The Port Elizabeth Opera House has wrapped up a very successful first season of 20 jazz sessions which saw the recently renovated venue’s intimate Barn Theatre hosting some of the Eastern Cape’s most acclaimed talents.
The success of the weekly Jazz’Afro Sundays sessions has managed to grab the attention of well-known jazz composer Feya Faku, as well as London singer Estelle Kokot, who will be performing in the second edition, expected to kick off next month.
The organisers have also seen an increase in applications of performers for the second edition from 42 to 72 applicants.
The Jazz’Afro Sundays project began in March with the aim of providing Bay residents with live contemporary entertainment for the whole family.
This first season came to an end last Sunday with a performance by local veteran outfit The Sunrise Jazz Band.
The sessions are presented by the Opera House with sponsorships from the municipality and the provincial department of sport, recreation, arts and culture.
Among the performers to have graced the stage, are Bongani Tulwana, Dudley Tito, Cliq Claq, Black Tye and Brown Shuga.
Opera House artistic manager Nobesuthu Rayi said this season has certainly proven to be a success.
“Estelle Kokot heard of it in London and wrote to us saying she will extend her South African tour to Port Elizabeth just because she heard about Jazz’Afro Sundays. Feya Faku said the same thing.”
She added they have also been approached by Vusi Nova and Nathi’s manager Lance Steh with the idea of using the sessions as the basis for a television programme broadcastable on one of the national broadcasters.
The second season of Jazz’Afro Sundays will officially start on September 11 with a performance by Faku and his Swedish Quartet. There will also be an extra performance prior to that by Kokot on August 28.
Opera House PR and marketing officer Cingiwe Skosana said the public had been very responsive to the sessions, with almost all of the shows packed.
“The sessions have been well received with almost all 20 being full houses. The people of the Bay have been yearning for this kind of entertainment,” Skosana said.
More information from Skosana on (041) 585-1300.