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Standard Bank Jazz Festival, Grahamstown celebrates 20 years with powerful lineup

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The Standard Bank Jazz Festival, Grahamstown is celebrating two decades of an incredible jazz festival that for 10 days every year turns Grahamstown into “Jazztown” during the National Arts Festival. Its 20th anniversary edition from Monday, 29 June 2017 to Thursday, 8 July 2017 this year features over 100 musicians from 12 countries across a diverse range of styles and collaborations.
The Soil will be performing at this year's Standard Bank Jazz Festival

The Soil will be performing at this year’s Standard Bank Jazz Festival

Included in the line-up are one of the world’s premier multi instrumentalists, the Australian James Morrison Quintet, along with Estafest from the Netherlands, Andy Narrel (US), Judith Sephuma, The Soil, Zinzi Makeba Lee and Africa Mkhize, Yaron Herman & Ziv Ravitz, Jimmy Nevis, Marcus Wyatt’s Bomb Shelter Beast, Shane Cooper, Kyle Shepherd, Thandi Ntuli, Desmond and The Tutus and many others.

Recognised as a catalyst for South African Jazz, this year’s festival showcases artists that have made their name at the festival over the past 20 years whilst also giving a platform to exciting new young players – amongst them sensational Brazilian bassist, Michael Pipoquinha, who at the age of 21 is receiving critical acclaim worldwide.

For 10 days, the DSG campus – “Jazztown” – and the monument are jam-packed with performances which continue long after the lights have gone down, where the performances move to the Standard Bank Jazz Café in downtown Grahamstown where the musicians hang out for some serious spontaneous improvisation.

SA’s best-kept jazz secret

The festival is probably South Africa’s best-kept jazz secret and the launch pad for South Africa’s next generation of jazz stars. It is here that the Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz makes their big debut performance. This year’s winner, bassist Benjamin Jephta, will be following in the footsteps of successful alumni that include Gloria Bosman, Victor Ntoni, Sibongile Khumalo, Siya Makuzeni, Kesivan Naidoo, Melanie Scholtz, Kyle Shepherd, Bokani Dyer and many more.

“If you’re serious about music and jazz, and want an experience that will live with you for a lifetime then put it on your bucket list and come to Jazztown this year,” says Hazel Chimhandamba, Head: Group Sponsorships for Standard Bank who have supported the festival for 20 years.

Move fast and book your accommodation and travel early as thousands of South Africans descend annually upon Grahamstown for the National Arts Festival and Standard Bank Jazz Festival. Main box office for tickets opens early May. For more information on where to stay in Grahamstown and surrounds, and to book tickets visit the National Arts Festival website.

Stay informed of the Standard Bank Jazz Festival by connecting with Standard Bank Arts on
Facebook and Twitter: @standardbankart, using these hashtags: #Jazztown #NAF17.

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