Veteran R&B star Clarence Carter will make a return visit to South Africa for the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz in August, it was announced.
He will join a dazzling line-up of additional international stars which include Latin master pianist Eddie Palmieri; Jamaican legend Monty Alexander and France’s celebrated Manu Katche.
These additional international names were added to the already impressive line-up by the organisers this week.
Carter said in an interview that it had been a long time since he was last here, “but I will be back with a great new show,” He was last here in the ‘80s, performing at the now defunct Colosseum Theatre in the centre of Joburg.
He recalled: “I remember one of the times I came to Johannesburg in the ‘80s when I stepped into the arrivals hall and there was a whole group of guys who grabbed me and put me up on their shoulders and they walked around the airport with me. I never forgot that. It was just marvellous. I’ve never had that happen to me
Also coming to the jazztravaganza – which takes place in Newtown, Johannesburg, from August 23 to 25 – are the UK’s Lizz Wright; Ken Philmore from Trinidad and Tobago who is one of the top steel-drum soloists in the world and France’s innovative Orchestre National de Jazz (ONJ).
Both Eddie Palmieri and Manu Katche will join an already impressive opening night line-up which includes Sax Summit and the unforgettable Tribute to Miles Davis.
Sax Summit has five of the world’s top female saxophonists playing the music of Kippie Moeketsi. They are American rising star Grace Kelly, Holland’s acclaimed Tineke Postma, British tenor Rosemary Quaye as well as Shannon Mowday (a former Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz) and Nthabiseng Mokoena. The Tribute to Miles Davis features two former Crusader players’ trombonist Wayne Henderson and drummer Ndugu Chancler, trumpeter Tom Browne, saxophonist Everette Harp, pianist Bobby Lyle and bassist Edwin Livingston.
Eddie Palmieri is one of the foremost Latin jazz pianists of the 21st century, blessed with a technique that fuses jazz influences from the styles of Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk and McCoy Tyner into a Latin context. He is the recipient of nine Grammy Awards.
Drummer Manu Katche blossomed as a contemporary jazz drummer and band leader thanks to his involvement with the touring and recording projects of Peter Gabriel and Sting. He has performed with some of the world’s most well-known musicians including Joni Mitchell, Gloria Estefan, Simple Minds, Tears for Fears, Dire Straits, Youssou N’Dour, the Bee Gees and Black Eyed Peas.
In a career that spans more than four decades, Jamaican piano legend Monty Alexander has performed and recorded with artists from every corner of the musical universe: Frank Sinatra, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, Ernest Ranglin, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare to name just a few. Alexander was awarded the title of Commander in the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican Government for outstanding services to Jamaica in his capacity as worldwide music ambassador.
Clarence Carter won legends of fans around the world with songs such as Patches, Slip Away and Too Weak to Fight. He found a new audience with songs such as Strokin’ and Dr CC in the 1990s. Strokin’ was also used in the Eddie Murphy film The Nutty Professor. Carter’s strong soul sound also found an audience within the hip-hop community where he is known as Dr CC for his soulful guitar work intertwined with his sexy lyrics.
Lizz Wright’s music is a mixture of jazz, folk, gospel, and R&B. The Georgia-based singer-songwriter is already a celebrated contributor to the jazz world, having recorded four albums.
Ken “Professor” Philmore has performed and recorded with a number of international artists such as Tito Puente, Ella Fitzgerald, Phyllis Hyman, Nancy Wilson, Tina Turner, Andy Narrell, Ralph Mc Donald, George Howard, Lionel Hampton and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Apart from his work in Trinidad, he currently arranges music for steel bands both in US and the UK and lectures at universities worldwide.
Orchestre National de Jazz (under the current leadership of artistic director Daniel Yvinec) has charted a unique musical path over the last quarter of a century, with projects tributes to Billie Holiday and art rock pioneer Robert Wyatt. Their latest offering is the acclaimed Shut Up and Dance.
The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz will take place on eight stages in Newtown including the Dinaledi Stage, the Conga, Mbira, Bassline and The Market Theatre. Other venues include free concerts at Sophiatown, Shikisha and Nikki’s Oasis.
Weekend passes for Standard Bank Joy of Jazz are already sold-out – two months before the jazztravaganza takes place. However, day passes and all other ticket classes are still available although tickets are selling fast and festivalgoers are encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment.
Artists already announced for the festival include Grammy-Award winner Kurt Elling who has been hailed as the jazz male vocalist of his generation; trombone master Wycliffe Gordon; Grammy-winning guitarist Earl Klugh as well as an appearance by the world famous Duke Ellington Orchestra. Luminaries from the African continent include Caiphus Semenya, Bakithi Kumalo, Manu Dibango from Cameroon and Mory Kante from Guinea.