national Arts Festival Banner

Thursday, August 17, 2017


(Xolisa Dlamini. Pic by Thuligraphy Images)

Lovers of contemporary jazz were serenaded by a predominantly female line-up of talented artists at the inaugural iMbokodo Jazz Festival – in celebration of Women's Month. The event took place on August 12 at the N-Shed passenger terminal in the Port of Durban.

Organised by the South African Jazz Appreciators Association (SAJAA) in association with iTheku Regional Jazz Association (iTReJA), the iMbokodo Jazz Festival was a celebration of female artists in the industry. Performers included Chantal Willie-Petersen, Xolisa Dlamini, Spha Mdlalose, Lindiwe Maxolo, Nomfundo Xaluva, Umlazi Comtech’s UCee Jazz Ensemble, Njabulo Nzuza, the Feya Faku Quartet and the UKZN Jazz Band featuring music director and pianist Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane, vocalist Ayanda Thango, bassist Dalisu Ndlazi, drummer Riley Giandhari and guitarist Nick Pitman.

Included in the line-up were:

Xolisa Dlamini - One of South Africa’s most soulful singers, she has recorded with Silaelo Selota, the Tehilla Praise Family, Busi Mhlongo, Judith Sephuma, Ringo Madlingozi, Serio Diaz from Brazil, Elie Kihonia from the Republic of Congo and Hanse Genzo from Australia, as well as performed alongside Sibongile Khumalo, Themba Mkhize and Sello Galane, Bhekumuzi Luthuli and Carlo Mombelli. She is a SAMA award nominee for her first album Times which was nominated in two categories for the best female composer and best contemporary album. She was also nominated for the best contemporary jazz album category in the Metro FM awards for her second album Afro blue.

Lindiwe Maxolo – a powerful vocalist with a background in church music, who has demonstrated her diversity by performing in India, Portugal, Greece and New Orleans.

Spha Mdlalose - Durban born jazz singer, songwriter and voice over artist now living in Cape Town. To date, Mdlalose has performed alongside Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Micasa, Oliver Mthukudzi, Neo Muyanga, Zwai Bala, Sibongile Khumalo, Kabomo, Afrotraction, Monique Bingham, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, US soul singers Allan Stone, Patti Austin, South African rapper, HHP and many more. She was also on the second season of the international singing talent search show, The Voice, while working on her debut solo album.

“Our intention is to develop this festival over time into Durban’s unique women-only jazz showcase, from organising to production to artists, “said Mncedi Zulu, SAJAA Chairman.