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Pinocchio – It’s a Real Panto!

Kanyi Nokwe (Pinocchio) 2The minute that invitation to the annual year-end pantomime hits your Inbox, your heart gives a little thump of joy … and not just because it signifies that the holidays are around the corner!

This is Janice Honeyman’s 30th pantomime, which is an achievement in itself. The fact that she continues to get it right, drawing in audiences, surprising and delighting the crowds every year, is a testament to her sheer talent and skill. She has a gift of knowing the perfect recipe to thrill her audiences, and Pinocchio, her offering this year is certainly no different. There’s just the right balance of innuendo, political lampooning and catchy tunes (both new and old) to hold the attention of all ages throughout the show. This combines with some truly eye-popping, phenomenal sets and an energetic cast who are all clearly fully immersed in the magical world they’re responsible for creating.

I’m positive that part of Janice’s ongoing ability to succeed at exciting her panto audiences year in and year out, is her own inclusive participation in the process. She’s not merely a writer and director who sits back and watches things happen statically as she’s penned it. When I interviewed some of the cast members during the rehearsal process, the common thread they all spoke about was Janice’s method of character development: allowing each actor to make the role their own and not merely something she’d put down on paper.

Returning to the age-old panto tradition of females taking on male lead roles, Pinocchio, the little wooden puppet who yearns to be a ‘real boy’, is played by Kanyi Nokwe who gives a stellar performance. Her endearing wonderment at the world around her/him is delightful, as is her excellent portrayal of a puppet, unable to move as fluidly as her human counterparts.

Pinocchio'17 (225)The much-loved Tobie Cronje returns to the panto stage as the bumbling Geppetto, who’s always longed for a son. He’s pursued by the hilarious Dame Arletti Spaghetti, played with uproarious aplomb by Grant Towers, in bright, brash, full-on technicolour! She happens to conveniently have a son available, the lazy Lampwick played with appropriate ‘too cool for school’ laid back, nonchalance by Ben Kgosimore. For some reason though, he’s not quite what Gepetto’s looking for in an offspring!

Mark Tatham (Cricket) & Ilse Klink (Bella, Blues Fairy)Mark Tatham bounces around the stage with boundless (actually, seemingly endless) vim and verve as a rather whimsical Jiminy Cricket, instructed by Bella Bouboulina, The Blues Fairy (you read that right – she’s a ‘Blues’ fairy with Southern flair) to be Pinocchio’s conscience. Ilse Klink, seasoned professional of SA stage and screen gives the role her own sprinkling of sparkling pizazz: she’s classy, funny, playful and just the right amount of bossy when she needs to be!

Andre Schwartz (Fox) & Chi Mhende (Cat)And panto always needs its villains doesn’t it? This year, we have André Schwartz as Il Fortunato the Fox who, although not quite as evil as his previous panto counterparts, is quite happy to ham it up as a foxy Phantom of the Opera – it’s inspired and the audience adored it! He’s accompanied by the brilliant Chi Mhende as Pussy Galore. Her claws are permanently out, and she’s wicked enough for the both of them!

The lighting and special effects are spectacular, all complemented by a tight, dynamic ensemble, complete with fresh-faced youngsters from Born to Perform (Stageworx School of Performing Arts).

Pinocchio'17 (21)Being panto, one does tend to slightly lose sight of the theme of the original story being told as it usually gets diluted in the inevitable tweaking of the plot. The actual background of Pinocchio is particularly pertinent to this time of year. It’s all about family values, listening to your conscience and doing the right thing despite all the pressure that’s thrown at you from all sides – and in this day and age it does seem that this happens literally from the day you’re born, as happens to Pinocchio, who candidly proclaims “I’m only one day old!” He still needs to muddle through the ups and downs of the challenges he’s faced with, as one does in life, learning who he can and can’t trust along the way, and having a whole bunch of entertaining and hair-raising adventures while doing so. And we, the audience, are lucky enough to join him on the journey.

Pinocchio, The Ultimate Pantomime Adventure is currently on the Mandela Stage of the Joburg Theatre until December 30th 2017.

To purchase tickets, visit www.joburgtheatre.com or call 0861 670 670.  Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Joburg Theatre box office or by booking and paying via the Nedbank app and at selected Pick n Pay stores.

