The Standard Bank Jazz Festival, Grahamstown 2014, incorporates a variety of disciplines into its programme. Modern Jazz is one of the exiting genres that will be showcased at the festival this year. It is just one part of the exceptional programme which includes Mainstream, Afro-Jazz, Modern Jazz, Youth and the Standard Bank Jazz and Blues Café. Capetonian pianist, saxophonist, composer and band leader Kyle Shepherd is the Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz 2014. Ten years ago this prodigiously talented young man performed in Grahamstown as a member of the Standard Bank National Schools Big Band; now he stands on that same stage on the cusp of a career that promises to be significant for South African jazz. He has already released three critically-acclaimed albums, all of which have earned him South African Music Award nominations and has performed - playing his own music - in 15 countries through Africa, Europe and Asia, including significant festivals in China and Denmark and well-known jazz clubs in Switzerland and Japan. His music pays homage to his musical and cultural roots, but with an internationalism that sets him comfortably on international stages – years spent playing with Zim Ngqawana, Robbie Jansen and Errol Dyers are off-set by collaborations with cutting-edge young musicians from around the world. Shepherd performs his music in two separate shows: Kyle Shepherd Quintet with Buddy Wells (sax), Feya Faku (trumpet), Shane Cooper (bass) and Claude Cozens (drums); and the Kyle Shepherd Trio with Shane Cooper and Jonno Sweetman (drums). Having claimed the SBYA title, Kyle joins an illustrious group of performers that is now marking its 30th year. For three decades Standard Bank has been a central sponsor of the arts in South Africa through their support of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award. Winners of this award have always been musical fire-starters – musicians whom audiences know will set the stage alight each time they set foot on it. This . . .
Exhibition: From Sitting to Selfie: 300 years of South African Portraits Artists: Various Venue: Standard Bank Gallery Dates: 25 June to 6 September 2014 From Sitting to Selfie: 300 years of South African Portraits maps the long tradition of portraiture and its changing use and function in society. From 19th century oil paintings to 21st century video installations, the exhibition raises many interesting questions about how and why people make portraits of themselves and others, and how the reasons for this have changed over time. It’s a visual feast, a richly textured walk through South African art and social history and an opportunity to come face-to-face with those who peopled our past and share our world. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, which includes: an overview of the subject by curator Barbara Freemantle; an introspection by artist Rashada Crouse on her own self-confessed obsession with the human form and the face; a reflection of the ‘search for a correct likeness’ by Sean O’Toole; and a thoughtful essay on the memorial function of portraits by Joni Brenner. These, like the exhibition, provide much food for thought. From Sitting to Selfie: 300 years of South African Portraits runs until 6 September 2014, at the Standard Bank Gallery, corner of Simmonds and Frederick Streets, Johannesburg. The Gallery (Tel: 011 631 4467) is open Mondays to Fridays, 08:00-16:30; on Saturdays, 09:00-13:00; and is closed on Sundays and public holidays. Admission is free. For further information about Standard Bank Gallery see www.standardbankarts.co.za. Author: Fiona Gordon from The Famous Idea. More Info link: http://www.standardbankarts.co.za Images: For high res version/s of One image/s please contact: The Famous Idea. Hugo Naude, Hottentot Chief, undated. Oil on canvas, 44.5 x 34cm. Pretoria Art Museum Photo: Hugo Naude CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Dynamic young presenters are invited to audition to MC the Finals of the 2014 ACT | DALRO | Nedbank Scholarships Awards. After a countrywide series of auditions due to take place in June, the sixth annual ACT | DALRO | Nedbank Performing Arts Scholarships will culminate in a Final performance, allowing the six finalists the opportunity to showcase their acting, dancing and singing abilities to a live audience and an independent panel of judges. Performed in the format of a variety show, the showcase of their talents needs to be brought together by a charismatic presenter into a seamless performance for the audience and judges to enjoy. The finalists will be competing to win one of three performing arts scholarships, with a combined value of R315 000. The event, hosted by UJ Arts & Culture at the University of Johannesburg, will take place on 13 October 2014. “Deciding to audition means that you have already completed the most daunting step,” says Altovise Lawrence, host of the 2013 Scholarship Awards Finals. “Being awarded the chance to be the ACT Scholarship Awards MC for 2013 was the opportunity for me to push myself to the limit. It was a gift and I was given a chance to showcase my talent on one of the biggest stages in my career thus far. The most important lessons that I walked away with was that it requires a team to see a vision through - that I do not have all the answers and that as people, it really makes a difference when we listen more.” “The ability to captivate an audience and take them through a journey that keeps them engaged is increasingly becoming a highly sought skill and career path. As a bank for all, Nedbank is committed to providing such opportunities to young and talented people who want to make their dreams happen” explains Maseda Ratshikuni, Head: Nedbank Cause Marketing. “We have been so impressed with previous MCs of the Scholarship Awards, that they have been approached to take on further work for Nedbank and other . . .
