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Saturday, June 11, 2022


(Right: AusTebza will perform at the National Jazz Festival Makhanda)

It's a much-needed reunion for jazz musicians who will once again gather together to jam, collaborate and share. With a big focus on local talent and local jazz excellence, the 35th National Jazz Festival Makhanda also welcomes excellent musicians from Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Romania, Britain and Spain who will be collaborating with them for this very special celebration of jazz.

Highlights include 2021 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz, Vuma Levin, Afro-Pop Groove Queen, AusTebza, SA-born Tutu Puoane, who flies in from Belgium, Swiss band Mats-Up who join South African vocalist and songwriter Mbuso Khoza, Benjamin Jeptha, Kyle Sheperd, Dumza Maswana, Bokani Dyer, Amsterdam-based saxophonist Bernard van Rossum - and more.

The National Youth Jazz Festival will also return, bringing school level musicians from across South Africa into this important and exciting development opportunity.


Circus Tales from Two Cities

(Left: MOYA will be staged in the Guy Butler Theatre in Makhanda)

Zip Zap Circus' distinctly acrobatic and energetic MOYA takes us from the warmth of the fruit market, where the merchant juggles his apples, to the dark, windy streets of Cape Town where pedestrians bustle and tumble. It's an energetic ride through stories of escape, encounter, brotherhood and ubuntu - a great family show.

Urban Circus is an exciting collaboration between the brilliant Jozi circus company, The Cirk, and well-known physical theatre practitioner and Cirque du Soleil alumnus, Daniel Buckland. Urban Circus is a love letter to the thrilling acrobatics of big city life. A talented troupe of Johannesburg’s hottest circus artistes will take the audience on a wheel-spinning, nail-biting, day-dreaming escapade through the city. Urban Circus shows the City’s inhabitants as they try to strive, survive and thrive in a delicate and dextrous dance through the intoxicating frenzy of urban life.


Exhilarating Music for Joy and Healing

(Above) Cape Town Opera will perform at the National Arts Festival 2022

In 2018 and 2019, Cape Town Opera's Chorus toured Europe with a programme of religious and spiritual songs called Grace Notes, which was performed to sold-out shows in Germany, Hungary, Austria and Cape Town. Inspired by that programme’s enormous popularity, CTO Chorus Master, Marvin Kernelle, has compiled a new one-hour showcase of uplifting African and African-American spirituals in Cape Town Opera Spirituals. It’s an evening of soul-stirring music that celebrates the spirit of caring, resilience and joy that has buoyed humanity during some difficult years. ‘We wish this concert to be a reminder of the vital role music plays in healing our world,’ says Chorus Master Kernelle of the programme which includes traditional songs as Muhona Makutu Tanga and Mahlo A Bona and rich arrangements of Elijah Rock, Ev’ry Time I Feel The Spirit and Didn’t My Lawd Deliver Daniel?

Cape Town Opera's Chorus will also be joined by the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra for a second rousing concert of great operatic choruses including much-loved pieces like Humming, Anvil, Slave and Bridal Choruses, as well as the ever-popular Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

(Left: Cara Stacey)

2021 Standard Bank Young Artist for Music Cara Stacey’s work Transbordamento sees Stacey collaborate with esteemed Mozambican musician and composer Matchume Zango in an intimate concert that weaves together each artist’s diverse sonic influences and long-standing friendship in music. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Stacey's ensemble work as Standard Bank Young Artist will be deferred to 2023.

Another cross-genre and cross-border concert to add to the list is the beautifully spontaneous collaboration between acclaimed South African guitarist Guy Buttery and Indian master musicians Mohd. Amjad Khan (tabla) & Mudassir Khan (sarangi). Their show, One Morning In Gurgaon was inspired by the trio’s shared appreciation of the musical wonders and landscapes of the subcontinent.


Bold Fringe Shows Blast Back Onto Stage

Nothing holds Fringe artists back as they head for the Festival and a return to live. Catch comedy shows from Stuart Taylor, Kagiso Mokgadi, Rob van Vuuren, Tseliso Masolane, Dalin Oliver, Kate Pinchuck, Yaaseen Barnes, Nkosinathi Maki, Alfred Adriaan and more. Brendon Peel and Li Lau bring magic and illusion to transport us into other possibilities across a series of collaborative and one-man shows.

One of the greatest hits of the South African stage, Mbongeni Ngema's multi-award-winning musical drama, Asinamali! will, for the first time, be presented by a cast of women in a production directed by Mncedisi Shabangu and Tebogo Sechele. Writer and director, Zuko Wonderfull Sikhafungana, is artist in residency at Factory of the Arts and a PhD student in anthropology. His play The Crime Scene tackles the pressing issue of absentee fathers.

(A scene from “Bigly Yuge”)

Plus-size comedy theatre Bigly Yuge (based on a play by Clinton Marius) takes a look at life at the heavier end of the scale. You’ll hear good, bad, and funny stories from award-winning actors, Bongani Mbatha, Mduduzi Nombela and Bhekani Shabalala – each with impressive track records on stage, TV and big screen.


As always with Fringe, take a look and try something new. There's lots to choose from!

Explore the Fringe

Tips for Navigating the Programme

The new paperless programme means you can browse, book and keep all your tickets in one place. These simple tips can help you navigate the programme with ease:

View the programme through ALL SHOWS or pick a programme category like FRINGE, JAZZ and EXHIBITIONS etc...

Drill down into genres like Music, Family Shows, Comedy and more to suit your mood.

View the calendar as a clickable list of shows by day via ALL SHOWS and then by clicking the Daily Shows button, or see all the shows along a vertical calendar via ALL SHOWS and Calendar

The ticket helpline team are on stand-by to assist you if necessary. Call them on 0860 002 004.

Word on the street is that Makhanda's guest houses and B&B's are all filling up fast, so don't leave it till the last minute to book your trip. If you're on a budget Victoria Girls' are offering dormitory style digs and Rhodes has reopened its student accommodation for hire during Festival.


(To link direct to the National Arts Festival site click on the large banner that runs across the top of this blog or visit or visit Facebook:; Twitter: @artsfestival or Instagram: nationalartsfestival)