International Jazz Extravaganza hits a high note in Durban

FROM the big-band sounds of swing to the soulful notes of rhythm and blues, jazz-lovers will want to diarise June 17 when the second International Jazz Extravaganza (IJE) returns to Durban once more.

Taking place at the Durban International Convention Centre-Arena (Durban ICC-Arena), a star-studded line-up including award winning American classic, Monty Alexander, will take to the stage delighting audiences and inspiring the true jazz connoisseurs among us.

President and chief executive officer of the IJE, Sindile Xulu said: “The International Jazz Extravaganza is growing into Durban’s very own signature event for those passionate about jazz both in South Africa and from abroad.”

“It is an intimate one-night-only affair featuring leading international and South African jazz musicians. Offering a superior four act line-up, five-star hospitality and an all-round best-of-class experience, the IJE is where music, fine-dining and networking come together in a luxurious setting.”

Well-known local artist and SAMA nominated Nduduzo Makhatini, who has won the hearts of jazz lovers internationally and sensational new vocalist and pianist Thandi Ntuli, are part of the line-up, which includes Monty Alexander and music icon Kurt Elling.Image result for artist and SAMA nominated Nduduzo Makhathini

Makhanya who grew up in the small-town uMgungundlovu near Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal, was surrounded by music. Coming from a very musical family- his mother was a pianist and his father a guitarist – he was exposed to a range of music including traditional Zulu music.

He recalls turning the knob on the radio until it reached the end, where he would listen to Indian music.

He was part of the choir at school and would sing at church, and until he was finished school, his voice was his instrument.

It was only after high school that he started to study jazz piano.

“For this year’s performance, I will be focusing on my umbrella project that I call ‘iKhambi’, which celebrates blackness and our various modes of healing through music. The IJE is also a wonderful platform to highlight my home province, KZN, and what it has to offer in terms of cultures, traditions, food and music,” said Makhanya.