CENTRESTAGE’S Gary Hemmings has been having great fun promoting his new show that will shine the musical spotlight onto four of the most popular singer- songwriter/ acoustic guitarists of the past decade: Jack Johnson, John Mayer, James Blunt and Jason Mraz.
“Don’t be a jambulicious jebhead, a jubalicious jamtard or jeopardise your juvenescence – just join the jubilation and get jewelled at the joygasmic J-Show!” Hemmings urges.
The J-Show, otherwise billed as The Jack, John, James and Jason Show, features a seven-piece live band that will recreate these musicians’ trendy, laid back, feel-good sound at the New Cash Store on Sardinia Bay Road on on Thursday and Friday March 13 and 14 and then again at Old Grey next Thursday and Friday March 20 and 21.
Introducing Aston Wylie as James Blunt and welcoming back Brad Peens to the Centrestage fold as Jason Mraz, the group will pay tribute to the “modern acoustic juggernauts whose lyrical and melodic songwriting dwarf the synthetic electronic music so prevalent today”, Hemmings said.
Wylie is known to Port Elizabeth audiences as one half of Aston and Charlie while Peens was front singer for the group Eminent Child for many years.
The new lineup also features Kristo Zondagh and Barry Kilian, known locally as The Linebackers, on bass and drums respectively – and also sees popular songbird Claire Venn joining in the joviality. John Dicken fills out the sound on percussion and guitar and also plays a John Martyn cameo in the show.
The “Jammin’ J-Band” is fronted by newly-married Centrestage musical director Wayne Kallis, who slips effortlessly into Jack Johnson’s surfing booties and then later dons the seductive blues mantle of John Mayer.
“The J-Show joyride judiciously juxtaposes giant hits such as James Blunt’s You’re Beautiful and Bonfire Heart.
“It jostles John Mayer’s Your Body is a Wonderland and Waiting on the World to Change, jiggles Jack Johnson’s Banana Pancakes and Bubble Toes and juggles Jason Mraz’s Won’t Give Up and I’m Yours, amongst many others,” Hemmings added.
James Morrison, John Legend, Janice Joplin and Jack Black, along with a surprise finale, also join the “J-jol”.
Tickets costing R120 each (or tables of eight at R100) can be purchased through Computicket. For block bookings – Wendy on 082-661-6921. – Arts Correspondent