New festival celebrates the soul of Eastern Cape music
East London has produced or become home to some of South Africa’s greatest jazz talents, including the brilliant and talented Lulama Gaulana, Msaki, Tete Mbambisa and Lwanda Gogwana, among others.
It is fitting, therefore, that a new, three-day celebration of all things jazz, will be taking place right here in East London.
The inaugural Eastern Cape Jazz Festival aims to revive jazz culture in the Eastern Cape, and to showcase the stunning musical talent from local, regional and national jazz artists.
The idea of an East London-based Eastern Cape Jazz Festival was born three years ago, says organiser and jazz enthusiast Mlindi Ntloko, of Mlitha Events.
“Having attended events like the Cape Town Jazz Festival and the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, I realised Eastern Cape jazz lovers were being starved of a pure jazz celebration that upholds the standards of these national events.”
The Eastern Cape Jazz Festival is due to place from 20 to 22 September, with the likes of Selaelo Selota, Sibongile Khumalo, Lindiwe Maxolo, Dumza Maswana, Titi Luzipho and Lwando Gogwana lined up to perform.
“I consulted with jazz forums as well as finding out about the history of jazz in the Eastern Cape,” Ntloko says. “There are people who have contributed immensely to the province’s jazz scene. Our research shows that Zwelitsha, in particular, played the biggest role in catapulting Eastern Cape jazz music onto the national scene.”
In addition to being a quality celebration of jazz and jazz culture, the event is also being planned as the first step in creating a platform to boost local, un-discovered jazz talent.