Two Grammy Award winning artists are part of the stellar line-up for the 2014 Standard Bank Joy of Jazz which sees the country’s premiere jazz festival move to a new venue and a new date.
The new-look 2014 Standard Bank Joy of Jazz will take place this year, and for the next five years, at the Sandton Convention Centre and on a new date – from September 25 to 27. The new move allows the festival to continue its spectacular growth and also means that, for the first time, audiences will be able to buy a full festival pass to the three main stages – Dinaledi, Conga and Mbira – in line with jazz festivals around the globe.
Making their debut in the festival’s new home will be two top flight Grammy award winning artists, one of whom walked away with a Grammy earlier this year. American jazz vocalist Gregory Porter – who has been called “the brilliant new voice of jazz” – won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album for his recording Liquid Spirit . He’ll be joined at the new look festival by two time Grammy award winning trumpeter Roy Hargrove.
The move from Newtown to Sandton has been necessitated thanks to the festival’s overwhelming and continuing popularity with Newtown having reached its full capacity and unable to expand to accommodate the growing audience numbers.
In its first year at the Sandton Convention centre the festival will run over four stages – The Dinaledi, Mbira, Conga, and newly named Diphala (which replaces the Bassline stage). In addition, extensive corporate hospitality options will be now be available given the extra venue capacity.
Event producer Peter Tladi of T-Musicman explains: “Given the exponential growth of Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, the Convention Centre allows us almost unlimited numbers. We are projecting nearly 30 000 people attending this year and we will be taking the festival to greater heights at its new home for the next five years. The move to the Convention Centre has multiple benefits. It allows us to grow, to sell a full festival pass as well as to improve sound, staging, security and parking. We are also no longer at the mercy of the weather.”
Minister Of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile has given his full support to the festival: “Thanks to the ability to grow the festival, Standard Bank Joy of Jazz will contribute more to the economic growth of both the country and the Gauteng province and boost economic tourism by attracting a higher influx of domestic, African and international travellers.”
Says Executive Mayor of Johannesburg Parks Tau: “The festival is moving north but it is still firmly part of the City of Johannesburg. It was held in the CBD for 16 years and put Newtown on the entertainment map. However, it grew too large for the available infrastructure hence the move. It will continue to promote Johannesburg as a world class city and bring visitors to our city.”
Commented Hazel Chimhandamba, Head of Group Sponsorships at Standard Bank: “The continuing growth of this world-class music festival is a cause for celebration and a tribute to the city. Standard Bank Joy of Jazz will continue to present top-flight musicians, not only to the people of Johannesburg but visitors from around the country, Africa and the globe.” The decision to change the date was made as weather was a contributing factor and pushing the festival out by a month brings it into the beginning of summer. It also now means that the festival takes place during Heritage month celebrations.
Added Peter Tladi: “South African musicians have always, and will continue to, feature prominently at the festival – from the new young stars coming through the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards right through to the legends.” Says Dr Mati Nyazema, executive director of Sandton Convention Centre, “As South Africa celebrates 20 years of economic freedom, Sandton is enjoying a growing reputation as Africa’s economic hub and ‘hot spot’, representing one our country’s success stories. The Sandton Convention Centre is pleased to host this prestigious International Jazz event at our Venue, we are delighted to be chosen as the new Home of the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz.” The first Joy of Jazz took place at the State Theatre in Pretoria in 1997 and moved to the Newtown precinct in the Johannesburg CBD in 2000 when 1 800 people took part. A record audience of 24 178 attended Standard Bank Joy of Jazz in 2013.
The full line for this year’s festival will be announced in May when tickets will go on sale at Computicket.
The 2014 Standard Bank Joy of Jazz is produced by T-Musicman and brought to you by Standard Bank in association with the Department of Arts & Culture; the City of Joburg, Gauteng Province and South African Tourism.