The Standard Bank Jazz Festival, Grahamstown 2014, incorporates a variety of disciplines into its programme. Blues/Funk/World Music is one of the exciting genres that will be showcased at the festival this year. It is just one part of the exceptional programme which includes Mainstream, Afro-Jazz, Modern Jazz, Youth and the Standard Bank Jazz and Blues Café. Collaborations and explorations are the unofficial threads that tie this category together, so it is fitting that this year’s festival sees guitar gurus Dan Patlansky and Albert Frost teaming up for an unmissable collaboration. Albert is one of the most versatile, accomplished and talented guitarists in South Africa. He’s enjoyed success in the blues genre through bands like the Blues Broers and as a solo artist. Together with Arno Carstens, Alberts brought out two SAMA-winning rock albums. An incredible live performer, he has played at every major music festival in the country including Splashy Fen, Oppikoppi, KKNK, Aardklop, and is a regular performer at the National Arts Festival, having won the only Gold 2013 Standard Bank Ovation Award for his Fringe appearance. Dan Patlansky is a remarkably talented guitarist - a blues phenomenon - who is already earning himself lofty titles and accolades for his startling handling of a six-string Fender Stratocaster, and his inspired partnerships – including his sold out performance with Karen Zoid at the festival in 2013. This collaborative performance is a must-see in an outstanding programme. The marimba is a quintessentially African instrument; though uncommon in jazz, one musician who has crossed that boundary with ease is internationally acclaimed chromatic marimba player and percussionist Bongani Sotshononda. For over two decades, Bongani has been responsible for presenting a beautiful fusion of African jazz and world music around the globe, including collaborations with vibraphonists Stephon Harris (New York), Pascal Schumacher (Belgium) and Magda de Vries . . .
(Port Elizabeth) – A growing reggae culture in Nelson Mandela Bay is seeing local musicians create special platforms to support the growing demand for the peace-loving genre made popular by Bob Marley and the Wailers. According to music advocates such as the Bay’s Rushay Booysen, the growing demand for the music was good news for local artists. Booysen is heading to Europe and the US in September in a bid to grow support abroad for the Eastern Cape music industry, which often loses its artists to established centres such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, or overseas. The latest group to tune into the growing reggae culture is TwoTone, a production company headed by husband and wife team Gareth and Ulagh Williams. The couple, along with fellow group members, are ditching their usual cocktail attire for Rastafarian dress for their inaugural Reggae Night show at the Cash Store this Friday (May 30). “Reggae has a very strong presence in Africa, and there is a widespread appeal of the music ranging from teenagers to pensioners,” said Ulagh, TwoTone musical director. “The show is quite a departure from what we are used to, but we have been wanting to do something fun like this for quite some time.” The show comes after the increasingly popular reggae-themed One Blood Music Festival organised by Louis Devawrin, which celebrated its fifth year in March. According to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University anthropologist David Bogopa, the reggae genre has been growing in popularity in the region and across the country. “Reggae culture has grown over the years in the Eastern Cape, and I have observed a similar pattern in other provinces in the country, particularly in Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal and the Western Cape,” said Bogopa. The peace-loving ideals which now play into South Africa’s democracy were once a chance during apartheid for reggae lovers to show their opposition to the oppressive regime, he said. “People were influenced by the political messages they . . .
