Opera House to end the jazz year on a high note

VuDu band members, from left, Wesley Keet, Asanda Myataza, Grant Allison and Kristo Zondagh

The PE Opera House concludes its jazz programme with the last Jazz Afro Sundays show on Sunday. In this year’s programme the Opera House also introduced the first Mandela Bay Jazz Legacy Festival, held last month.

The two-night festival showcased a star-studded lineup featuring Sizwe Yaze, Andile Yenana, Dumza Masawana, John Edwards, Lex Futshane and Themba Ncethani, all accompanied by their band members.

At last month’s programme launch, Opera House manager Monde Ngonyama said the festival sought to make up for there being no dedicated jazz festival to the home of jazz – the Eastern Cape.

“We want to look at the festival and see when and how it can grow. This is the beginning, and while it is here in Port Elizabeth, it is an embrace of all the province has to offer,” he said.

After attending the festival on both days, jazz columnist Government Zini was impressed but expressed concern about “the absence of our ladies of song at the event”.

“I felt proud that all the artists on stage performed original material which offered a fresh musical flavour,” he said.

Closing off the programme at the Barn Theatre on Sunday will be Bay jazz outfit VuDu.

The quartet – Kristo Zondagh on drums, Wesley Keet on keys, bassist Grant Allison and vocalist Sisanda “Sunda” Myataza – look forward to performing together at the Opera House for the first time.

“Doing a Jazz’ Afro Sundays [session] is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time and we’re happy to finally get the opportunity,” Keet said.

The group recently performed at the Cape Town Jazz Festival, a gig they scooped after winning the 2016 espYoung Legends talent search.

The show starts at 5pm and tickets are R70 for the general public and R50 for pensioners. For bookings, contact (041) 586-2256.

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