Freshly Ground to Lead City Jazz Fest

South African Afro-fusion band, Freshly Ground , will be headlining this year’s City of Windhoek Jazz Festival programme which includes six local artists on November 15 at the Hage Geingob Stadium.

Councillor John Moonde launched the festival last Friday.The local artists who will grace the festival include Shishani, Erna Chimu, Mr Bones, Big Ben, Essence and uncle.

Freshly Ground, formed early 2002 is made up of seven talented and diverse musicians from South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Fronted by the dynamic Zolani Mahola, the band exudes energy that has been the bedrock of their success. In 2010, with their already gold fourth studio album, Radio Africa, Freshly Ground broadcasted their unique sound that has turned the seven-piece band into one of South Africa’s most treasured acts, as well as that of the rest of the continent and the world. The band put the finishing touches to Radio Africa in New York in February 2010 and was selected to co-perform in the Official Song for the 2010 World Cup titled Waka Waka- This Time for Africa, the song is features on Listen Up: The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Album, and is a collaboration with Colombian superstar, Shakira. The experienced rhythm section of Peter Cohen (drums) amp Josh Hawks (bass) is complimented by guitarist Julio Sigauque, keyboardist Seredeal Scheepers, Simon Attwell (flute, mbira, sax and harmonica) and violinist Kyla Rose Smith. Hailing from diverse backgrounds, between them the band’s members weave a musical magic that is highly infectious and undeniably groovy.

On the local side Shishani will be performing for the second time at the Windhoek Jazz Festival. Shishani is a singer – song writer loved for her laid back and sultry feel. Not only is her music beautiful and comforting, it also addresses social issues. Her solo career took flight upon her return to Namibia in 2011. Her song Minority was nominated for Best Single Non-Album and Best Music Video at the 2013 Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs). Erna Chimu is well-known for her fusion of Afro-Jazz filled with deep, mellow tones and a surprising burst of energy. She is also reining NAMAs 2014 female artist. Mr. Bones started music at a very early age. He formed the band “Hot Ones” for two years and then joined the Weekend Band in 1980. He recorded his first album in 2007 entitled Tula Tula. Big Ben has established himself as a musical legend in Namibia and won the best instrumentationjazz award at the NAMAs 2013. The Afro-Pop and Afro-Fusion artists is one of most celebrated performers to date inviting full houses to his concerts

Local upcoming acts such as Essence will also perform at this years’ Windhoek Jazz Festival. Essence is a quartet consisting of some of the most talented and versatile female singers in Namibia. They are Esme, Johne’, Avo, Shevon. Each member brings a different experience, vocal range and abilities that blend into the tight vocal presentation, harmonies, soulful melodies and musical experience. The group has established itself as a core ingredient of live music performance, promotion and development around the country. Last but not least is Uncle who started making full time music in 2004, and has been working with various local artists in the music industry. He performed with bands like the Weekend Band and the Ugly Creatures.

The Windhoek Jazz Festival is organized by the City of Windhoek with the support of its sponsors such as Old Mutual, Windhoek Lager, Air Namibia, 99 FM, Jameson, Ad Force and the National Arts Council. Tickets to the festival are available at Computicket outlets countrywide for N$250 in aance and no tickets will be sold at the gate.

Source : New Era