra and Angel nemali, the more avantgarde approach to Louis Moholo’s take on one of our best-loved ballads Lakutshona ilanga and the pop/soul influence of Stimela (Hugh Masekela’s deeply tragic ode to the continuing problem of forced migrant labour in South Africa) and Jonas Gwangwa’s Diphororo.

There are strains of Tyner and Trane in Bheki Mseleku’s breathtaking The Age of Inner Knowing and Winston Mankunku’s iconic Yakhal’ inkomo, while the sound of the Cape Town minstrels’ carnival music shines through Wyatt’s Anneke tassou and Zim Ngqwana’s Bantu. Abdullah Ibrahim’s frenetic Bombella is juxtaposed with Miriam Makeba’s most famous of songs The Click Song (Qongqothwane).

  • Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra Symphonic Jazz Song Book
  • Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra Symphonic Jazz Song Book
  • Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra Symphonic Jazz Song Book

This songbook was performed as part of the 2022 BBC Proms at the iconic Royal Albert Hall under the baton of Marcus Wyatt, with the Grammy award winning Metropole Orkest. While The Songbook has been performed in many countries, the collaboration between the JPO and the ZAR Orchestra exposes the beauty and power of this music to a South African audience for the first time.

The JPO will be performing with the ZAR Jazz Orchestra to celebrate South Africa’s jazz heritage and pay tribute to the legendary jazz musicians who have made an indelible mark on South African music.

Tickets are available through Quicket.

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