2014 WINDHOEK JAZZ FESTIVAL LAUNCHED
The 2014 Windhoek Jazz Festival was officially launched in Windhoek on Wednesday, the 13 August 2014 at the Namibia Breweries, whereby the City of Windhoek unveiled the international and local artists who will be entertaining the Jazz fans, come the evening of the 15 November 2014, at the Hage Geingob Stadium.
During the official launch, Her Worship the Mayor, Cllr. Agnes Kafula in a speech read on her behalf, by Cllr. John Moonde, emphasized the importance of music as a universal language that can unite people across cultures. Its unifying power could be attested with the successes of the Windhoek Jazz Festival over the years since inception. “Jazz music in its various genres in Namibia has indeed proven to be a growing brand of which many of us are able to relate to. Thus the hosting of the Windhoek Jazz Festival continues to significantly contribute to elevating Windhoek’s status as a vibrant City, both culturally and artistically”, said the Mayor.
The international artists to grace the stage this year, amongst others, is Freshly ground, formed in early 2002 and is made up of seven talented and diverse musicians from South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Fronted by the dynamic Zolani Mahola, the band exudes a live performance energy that has been the bedrock of their success. In 2010, with their already gold fourth studio album, ‘Radio Africa’, Freshly ground broadcasted their unique sound, a sound that has turned the seven-piece into one of South Africa’s most treasured acts, to the rest of the continent and the world. The band put the finishing touches to ‘Radio Africa’ in New York in February 2010 and was selected to co-perform in the Official Song for the 2010 World Cup. Entitled ‘Waka Waka- This Time For Africa” the song is featured on “Listen Up: The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Album™,” and is a collaboration with Colombian superstar, Shakira. The experienced rhythm section of Peter Cohen (drums) & Josh Hawks (bass) is complimented by guitarist Julio Sigauque, keyboardist Seredeal Scheepers, Simon Attwell (flute, mbira, sax and harmonica) and violinist Kyla Rose Smith. Hailing from diverse backgrounds; between them the band’s members weave a musical magic that is highly infectious and undeniably groovy.
The local artists are: Shishani also performed at the Windhoek Jazz Festival in 2012. A singer – song writer loved for her laid back and sultry feel. Not only is her music beautiful and comforting, it also addresses social issues. Her solo career took flight upon her return to Namibia in 2011. Her song ‘Minority’ was nominated for Best Single Non-Album and Best Music Video at the 2013 Namibian Annual Music Awards. Erna Chimu is well-known for her fusion of afro-jazz filled with deep, mellow tones and a surprising burst of energy; is also reining Namibian Music Award 2014 female artists of the year. Mr. Bones has started music at a very early age; he formed the band "Hot Ones" for two years and then joined the Weekend band in 1980 where they entertained a variety of people. He has recorded his first album in 2007 entitled "Tula Tula". Big Ben has established himself as a musical legend in Namibia and recently won the best instrumentation/jazz award at the Namibian Annual Music Awards 2013; the Afro-Pop and Afro-Fusion’s is most celebrated performing artist to date with a track record of concerts filled to capacity.
The local upcoming acts such as Essence will also perform at this years’ Windhoek Jazz Festival. ESsence is a quartet consisting of some of the most talented and versatile female singers in Namibia. They are Esme, Johne’, Avo, Shevon. Each member brings a different experience, vocal range and abilities that blend into the tight vocal presentation, harmonies, soulful melodies and musical experience. The group has established itself as a core ingredient of live music performance, promotion and development around the country. Last but not least is Uncle who started making full time music in 2004, and worked with various local artists in the music industry. He performed with bands like the weekend band & the ugly creatures.
The Windhoek Jazz Festival is organized by the City of Windhoek with the support of its sponsors such as Old Mutual, Windhoek Lager, Air Namibia, 99 FM, Jameson, Ad Force and National Arts Council. The festival will take place on the 15 November 2014, at the Hage Geingob Stadium; gates will be open from 16h00. Tickets to the festival are available at Computicket outlets countrywide for N$250 in advance and no tickets will be sold at the gate.
Windhoek Jazz Festival organisers