Jazz musicians team up for Joy of Jazz performance in Sandton

Zoë Modiga will perform during the Joy of Jazz festival. Photo: Supplied

Four influential and innovative women in jazz will combine their creative forces as a group, The Jazz Unity, for two concerts-of a lifetime during the Joy of Jazz festival in Sandton.

Two South African artists, Nomfundo Xaluva and Zoë Modiga, will join internationally recognised names, LeFrae Sci and Lakecia Benjamin, for a historic musical journey.

Xaluva is a Port Elizabeth-born jazz vocalist who is at her best when performing or making records. She also teaches at the University of Cape Town. Her compositions have been an integral part of South African repertoire at both school level and at higher institutions of learning.

A two-time recipient of the Metro FM Music Award for Best Urban Jazz Album, Xaluva performed at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz in 2016 and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in 2017. She is also a classically trained pianist and educator.

Xaluva made her debut at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in April 2017 to critical acclaim. She also headlined the iMbokodo Jazz Festival in Durban in 2017 and again in 2018.

Nomfundo Xaluva will make up one part of Jazz Unity at the Joy of Jazz. Photo: Supplied

Modiga draws from the roots of African storytelling, jazz compositions and Motown soul but creates a sound entirely her own in order to communicate an evolving African sound without losing its essence.

Over the years, Modiga has collaborated with a number of established South African artists, including the iconic Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Johnny Clegg, Simphiwe Dana and Tshepo Tshola, and performed at numerous festivals, such as the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, MTN Bushfire Festival and the Hugh Masekela Heritage Festival.

New Yorker Benjamin is one of the world’s most charismatic and dynamic saxophonists and band leaders who has shared the stage with such illustrious names as Stevie Wonder, Alicia, Keys and Macy Gray. She has her own band, Lakecia Benjamin and Soul Squad, which performs regularly, bringing a heady mix of soul, funk and classic jazz to the masses.

The fourth member of this illustrious outfit is another American, Sci, an internationally recognised composer, drummer and producer. She writes for film, television, and large orchestral ensembles and was the conductor and director of the Middle School Jazz Academy at Jazz at Lincoln Center for several years.

Sci brings her special talent to the band’s overall impact and judging by the pedigrees of these performers Jazz fans are in for an unforgettable experience where the best of South African talent meets America’s finest in a musical journey of great expectations.

Jazz lovers will be treated to a diverse range of musical genres on five stages at the Joy of Jazz.

Details: www.joyofjazz.co.za

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