By: Beverley Dias
After hours of pondering whether I was brave enough to leave the comfort of my warm bed on Sunday 14 May (also Mother’s Day and one of the coldest, rainiest days I’ve experienced so far in this lifetime), I donned my doek as the invitation stated and made my way to the BAT Centre for the first instalment of The Sunday Serenade. I’m glad to report that the event more than made up for the sacrifice. Getting us into the swing of things was the legendary Shado Twala who played the role of MC at the event. The afternoon kicked off with songbird, Omagugu Makhathini, who set the stage alight with her smooth sounds and her talented band had us tapping our feet to their catchy beats. Although I had never heard of her before this performance, I found myself caught up in her sweet voice and groovy vibe. Her performance was followed by a short interval and I am glad that I fuelled up on some snacks and drinks because we were in for a treat with a sizzling performance by the effervescent Gloria Bosman. Man, can that woman put on a show!! Vocal acrobatics, dance moves like you’d never expect from a jazz musician and a performance that has you panting with excitement. She had us kicking up our heels and singing verbatim to some of her classics. Suddenly, the cold seemed a distant memory when we were grooving along as she took us on a journey down memory lane. Can we talk about her band for a second? At some point, I wanted to get up on the stage and ask the bass guitarist to marry me. Then, the drummer took the spotlight and it felt like we were teleported to a jazz club in New Orleans. Of course, her keyboardist could give the likes of John Legend and Alicia a good run for their money. All in all, a spectacular performance and a not-so-gentle reminder that we have some serious talent right on our backdoors.
This event forms part of the lead up to the International Jazz Extravaganza taking place at the Albert Luthuli ICC in Durban on 17 June 2017, which is a signature event for discerning jazz lovers. The spectacle will feature a superior five act line up as well as five star hospitality comprising music, fine dining and networking opportunities for like-minded individuals. If last year’s inaugural event which featured jazz greats like Lee Ritenour and Spyro Gyra is anything to go by, this year will be on another level. Confirmed so far for the 2017 extravaganza is Grammy award winner, Kurt Elling, who has also been voted Male Singer Of The Year eight times in a row by the Jazz Journalist’s Association and has had each one of his ten albums nominated for a Grammy; local lad, Nduduzo Makhathini who won the Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz in 2015 as well as being the first recipient of the British Academy Newton Advanced Fellowship Masters Scholarship as well as the dynamic Thandi Ntuli who was nominated for a Metro FM Music Award in the Best Urban Jazz category for her début album, The Offering, in 2015. Thandi has notable collaborations under her belt including Thandiswa Mazwai, Neo Muyanga, Steve Dyer and Marcus Wyatt.
The International Jazz Extravaganza has partnered with the KZN Department of Arts and Culture; Durban Tourism; Standard Bank; South African Airways; Mzansi Magic; Kaya FM; East Coast Radio; aha Hotels and Lodges; The Blue Train as well as SMG Durban to bring you a showcase like no other. For travellers from outside the city of Durban, www.durbanexperience.co.za is the place to visit for assistance with accommodation, transport, places of interest and eateries where guests can fully appreciate the culture of South Africa’s Playground. You can also visit www.aha.co.za for the best deals at a Durban hotel of your choice. Guests flying in from around the country may book flights on www.flightsite.co.za/ije, while guests from outside our borders can check out www.flysaavacations.com/ije or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets are already on sale at Computicket and range from R600.00 to R3825.00. Doors open at 16:00pm and the show kicks off at 19:00pm. For further details, please visit http://online.computicket.com/web/event/international_jazz_extravaganza/1115949825/0/78081421
See you there!!