Skip links


Tshwane International Big Band Festival


Johannesburg, 09 November 2017 – An exciting new addition to the international cultural events calendar is soon to be unveiled, with the launch of the inaugural Tshwane International Big Band Festival. The first edition of what the organisers hope will become an annual event on the jazz circuit, is set to kick-off on two stages at Freedom Park in Tshwane, on the evenings of 08 and 09 December this year.

A brainchild and initiative of the Jazz Foundation of SA, the festival is aimed at transforming the status quo and ushering in a new paradigm in the live music entertainment in South Africa. The big band concept is based on a model that brings together groups of accomplished, world class headline artists, both local and from abroad, to share the stage with their less accomplished local peers in a performance format that breaks the mould of live music performance as we have grown to know it.

The festival will feature a headline line-up of such local jazz luminaries as Caiphus Semenya, Madala Kunene, Herbie Tsoaeli, Simphiwe Dana, Nduduzo Makhathini, Feya Faku and Marcus Wyatt. Performing alongside them on the two stages over the two-day festival are a foreign contingent comprising USA- based jazz artists Stefon Harris, Salim Washington and Kenny Garrett as well as Dutch national, Paul Van Kamenade. The artists will perform with an all-star big band drawn from a pool of talented local musicians.

Despite being the capital city of the country, the city of Tshwane has had to contend with playing second fiddle to big brother and provincial neighbour Joburg in terms of international brand exposure, social perceptions and signature entertainment events with a truly international flavour and appeal.

Joburg has secured its place on the annual roster of international jazz festivals with its signature Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, whilst also hosting a plethora of other top-billing international music acts. In contrast, Tshwane hosts the annual Moretele Park Jazz Festival as its signature event, a minnow in comparison to what Joburg and other major cities’ international cultural events offer to local and international jazz music lovers and artists alike.
As the line-up suggests, the Tshwane International Big Band Festival promises to be a memorable live music event, both in content and with the quality of the performances. The artists billed to perform boast a mind-boggling combined number of years in the industry, producing and performing music at the highest level internationally and locally.

The Jazz Foundation believes that this inaugural event will lay the foundation for the emergence of one of the desirable cultural destination events in the calendar year. With its international appeal, it is envisaged that the festival will take its place alongside some of the world’s most famous jazz events including North Sea, Montreaux and Broadmoor to mention a few, and will certainly match the appeal of the established internationally-acclaimed local showpieces.

Says Oupa Salemane, CEO of the Jazz Foundation of South Africa: “The launch of this festival certainly augurs well for the city of Tshwane. The event will not only breathe a new lease of life into the city’s cultural calendar, but will indeed boost the city brand’s international profile, boost tourism, offer a desperately needed fillip to the economy and contribute to job creation.

“Another unique element of this festival is the focus on developing local talent. The collaborative performances will be augmented by a series of workshops and master classes conducted by members of the headline international cast, aimed at upskilling up-and-coming musicians and music students through knowledge sharing,” comments Salemane.

The festival will deploy two stages: an indoor 500-seat arrangement as well as an outdoor amphitheatre that seats 2000 guests. Tickets are now on sale through Computicket with a one-day pass available for R500 and a two-day pass at R650.

The Tshwane International Big Band Festival, brought to you by the Jazz Foundation, National Lotteries Commission and Tiso Blackstar, takes place on 08 and 09 December at Freedom Park in Tshwane.

For media information, please contact:
Meropa Communications – 011 506 7300
Nono Nyoni – email: / 079 802 5139 Janet de Kretser – email: / 083 973 3531

Join the Discussion