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Sowetans ready themselves for the inaugural international jazz

SOWETO INTERNATIONAL Jazz festival is the first international music and arts festival dedicated to the historical region of Jozi.

Sowetans ready themselves for the inaugural international jazz

Soweto destined Deborah Cox.

The 4-day jamboree takes place at Soweto Theatre from June 14 to 17, 2018.

It features US award-winning songwriter Rico Love, singer Deborah Cox, jazz band Spyro Gyra, Third World and R&B singer Charlie Wilson, among others.

On the local front it boasts Ernie Smith, Nasty C, Mi Casa, Sho Madjozi, Lady Zamar, Zamajobe and the Soweto Gospel Choir.

The SIJF is a one-of-kind experience which will spotlight the rich cultural currency of the township with a rich supply of international music, art, cuisine, history, luxury accommodation and adventure and exploration.

Event organiser Nolan Baynes says the plan is to take the jazz festival beyond the streets of Soweto.

“The idea and the vision behind this is to not keep it just here. We want to tour this and export this. We want the jazz festival to be [like those] in New York, in New Orleans and in Ghana. We want to be able to create a platform that will allow South African artist to match and collaborate with other like-minded people around the world.”

He says for the people of the diaspora to be able to make a statement, it starts with music.

The festival will also pay tribute to the late legendary jazz musician Hugh Masekela who passed away early this year and to Nelson Mandela who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in July.

Soweto Theatre’s general manager Nomsa Mazwai says the festival will showcase the township’s valuable contribution to the arts, economy and job creation.

“There is a value that we’re not attributing to this city, because that’s what it is, and there’s a value that we’re no attributing to us. Soweto is extremely valuable and so are its people. This festival will remind people how incredible they are, how they should see themselves. And young people will see examples of excellence.”

She says the theatre is among the best in the country and that it will be able to handle such a huge event, both technically and infrastructure-wise.

It was unconfirmed if any of the Mazwais will share the stage.

For more information on artists lineup and tickets go to: www.sowetoIJF.com

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