Another successful year of the Joy of Jazz concerts has just concluded in Johannesburg. They took place at the end of September, which is of course South Africa’s most cultural month. With Heritage Day as a public holiday on 24 September, the Southern Hemisphere spring yields concerts aplenty and music galore.
One could argue that the Joy of Jazz is Jozi’s version of the highly successful Cape Town International Jazz Festival, and one could further argue that the Cape Town version is based on the world-famous North Sea Jazz Festival.
The line-up was stellar as usual, and included some international acts, including Billy Ocean. One Mr Ocean has a history that is powerfully bonded to South Africa, of course, having been linked to Clive Calder’s Jive and Zomba Records (the South African Calder is discussed in another blog on this forum).
Other artists included veteran performer Gloria Bosman, who has proved her artistic staying power over the years, and Wanda Baloyi, a relative newcomer who has also been around for a while. Wanda was a singing student of mine for a short time, because she felt that her voice could grow, and because she wanted to make sure it did not get damaged. She has grown from strength to strength, and now finds herself sharing the stage with world-class artists at an international event. This is the power of consistent and persistent work.
And then there’s Sibongile Khumalo. As I wrote in another blog, I met her at Moshito. She was humble and approachable, and that made her inspiring. Oh yes, and she also has a sublime voice, with those deliciously rich lower tones. If Ms Khumalo was a man, she’d have this woody bass voice that would just warm a room. Well, she does that anyway.
The Joy of Jazz will no doubt return to the City of Gold next year.