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Over the years the event attracted some of the world’s finest musical proponents and this year the organisers have again booked an amazing line up of international and local musical giants, very much in keeping with the event’s premier status.

At a media launch yesterday some of the big guns were announced and these include Grammy-Award winner Kurt Elling who has been hailed as the jazz male vocalist of his generation; trombone master Wycliffe Gordon; Grammy-winning guitarist Earl Klugh, as well as an appearance by the world famous Duke Ellington Orchestra.

The event will also feature African jazz masters include Caiphus Semenya, one of South Africa’s most celebrated arts and culture ambassadors; Bakithi Kumalo; Manu Dibango from Cameroon and Mory Kante from Guinea..

Festival Director, Peter Tladi says, "Thirteen years ago when we started we had only 1 800 people, last year we had 23 000 people. Instead of only two stages like how we have started, we have eight stages now. The five stages were people pay; we have three stages that are development stages where we put bands that we have developed around the country."

Speaking at the Joy of Jazz media launch, the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Cllr Parks Tau said, “I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our international visitors to Johannesburg. I trust that you will thoroughly enjoy the hospitality of our City and leave our shores as valuable ambassadors for the city and South Africa as a whole”.

He said, “The City of Johannesburg is, once again, delighted, to host the annual Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festival. This production has become a premier event on the national and international music calendar and Johannesburg is proud to be associated with a festival of this calibre”.

“Through the years, Joy of Jazz has become more than an opportunity for South African music lovers to listen to the best artists of their generation. By attracting global names in music, it confirms our undoubted status as the music and cultural capital of southern Africa. We have proven time-and-time again that we have the capacity and the organising ability to host major national and international events, sports meetings, festivals and conferences”, he said.

“Joy of Jazz also makes a valuable and lasting contribution to the growth of our home-grown music industry. Supporting musicians get the opportunity to work with some of the top names and achieve international exposure. It also creates much needed opportunities for our local road crews, lighting and sound engineers as well as support services such as caterers, drivers and security staff”, he emphasised.

Tickets for the 13th annual Standard Bank Joy of Jazz were quickly snapped up at Computicket and the festival will end on Sunday at the Newtown Precinct.

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