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PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT

HOP ON THE BUS TO FABULOUS!

PQD DIVA's Credit Lance Peterson

Divas Candida Mosomo, Londiwe Dhlomo & Tembeka Mnguni – Photo Credit: Lance Peterson

From the minute the curtain goes up and the cast of Priscilla Queen of the Desert launches into their enthusiastic, energetic opening number: It’s Raining Men – complete with 3 sparkly, shimmering Diva’s suspended above their heads – you know you’re in for a helluva ride! And that’s exactly what you get when you take your seat for this proudly South African production that takes you on the journey of a lifetime across the Australian outback.

In case you don’t know, this is the touching story of three drag queens who travel across Australia on a rather decrepit bus, which they fondly name Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. On their journey they discover the true meaning of friendship, love and unfortunately also meet up with the animosity that accompanies those who have no understanding of anyone or anything ‘different’. It’s a timeless tale of how strong bonds are formed, how hatred and derision continue to exist despite the advances that we think are being made, and how ultimately we all have the need to be accepted for who we are, regardless of our differences.

Daniel Buys is perfect in the role of Tick (Mitzi); delightfully up-beat, while seamlessly able to shift into a more restrained, reflective mood when his role requires it. And it’s certainly needed as he secretly has more than one reason to be schlepping around the

DAVID DENNIS, DANIEL BUYS and PHILLIP SCHNETLER Priscilla Photo NARDUS ENGELBRECHT 156

David Dennis, Daniel Buys, Phillip Schnetler – Photo Credit: Nardus Engelbrecht

outback in a broken-down bus! He ropes in flighty Adam (Felicia) to join him on his mission, and Felicia has a goal of her very own. Apart from just wanting to have a good time, she’s always wanted to belt out a Kylie number on top of Ayers rock, because who doesn’t love the thought of ‘a cock in a frock on a rock’! Phillip Schnetler camps up the role with spot-on, screaming hilarity (and a touch of Jack from Will & Grace)! The trio is complete with dignified, slightly aging transsexual Bernadette who feels she’s possibly past her prime, but willing to go out with a bang (so to speak!). David Dennis plays the role with gracious grandeur, back-biting as wickedly as any self-respecting old queen would! And I just have to add here, out of these three, I just can’t decide who has the best pair of legs … they’re all to die for!!

Tshepo Ncokoane in Priscilla. Credit NARDUS ENGELBRECHT 16

Tshepo Ncokoane – Photo credit: Nardus Engelbrecht

Mentions must go to the all too fabulous, stupendously over-the-top Miss-Understanding, Tshepo Ncokoane; Candice van Litsenborgh who hams it up as the most hilarious mullet ever, complete with humungous boobs bouncing all over the stage (almost); Chantal Herman as a cheeky mail-order bride who’s sick and tired of being overlooked; and last but most definitely not least, veteran actor, James Borthwick who plays the simple, but simply adorable, big-hearted mechanic, who might just have more to him than meets the eye.

Ultimately though, producers Hazel Feldman and Tony Feldman of Showtime Management have put together a cracker of a team who have have masterfully overseen all the minutiae of this show, ensuring that they collaborate perfectly to make it the glitter and glitz extravaganza that it is. Director Anton Luitingh keeps things crisp, smart and snappy and technical director Alistair Kilbee oversees the constant ebb and flow of the pizazz that abounds throughout. Resident choreographer, Duane Alexander ensures (I have no clue how) that the 28-strong cast gets every step in synch, in heels nogal!  Brian Schimmel, one of SA’s top music directors leads the 9-piece orchestra through numerous well-loved numbers (I Say a Little Prayer, Don’t Leave Me This Way, True Colours, I Will Survive … and many more) that will have audiences singing at the top of their lungs, not only during the show, but when they leave too!

And as for the costumes … the headdresses, the shoes … they’ll simply take your breath away! There’s so much colour, so much to look at … it’s a feast for the eyes and an extreme celebration of the imagination!