In a commitment to creating 5-star wine festivals in previously disadvantaged areas for local communities, and a dedication to wine education and visitor integration, TOPS at SPAR has confirmed a three-year headline sponsorship agreement with the TOPS AT SPAR Gugulethu Wine Festival starting in 2015, giving one of Cape Town’s premier Winter Flagship events, and the wine industry, a much-needed platform with which to engage the community in real time and with purpose. This year, the team behind the success of the TOPS AT SPAR SOWETO WINE FESTIVAL and TOPS AT SPAR GUGULETHU WINE FESTIVAL will focus their energies on launching the inaugural TOPS AT SPAR KWAMASHU WINE FESTIVAL, which is set to showcase the country’s premier wines to a VIP audience of movers and shakers kicking off in the ‘city of sun’, KwaMashu, on the 25-26 July 2014 at the K-Cap Film School in Gia Road in KwaMashu. This brings the count to three for which festival goers will be able to plan their annual travel around three distinctly African, very unique, wine festivals in South Africa. Says Mark Robinson, TOPS at SPAR Group Liquor Manager, “TOPS at SPAR is thrilled to confirm their commitment to the TOPS at SPAR Gugulethu Wine Festival and to the residents of Gugulethu, and look forward to another sterling event in 2015. While we regret that the event could not take place in 2014, we look forward to focusing our attentions on the newest festival in our stable, the inaugural TOPS at SPAR KwaMashu Wine Festival. After 20 years of democracy, we agree that it is time to shine the light on this largely unknown hub of creativity and talent perfectly located between Durban and Umhlanga.” Both the TOPS at SPAR Gugulethu and KwaMashu wine festivals found their inspiration in the successful TOPS at SPAR Soweto Wine & Lifestyle Festival, which celebrates its first decade in September. The TOPS at SPAR Soweto Wine & Lifestyle Festival attracts visitors and sponsors from around the world to a . . .
Bad news sells, so they say-but the effects of negative news are catastrophic, according to new research by a renowned university in the United Kingdom. According to Dr. Graham C. L. Davey, an expert in anxiety and professor of psychology at the University of Sussex, UK, "...not only are negatively-valenced news broadcasts likely to make you sadder and more anxious, they are also likely to exacerbate your own personal worries and anxieties." In addition, studies published in the British Journal of Psychology in February 1997 show that negative news, both in print and television, contribute significantly to a reader or viewer's perception, not only introspectively, but also extrospectively - this means that a person's view of society can be altered by what is published. "It is because of these impacts on society," explains Brandon Lurie, Creative Director of the new locally-published online magazine, Ease Mag, "that we saw it as absolutely necessary to introduce a magazine in which only positive news is shared." Ease Mag, which has recently been introduced in South Africa, is the first of its kind in sharing relevant news that is positive. Consequently, as may be understood by Wendy Johnston's article in the same journal in 2011, entitled, "The psychological impact of negative TV news bulletins", negative stories may lead to personal anxiety, including misanthropy and, in special cases, paranoia. Dr. Davey explains that, "...bombarding people with 'sensationalised’ negativity does have genuine and real psychological effects." "There is good in the world," says Lurie, who adds, saying, "Ease Mag is a publication with the sole aim in changing the way people feel about the world - we are a proud team, dedicated to bringing good news to our readers." For more information about Ease Mag, visit: www.easemag.net or contact Brandon@easemag.net. Author: Claudio Milo from Private Copywriter. More Info link: . . .
