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Xolani Mthombeni

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Floating into a genre, propelling to understanding a mother sound

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jazzontheriver (1)

Jazz is an American classic and therefore we present it to you as such, – without nonsense, funny hats and funny hair. These are the words that kick off one of a few classic big band recordings. When Buddy Rich uttered this statement he was asked, What is jazz?

Over the years, the question has been answered by a number of musicians and artists to an extent that their answers are affirmations. The questions exigency has led to asking, Who are the custodians and curators of a genre that has gone on to being the mother of genres?

In quintessence, the question that should be directed to consumers is: What determines this amorphous genre that has given birth to a multitude of genres over the decades? By doing so people will understand why the sub-genres have been apportioned according the epoch that has shaped it over time.

Jazz on the River concert has painted a thumbnail sketch on why the jazz debate is ongoing recondite to even the most astute aficionados.

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In its infancy, the concert hosts patrons that are intrigued, and revel in the idea of listening to jazz. Despite not being a straight ahead jazz festivity, it attracts over five thousand people. It is made up of headlining acts and accompanied by local bands that are making waves in their respective regions. The concert could be regarded as a gateway to the depth of the genre.

Nonetheless, on a Sunday, audiences came from far and near to end Heritage Sunday with beautiful acts and familiar sounds. The atmosphere was jazz-filled.

The line up was exceptional, considering the latency of the event. The maestros titles of those who took to the stage are not self-bestowed, but through the recognition of their work.

How affable is a rip-roaring crowd that chants to even the latest lyrics?

Oliver Mtukudzi embraced song and rhythm in its entirety by teasing audiences and feeding their insatiable appetite for music and dancing. Well, with our heritage adjoined to song, the modest giant Vusi Mahlasela presented tunes that reminded us where we are headed with a catalogue that has seen the band almost being the repertoire of South African music in the continent and abroad. As the crowds voices ignited, Monday’s existence was out of mind. Zonke Dikana with her bijou ensemble enthralled the masses. Disc jockeys asserted that this is the way to start the end of the weekend.

While there are features that need to be improved, the event is a platform to drill out indolence in an industrial town that is afoot in producing extraordinaire individuals that are yet to be presented to the world.

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