HR I WILL SURVIVE, Priscilla. Credit- Nardus Engelbrecht

Photo credit: Nardus Engelbrecht

Best of all though is the utter enjoyment that shines from the face of each and every cast member. This is a show that begs for an audience, and has audiences begging for more

Priscilla Queen of the Desert is a must-see. It’s fabulous fun, thoroughly entertaining, and if you don’t walk out of that theatre with a huge smile on your face, then you lied and didn’t actually see the show!

It’s on at the Teatro, Montecasino until 18 June, 2017.

BOOKINGS: Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, or visit www.computicket.com

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

This musical contains some strong language and adult themes, therefore parental guidance is recommended for children under the age of 12

SA MUSIC ICON STEVE KEKANA LIVE IN CONCERT IN IPHUPHO THE DREAM

With Special Guests Joe Nina, Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse and Ladysmith Black Mambazo

HOSTED BY IKUSASA (Ikusasa Arts Development Projects)

2 shows only : Saturday 29 April at 19h00 and Sunday 30 April at 13h00 on The Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre

Steve Kekana 4

This promises to be an unforgettable 2-hour show of pure nostalgia, with Kekana delivering all his hits from the start of his career back in 1978, to date.

Kekana lost his eye sight at the age of five, but has never let this stand in the way of fulfilling his dream. This concert aims to entertain and inspire those living with disabilities or who face challenges which may be regarded as stumbling blocks towards fulfilling their dreams.  This is the reason for show’s title: Iphupho the Dream.

Steve Kekana 3Kekana has over 20 albums to his credit and is one of the few artists who has managed to cross over varying genres, from Mbhaqanga, to Pop, Gospel and Soul. His decision to not confine himself to a single genre was frowned upon at the outset as it was believed that he would not be able to sustain a fan-base. But he proved his critics wrong and dispelled all myths about cross-genres, as to date he is amongst the most loved and respected local musicians of his time.

In the past, Kekana has also collaborated and featured on various songs with some of South Africa’s greatest musicians such as Joe Nina, PJ Powers, Soul Brothers, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the late Nana Coyote. His unique and high range tone have always made him stand out from the crowd.

Born in 1958 in Zebediela, Limpopo, Kekana lost his sight at the tender age of five, and attended a school for the blind in Pietersburg. During his school years, he nurtured his love for singing, and was a member of amateur groups.

In 1979 and 1980, Kekana won what was then known as the “SABC Black Music Award” for Best Male Vocalist. Further awards followed, with the singer taking the “Top Male Vocalist” award on Radio Zulu, and being the runner-up on the Tswana and Sotho Radio Stations.

Since 2001, he frequently collaborated with fellow vocalist Nana Coyote, and his links Steve Kekana 1with a younger generation were solidified through his association with singer / producer Joe Nina, who produced his most recent album “African Lady”. Kekana, Coyote and Nina regularly appeared on stage together, and recorded under the name “The Trio”.

Kekana holds a B Juris and LLB degrees, and has written on Intellectual Property from the perspective of a songwriter.

ABOUT THE PRODUCER
Simphiwe Majozi, an actor on the SABC 1 telenovela Uzalo, will be hosting and producing this first ever tribute concert to Steve Kekana.

Majozi, who plays the role of a ruthless criminal known to many as Sbu on Uzalo is also a director of Ikusasa Arts Development Projects (“Ikusasa”). The organisation focuses on developing and uncovering new talent, whilst celebrating artistic legends and icons in the music industry. He believes that young and old in the entertainment industry can have a mutually beneficial relationship, learning and growing from each other.

Tickets are R150 and can be purchased at www.joburgtheatre.com, via Webtickets or by calling Joburg Theatre’s Box Office on 0861 670 670.

A DOUBLE DOSE OF FUN IN 1 WEEKEND!

The Full Morty : The Fringe @ Joburg Theatre – 8:00pm, Friday, 31 March 2017

AND

Live Jukebox : The Fringe @ Joburg Theatre – 8:00pm, Saturday, 1 April 2017

THE FULL MORTY and LIVE JUKEBOX have both previously enjoyed highly successful seasons, and Ginger Cube Productions have listened to audience demand are are bringing back this double dose of fun over one weekend, re-staging BOTH shows – for one night only – on Friday 31 March (The Full Morty) and Saturday 1 April (Live Jukebox) at The Fringe Theatre, Joburg Theatre. Both shows are at 8pm.