Celebrating its 10th year, the 2014 TOPS at SPAR Soweto Wine & Lifestyle Festival, in association with the Food Network and the Travel Channel, taking place from 4-6 September 2014 at the University of Johannesburg in Soweto, is going to be ‘Stylin in Soweto’ like never before. Mnikelo Mangciphu, co-founder of the TOPS at SPAR Soweto Wine Festival, and owner of Soweto’s Morara Wine and Spirit Emporium says, “Those of you who thought 2013’s festival couldn’t be topped should think again. This year we are putting our hearts and souls into creating the biggest and best TOPS at SPAR Soweto Wine & Lifestyle Festival yet. Watch this space Soweto!” This 10-year celebration of the senses promises to charm and delight all who experience her. There will be a large variety of wine to taste, fashion fabulousness from Elle, decadent décor from Elle Décor incorporating Weylandts, mouth-watering food from Soweto’s top restaurants offering cuisine fit for a King, lifestyle brands with dazzle and glitz, and extraordinary wine lounges to excite the senses! Visitors to the 2014 event can embark on a taste adventure with Nederburg Wines and Robertson’s Spices, experiencing the flair of matching food and wine from sommeliers that will use opposing taste profiles such as sweet and sour to create perfect wine and food pairings. The festival now attracts more than 10 000 visitors over the 3 evenings with more than 100 exhibitors showcasing more than 900 different wines and food providing an exhilarating experience as visitors find their love of wine tasting top labels such as The Chocolate Box, JC Le Roux, Rupert & Rothschild, Nederburg, Meerlust, Olive Brook and 4th Street to name a handful of the pedigreed varieties to satisfy the most delicate of palates. Says Mark Robinson, TOPS Group Liquor Manager and headline sponsor, “TOPS at SPAR is immensely proud to once again be headline sponsor at the TOPS at SPAR Soweto Wine & Lifestyle Festival. This festival . . .
One of Vuyani Dance Company’s 2014 dance experiences took the form of an “out-of-this-world” dance piece called Full Moon at the Mandela stage at the Joburg Theatre, Johannesburg. Inspired by the mysteries of the universe, this dreamlike piece claims to take audiences “on an epic journey into the celestial realm and back to earth, riding the mysterious carpet of the time-space continuum in a magical flight of the imagination.” Of course the visual possibilities for a show like this show proved irresistible for UK-based Lighting and Set Designer, Declan Randall, who returned to South Africa specifically to work on the project. He used the diverse services of local theatre equipment rental supplier Gearhouse Splitbeam to help bring the concept to life. “I have had a long and wonderfully collaborative relationship with VDC since the company began 15 years back, but since moving to the UK, I had not had the opportunity to work with Gregory Maqoma (founder and executive Director) much, so I took a chance and sent him an email. As it happened, my timing was spot-on; he needed assistance with Full Moon and we have been talking and planning and designing since December last year,” explains Declan. With lunar cycles as the kick off point for the design; the circle motif featured strongly across the overall design language for the show. The notion of incorporating a fairly complex, flown pendulum set piece, with which the dancers could interact, came early and remained unchanged. “The pendulum suggests movement and change, but also consistency – like the lunar cycle and seasons,” he says. “Although it was only used for one section, the pendulum’s impact on the piece was profound - it introduced a unique visual element that also imbued the scene with a sense of impending danger.” A 4m wide circular pendulum base also offered the opportunity to edge light for the different moon phases as well as a surface for additional lighting and audio visual effects. Design in . . .
Aspiring performing artists are reminded that the deadline for participation in the sixth annual ACT | DALRO | Nedbank Performing Arts Scholarships Awards is fast approaching. These substantial scholarships are awarded to enable ambitious youngsters keen to pursue a performing arts course at any accredited South African tertiary institution. Through an annual country-wide competition; participants are assessed on their acting, dancing and singing potential; with the process culminating in a final showcase before an independent panel of industry judges. Auditions are also held to choose a dynamic youngster to emcee the event. Three scholarships will be awarded in 2014, to the values of R150,000; R105,000 and R60,000; totaling R315,000. The winners will be announced after the Final performance, which will be hosted by UJ Arts & Culture at the University of Johannesburg on 13 October 2014. “It is an immense privilege to be able to support young people through their education, especially given the limited scholarships and bursaries available for education in the arts. With DALRO and Nedbank’s generous support, the Arts & Culture Trust has been able to award nine scholarships through an investment of more than R900 000 to date. We are extremely grateful to have partners who share our commitment to the development of artistic talent,” says Chief Executive Officer of the Arts & Culture Trust, Pieter Jacobs. Sponsored by Nedbank Arts Affinity and the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO), the ACT Scholarships Programme is aimed at learners in their final year of secondary education who wish to pursue undergraduate studies in the performing arts. Also eligible for participation are individuals who are between the ages of 18 and 25, but not considered to be professional or registered for an undergraduate course during 2013. For the auditions, participants are required to prepare a prescribed monologue, song and dance. In . . .