Saturday, June 16, 2018

Uh oh is Irvin coming back?

Looks like that festival Irvin Mayfield left the country to go play is running into some weather related problems or something.
The organisers of the Soweto International Jazz Festival have cancelled the second day activities of the inaugural musical event.

“We regret to announce that due to unforeseen circumstances, today’s planned festival activities and evening concert are cancelled.”

The programme for the second day of the festival was supposed to be themed under the ‘Power of Women’ and include workshops from 10am to 4pm.

The evening concert was scheduled to feature the likes of American R&B singer Deborah Cox, Jamaica’s Kreesha Turner, New Orleans artist Yette Summer, Zamajobe Sithole, Lady Zamar and more.

All media interviews with artists were cancelled.

The festival got off to a slow start on Thursday with performances beginning several hours later than the set times. The event was moved inside the Soweto Theatre venue due to the cold weather.

There festival is supposed to be a four-day event that sees artists of different genres from around the world perform and entertain music lovers across the board.

Saturday and Sunday line-ups include performances from Charlie Wilson, Neville Brothers, Marion Meadows, Third World and Spyro Gyro, Irvin Mayfield, Gordon Chambers, Ernie Smith and Micasa among many others.
I'm trying to find out more about this Soweto International Jazz Festival. I think this is the first one although it is described here as "iconic" which is a little confusing. Most of the press I can lazily google up suggests, at the very least, that it is relatively new.  This article talks about its aspirations
"We want young people to see themselves represented. We want people who can afford to buy a ticket and to support local vendors to generate revenue in Soweto,” said Baynes, adding that there would be significant free tickets and discounted tickets for Soweto residents.

But the festival is aimed at the entire city – the entire planet, in fact. International Night will also feature a multigenre line-up, among them Grammy winners, including Deborah Cox, Third World, Bob James, Spyro Gyra, The Neville Brothers and, in his first performance in South Africa, R&B legend Charlie Wilson.

His first ever performance in South Africa, the legendary @ImCharlieWilson, alongside the dynamic local gospel artist @khayamthethwa will be gracing our stage this year! A tribute to Hugh Masekela and Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday.

"We love jazz, but the economic reality of a purely jazz line-up is limited in scope. We are attempting to duplicate the New Orleans Jazz Fest, Newport Jazz Fest or Montreal Jazz Fest models,” said Baynes.

After attending an event at the Soweto Theatre last year, his plan to host a jazz fest became an imperative. His ultimate goal is “to have Pan-African, American and European music fans descending on Soweto”.
If they're trying to duplicate Jazzfest, they're going to have to be a little bit tougher about the weather.  How bad could the cold have been?  This is sweater weather, right?

Also it is difficult to discern how much of the program was actually cancelled. Some stories say "the second day," was cancelled. Some say last night was. And others suggest the whole thing is off.  According to the festival's Twitter account (33 followers) part of the slate is going to be replaced with a "jam session."

So.. if you happen to be in Soweto this evening, maybe stop by the theater to check in on Irvin. Dress warmly!

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