The 22nd anniversary of the Johannesburg Arts Alive International Festival (JAAIF) welcomes spring a day early with its premier event, the Jazz on the Lake concert, which opens the festival, happening this year on Sunday, 31st August 2014.
Unofficially recognised as the ‘the first day of Spring’ Jazz on the Lake is a popular outdoor event and a firm favourite on the Joburg cultural calendar.
Known to deliver quality entertainment in a family friendly environment, the concert which is free to the public, has consistently brought diverse worldly sounds from high calibre artists from India, Senegal, Nigeria and Brazil.
This tradition continues in the backdrop of the national reflective theme of 20 years of freedom with an amazing line up of musicians.
Headlining this year, is the iconic Johnny Clegg who is joined by an equally strong group of artists. There’s jazz specialist, Mbuso Khoza; acapella trio, The Soil; Afro soul crooner, Vusi Nova and Limpopo reggae star, Colbert Mukwevho. International acts include Afro jazz muso Josh Meck from Zimbabwe; Remna Schwarz (Cape Verde) and Vidya Shah (India).
A special feature in this year’s Jazz on the Lake lends itself to the celebration of women and pays tribute to Brenda Fassie’s heritage and memory.
Earlier in the month JAAIF together with Skonyana and Muthaland Productions launched the Can You Sing Like Mabbr talent competition as part of the Brenda Fassie Legacy project. The contest invited Brenda’s fans to offer an interpretation of one her songs and in the end three acts were chosen as winners. Black Shoes, African Rhythms and Amakah will perform their winning tunes, which have been recorded and submitted to radio.
It’s going to be a fun filled affair and the artists are geared up for it.
Johnny Clegg’s infectious and novel crossover music merging western pop/rock with African Zulu rhythms and structures makes him one of SA’s greatest exports and celebrated artists. He says, “This will be the first time that I am performing on this legendary concert, Jazz on the Lake, and I am really looking forward to it.”
As a singer songwriter, Mbuso Khoza has carved for himself a rich and unique sound in the contemporary music sphere after working with sought after artists like Sibongile Khumalo and Thandiswa Mazwai. The Durban native won himself a Metro FM Music Award for Best contemporary Jazz Album for his debut project, Zilindile in 2013. “I have worked in Johannesburg for 13 years and my music has grown a lot after working with others and outside the country. It’s been a dream of mine to perform at the prestigious Jazz on the Lake and I’m excited to be in this year’s line up,” he says.
Since the release of their self- entitled debut album three years ago, the a capella trio from Soweto The Soil, has captivated the country and the world with their urban soul sounds. “Jazz on the Lake is one of those events that pay homage to the beautiful city that is Johannesburg. We’re honoured to perform on such a platform and with such great artists. We’re eagerly happy to share the new music from our brand new album and are ready for the performance,” says the group’s leading lady, Buhle Mda.
Vusi Nova is one of the latest music sensations to occupy the afro soul space and he’s having a great time right now.
“I am excited to be welcoming Spring this year in JOZI with Arts Alive’s Jazz on the Lake. I am so looking forward to sharing some of my current work, some new tunes and even some Mabrrr tracks I have worked on,” he beams.