Early Klugh, Manu Dibango for 2012 Joy of Jazz

This year’s Joy of Jazz Festival in Johannesburg will feature Grammy-Award winner Kurt Elling who has been hailed as the jazz male vocalist of his generation. Grammy-winning guitarist Earl Klugh will add some décor to the jazzy pie, while the world famous Duke Ellington Orchestra will be served as cream on the side as the event kicks off tonight.


Luminaries from the African continent will be present such as Caiphus Semenya, one of South Africa’s most celebrated arts and culture ambassadors;  Manu Dibango from Cameroon, guitarist Jimmy Dludlu and Mory Kante from Guinea whose hit song Yé ké yé ké, was one of the first African singles to sell over one million copies on the European market.


Two not-to-be-missed concerts include the opening night spectacular Sax Summit and a Tribute to Miles Davis.


A powerhouse of female vocalists will also be performing at Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, starting with the multi-Grammy nominated Ledisi (US) fresh off a headlining tour with Eric Benet, and the ever-spunky Thandiswa Mazwai.


Guitarist Earl Klugh has recorded more than 30 albums including 23 Top 10 charting records – five of them No. 1 on Billboard’s Jazz Album chart. He has received 12 Grammy nods, millions of record and CD sales and continues touring worldwide.


Manu Dibango is Cameroon’s best-known jazz saxophonist. Starting in the 1950s, he became a globe-trotting musician, living and performing in France, Belgium, Jamaica, Zaire, and Cote d’Ivoire, as well as in Cameroon. World attention came to Dibango with the release of Soul Makossa.


The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz will take place on eight stages in Newtown including the Dinaledi Stage, the Conga, Mbira, Bassline and The Market Theatre. Other venues include free concerts at Sophiatown, Shikisha and Nikki’s Oasis.


Event producer Peter Tladi of T-Musicman says: “Once again, we have endeavoured to provide a diverse range of jazz styles. The artists performing this year are all highly respected, heavyweight musicians, whether newcomers or those who are icons of the global jazz scene…”


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