THE FULL MORTYThe Full Morty

Tickets : R120

Bookings at www.joburgtheatre.com / Webtickets / call 0861 670 670

Critically acclaimed actor, madly talented vocalist and professional k*k talker Mortimer Williams navigates that unchartered territory which fascinates us all (especially females)… the mind of the South African male.

It’s a mash-up of  stand-up comedy and cabaret in this hilarious show as Morty takes us through stories and songs while attempting to demonstrate just what it is that makes the SA male tick… with a few surprises along the way!

Morty is the perfect combination; a triple threat of talent, charisma and devilish naughtiness which all combines for a perfect evening of entertainment for guys and girls of all ages (as long as they’re over 16).

The Full Morty first opened  in April 2015 and has exploded onto the SA theatre scene, playing two successful seasons at the Joburg Theatre and two sell-out National Arts Festivals in Grahamstown (2015/2016).

Discounted tickets for groups of ten or more, scholars, students and pensioners are at R100 each and available only by calling Joburg Theatre directly on (011) 877 6853/6815.

Live JukeboxLIVE JUKEBOX

Tickets : R120

Bookings at www.joburgtheatre.com / Webtickets / call 0861 670 670

It’s the only live musical game show in the country! And it’s back for another kick-ass evening of musical mayhem!

Live Jukebox is the brainchild of Ginger Cube Productions. It made its debut at the 2016 National Arts Festival and has been performing to raucous crowds ever since.

Seasoned entertainer Mortimer Williams (of Skeem Saam fame) and theatre personality Kristy Suttner collaborate in this musical rollercoaster that gets audiences tapping their feet and bopping in the aisles.  They’re supported by a 4-piece live band, lead by musical genius Saranti Reeders.

So how does it work?

Remember the TV game shows Liriekeraai and Noot vir Noot?   What about Don’t Forget the Lyrics or Whose Line is it Anyway?

Live Jukebox is a musical gameshow where the audience calls the shots.  In the safe hands of the on-stage team, contestants are led through various games from music trivia to lipsync battles; guess the note and more, with the audience selecting the genre for each game, such as pop, rock, local and decades 60’s through 90’s.

Whether you’re into quietly tapping your foot to your favourite Parlotones classic or unleashing your inner Diva on stage with a Whitney Houston impersonation, Live Jukebox has something for everyone.

As that jukebox is played, the audience decides the content of the show and how their night will turn out, ensuring that no two shows are the same.

Book your seat for Joburg’s sensational musical comedy gameshow and experience a night out at the theatre that will leave you begging for more!

Discounted tickets for groups of ten or more, scholars, students and pensioners are at R100 each and available only by calling Joburg Theatre directly on (011) 877 6853/6815.

The duration of the show is 1 hour 30 minutes including an interval with no age restriction.

You can also purchase tickets to see BOTH shows for a R150 package deal.

ZOE MODIGA’S LONG AWAITED ALBUM LAUNCH

YELLOW : THE NOVEL

Zoe Modiga 1ZOE MODIGA’s fans have been waiting a long time for this and finally – the  jazz and soul princess is launching her eagerly awaited album Yellow : The Novel on Friday 24 March at The Fringe @ Joburg Theatre at 8pm.

The music industry sat up and took notice of Zoe Modiga when she won the 2015 SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition for singing (Jazz Music). In 2016 she then went on to become a household name as one of the most popular contestants in the first season of The Voice SA, reaching the Top 8.

Her voice is instantly recognisable on Amazing Grace under the film scoring of Kyle Shepherd in the Oscar nominated movie Noem My Skollie.

On Yellow : The Novel, Zoe Modiga has created a body of work inspired by self-realisation and the human experience, much like a novel, inviting the audience to themselves.

This 23-track album (uniquely broken up into “Chapters”), with an exquisite, eye-catching cover, has a Soul, Jazzy, African feel: Compositional work with stage presence presentation.

She’s thrilled to invite her fans to join her in celebrating this momentous occasion.

ZOE MODIGA ALBUM LAUNCH – YELLOW: THE NOVEL is taking place for one night only on Friday 24 March at 8pm at The Fringe Theatre @ Joburg Theatre.

