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Saturday, May 27, 2017


(Ray Phiri)

With all the festivities in the city over the prestigious Vodacom Durban July weekend attracting thousands of visitors, cultivating the potential for other secondary entertainment and events, this year sees the birth of the first annual Jazz In July concert.

Taking place at the Juventus field at the Botanical Gardens on July 2, the festival aims to deliver a supreme and sophisticated outdoor musical experience to cater for a more music-orientated crowd. With the electrifying festive buzz, the Jazz In July will offer an alternative mature entertainment on the Sunday post the famous horse race.

The Jazz In July will feature live performances from South Africa’s premium Jazz and Afro Soul artists. This includes the legendary Ringo, Ray Phiri and Thandiswa Mazwai alongside multiple award winners Naima Kay, Zonke and Amanda Black. Also confirmed are old school greats Joe Nina and Robbie Malinga. Other performers include Zandi Khumalo, Scelo Gowane,Sands Mondli Ngcobo, DJ Kotin, the UKZN Jazz Ensemble and many more.

The Jazz In July, however, is just the end result of a series of several community building activities and initiatives leading up to it. From the roadshow running through the month of June with the aim of discovering and developing new talent who will later headline at the festival; to workshops to build local talent and even the opportunity for hands on experience at the festival offered to event management students.

“One of the main aims of Jazz in July is to unearth and nurture new talent in the province,” says organizer Wanita Ngcobo. “The Jazz in July is so much more than just a concert or festival, there are so many legs to this which includes development of the community.”

The festival will present an interactive and irresistible musical experience using sound, interactive stage, dance, live performances, theatre of the mind and active collaborations of musicians i.e. afro-pop with jazz.

Patrons are encouraged to bring along their camping chairs, umbrella’s and cooler boxes (free before 14h00, R100 thereafter) to enjoy the atmosphere whilst taking part in the activities the festival has to offer. Several braai stands will be available on site so guests are welcome to bring and braai. Hospitality marquees will also be set up for VIP and other guests.

Jazz in July takes place on July 2 from 11h00 to 00h00 at the Juventus Field, Botanical Gardens, Durban. Ticket prices: General Access R290; Golden Circle R400; VIP R850. Tickets are now available from R290 to R850 from Computicket.