Now in its 22nd year, the festival has become a milestone event on the global arts stage.
This year’s top South African acts will be featured as part of the SA Season in the UK, a programme which is designed to showcase South African artists.
Minister of Arts & Culture Nathi Mthethwa says:
“The SA-UK Seasons open up opportunities for a meaningful cultural exchange that will create networks to encourage job creation and economic self-reliance among artists. This is a continuation of a collaborative relationship that will ultimately put artists in the leading role of creating a more humane society and better world,”
Two events not to be missed are the two talks themed “South Africa 20 years on” and “The legacy of The Blue Notes“. These feature panels of musicians and specialists discussing the impact of South African musicians exiled by apartheid on the British local scene and will take a musical journey of South Africa in the 20 years since democracy.
On the same day, the 24-piece Dedication Orchestra, will perform at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, fired by the whip-crack drumming of surviving band member, Louis Moholo-Moholo, and will also showcase the evocative sounds of Chris McGregor, Dudu Pukwana, Mongezi Feza and Johnny Dyani.
Celebrating his 80th birthday at the festival, legendary jazz pianist Abdullah Ibrahim will lead two groups at the festival, namely his charismatic sextet group Ekaya, with its unique township jazz sound, and a new trio with reeds player, Cleave Guyton, and Noah Jackson on cello.
Jazz flautist, Gareth Lockrane, will be showcasing some of his own original compositions and will also perform a specially arranged set aimed at reviving ‘lost’ compositions of the visionary South African pianist and composer, Bheki Mseleku.
Bokani Dyer, a formidable young pianist who boasts a strong individual sound, intriguing compositions and captivating live performances, will deliver a signature set at the Vortex Jazz Club.
South African trumpeter, Claude Deppa, and his new band will dig deep into the African soul.
Director of the EFG London Jazz Festival, Claire Whitaker, says,
“Having worked in South Africa and with South African and Commonwealth artists for over two decades, I’m personally delighted that, as part of the SA Season in the UK, there is a special programme in the 2014 EFG London Jazz Festival that marks and celebrates both the significant contribution made by South African artists to the world wide jazz scene, as well as celebrating 20 years of democracy for the country.”
The EFG London Jazz Festival is a fitting occasion to reflect both the challenges and perceptions of South African culture and creativity through music. Our nation’s cultural assets should be enjoyed locally whilst receiving exposure to international markets.
“Above all, this marks the deepening of bonds that tie together the people of our two countries and, hopefully, will result in a better appreciation of our mutual history and heritage. Our artists are custodians of the soul of this country and help to forge stronger relations and create platforms to foster mutual understanding through the arts,” concludes Minister Mthethwa.