Tickets are R150 and R200 and advanced booking is essential as space is limited.  Bookings are now open at www.joburgtheatre.com, by calling 0860 670 670 or through Webtickets.

Yellow: The Novel will be available for sale for the first time at the Album Launch for R70, otherwise it’s included in the top Album Launch ticket price of R200.

Yellow: The Novel will thereafter be available for purchase on all digital platforms as from 25 March.

Download the first single from the album Love (Yahweh) now at https://itunes.apple.com/za/album/love-yahweh-single/id1193898249

ABOUT ZOE MODIGA

Zoe Modiga 2Zoe Modiga was born, Palesa Nomthandazo Phumelele Modiga in Pietermaritzburg. Her love for music at a very young age earned her entrance the National School of the Arts in Braamfontein, where she studied classical piano, clarinet and vocals. Her time at the school provided an excellent platform to pursue music as a passion and career in her later years.

Over the past few years, with some experience behind her, this singer-songwriter’s talent has opened a number of doors in the music industry. Zoe has been fortunate enough to be part of celebrated festivals such as the Aardklop Festival, Artscape Youth Jazz Festival, UCT Jazz Festival, Joy of Jazz and The Cape Town International Jazz Festival and the winner of the Jazz Category of the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition 2015.

On these respected platforms she has had the privilege of sharing stages with the likes of Lira, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Louis Maholo, Gloria Bosman, Matthew Gold, The Kiffness, Breakfast Included, the Frank Paco Art Ensemble, Mark Fransman, Sibusiso Dhlamini, Marcus Wyatt, Benjamin Jephta, Tshepo Tsotetsi and many more.

Despite sharing the stage with a number of performers, Zoe’s pursuit for her own identity maintained its own strong force in these collaborations. She aspires to pursue a multifaceted career where her singing, songwriting and performing is challenged, revered, inspired and influential.

This identity within her music attracted the ear of a number of respected recording artists and she featured on the following tracks in recent times:

  • “Pushing On” with The Kiffness;
  • “Dream” with The Kiffness;
  • “Musukungibambezela” with Frank Paco Art Ensemble;
  • as well as upcoming projects with Soul Sessionz, Kaapstad and the JoKunnuji Experiment.

Enjoy these videos of Zoe Modiga :

Zoe Modiga EPK
https://youtu.be/zDYkF2eB96Q

Zoe Modiga – 2015 SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Winner (Jazz Music)

https://youtu.be/V45pGeqqQLc

Follow Zoe Modiga on Social Media:
Twitter:           @zoe_modiga
Instagram:     @zoemodiga
Facebook :      Zoe Modiga

Original SA RENT Cast Reunites for 1 Night Only!

rentsa-2

Save the date! Showtime Management’s 10th Anniversary Production of RENT IN CONCERT takes place at Montecasino’s Teatro on Monday, 15 May 2017 at 8pm. Tickets are now on sale at Computicket.  Presented by Showtime Management, this celebratory one night fund-raising concert features the much loved iconic and popular numbers from the stage production of RENT including Seasons of Love, Out Tonight, Without You, Will I and Take Me Or Leave Me performed by the original South African cast who reunite especially for this concert. They last performed together to rave reviews in the Tony and Pulitzer Award winning musical production of RENT, produced by Showtime Management ten years ago at the Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein and then Artscape, Cape Town.

I confess, I’m an official Renthead! From the first time I saw the show onstage at The Alexander Theatre  I was hooked! So maybe I arrived at the Rent party a little later than others – but at least I got there, and I never left!

“One is tempted to return just to relive the glorious music,” raved the Tonight on 20 July 2007 and now “Rentheads”, fans of the musical and theatre-goers are invited to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy RENT IN CONCERT.  Based loosely on Puccini’s La Boheme, the musical production of RENT follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished friends struggling to make it in New York’s East City Village as they struggle with relationships, drugs, loss, love, creativity, HIV/AIDS and paying their “rent”.  This concert version presents the entire score sung and performed with minimal staging. It’s all about the music, the songs and the strength of the beautiful voices that will have audiences singing along or sitting mesmerized, longing for more.  All proceeds go to HospiceWits whose “no end to caring” motto resonates with RENT’s themes of love, losing a loved one to a terminal illness, friendship and support. The music and lyrics written by Jonathan Larson performed by the South African cast tell the touching story though song.

