Bringing jazz back to the Bay

John Edwards

IN my first jazz article several months ago, I suggested there might be local restaurateurs willing to contribute to the PE jazz scene by creating a space in their venues for musicians to perform.

Local entrepreneur Garth Metrovich took a bold step by opening a trendy bistro, La Boca, in the heart of central.

A popular choice for students, hipsters, housewives and even a few suits; notwithstanding the reasonably priced quality food, the venue charms with its courtyard setting, relaxed service and unpretentious vibe – an ideal space for live jazz. All credit to Garth for hosting what is to become a monthly jazz event, the first of which took place last Saturday.

A courtyard corner was transformed into a makeshift stage for local band, Vudu. If you haven’t yet seen and heard this band perform then I strongly advise that you do so.

Vudu describes its sound as a fusion of traditional and African jazz with urban contemporary genres – an accurate representation of the bewitching brew they concocted.

Original member and vocalist Sisanda Myataza continues to astound and beguile with her consummate stage presence and extraordinary vocal abilities. The effortless tightness of the unit belies the fact that Wesley Keet and Grant Allison – on keys (and acoustic guitar) and bass guitar respectively – are comparatively new members of the band.

Keet always impresses with his understated brilliance while Allison demonstrates significant skill in providing a dynamic and enthusiastic rhythmic foundation.

Longtime band member and drummer Kristo Zondagh is always a delight and he did not disappoint with his indefatigable ebullience and dexterity.

La Boca is at 20 Clyde Street, Central, (041)819-6500. Watch the press and this column for details.

Vudu will perform again on Sunday between 2pm and 4pm at the Music Kitchen, 69 Mangold Street, Newton Park. Contact manager Racheal on 079-097-0568 for more information.

The Common Factor Jazz Band will be performing from 5pm this Sunday at the KwaLunga General Jazz Place in Zwide. Contact Lunga on 072-559-4276.

The Brewery, 1 Bridge Street, Brickmakerskloof, is also hosting a live jazz duo every Sunday afternoon between 3pm and 6pm. The duo features David Houghton on guitar and Phumlani Mtiti on alto saxophone.

And don’t forget the launch of the John Edwards Trio’s debut recording, By the Baai, at 7.30pm on Wednesday February 27 at the NMMU South Campus Auditorium. Phone Nicky Bosman on (041)504-4235.

E-mail john.edwards@nmmu.ac.zawith any jazz-related news and views.

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