“HospiceWits has provided the highest quality of care and support to hundreds of thousands of hopeful patients and families affected by life threatening illnesses in Johannesburg over the past 38 years. The funds provided by this event will be used for the continuation of that care in our compassionate environment which enables patients to feel supported and encouraged on the journey of life threatening illness.” says Joy Ruwodo, Marketing Manager, HospiceWits.

The cast is passionate about the concert and eager to give of their time to support HospiceWits. All the 2007 leads – including Shaun V who is flying in from Dubai – and some from around the country, sees Duane Alexander, Aubrey Poo, Zane Gillion, Thokozani “Zano” Nzima, Talia Kodesh, Sivan Raphaely and Ilse Klink together with fellow cast members Chantal Herman, Jaco Van Rensburg, Anton Luitingh, Megan Victor-Carelse and Lorri Strauss on stage on 15 May. New to this staging will be Phillip Schnetler and Nicholas “Nicksoul” Nkuna, who are looking forward to joining the original performers.

What started as a light-hearted Facebook chat about getting together for the 10th Anniversary of RENT is now becoming a reality.  Hazel Feldman and Tony Feldman of Showtime Management, the original producers of RENT are lending their full support to RENT IN CONCERT and Montecasino, the concert host is providing the Teatro as the concert venue. Technical companies Gearhouse Splitbeam, ProSound and Computicket have donated their services while Music Theatre International New York and the Jonathan Larson Estate has waivered performance royalties, therefore greatly assisting in raising funds for Hospice Wits.

The concert also reunites the 2007 creative team of choreographer Jill Somers with Anton Luitingh and Duane Alexander who will recreate their performances in RENT as well as co-direct the concert version. Music Supervisor, Bryan Schimmel will once again, lead the band.

“Rent radically changed the Broadway musical in the 1990’s, so in keeping with our vision to continually provide world class entertainment that is unique to our venue, the Teatro at Montecasino is thrilled to be hosting this once off event to raise money for a very hardworking organisation such as Hospice Wits” Bryan Hill, General Manager, Teatro

No day but TODAY! Tickets for this one night only concert are limited and patrons are encouraged to book at Computicket as soon as possible. #RentConcertSA

BOOKINGS: Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, visit www.computicket.com or visit your nearest Computicket service centre.

 

CATCH THE VALENTINES BLUES!

Fall in love with nature, art and the blues in the Cradle of Humankind this Valentine’s Day

valentines-blues-2017

On Sunday, the 12th of February 2017 NIROX Sculpture Park, in association with Caleo Wealth Management, MINI and the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, invite you to celebrate Valentine’s Day with that special someone with a collection of South Africa’s finest Blues’ musicians, surrounded by the serene beauty of the NIROX Sculpture Park.
The exciting line up of musicians include:
            – Albert Frost
            – Gerald Clark
            – Ann Jangle
            – Gunshot Blue
            – Tidal Waves
            – Manny Walters
The spectacular surroundings of NIROX Sculpture Park offer an oasis in which to enjoy a day of leisurely romance.
One can also take a romantic walk around this scenic venue to view the beautiful art and sculptures on display.
Delicious, healthy and locally sourced cuisine, courtesy of the Epicurian Emporium – a collective of high-end diverse food traders – will be available for purchase. The curated bar will offer champagne, wines, lavish cocktails and local craft beers for those wishing to toast this special day.
Lovers and friends are invited to enjoy a day of fine food, Blues legends, nature and art.
 Co-producer of the acousticsNOW concert series at NIROX, Lloyd-Anthony Smith is excited to be hosting this event, following the previous 2 successes. I had the opportunity to pose some questions to him.
  1. How did the ‘Valentines Blues’ idea originate?

Our music programme consists of various different genres – folk, jazz, classical, roots, instrumental guitar – and we had always wanted to host a blues concert: thus Valentine’s Blues was born. A celebration of Love and the Blues. Often two closely related topics.
  1. And from there … how long until the actual event came into being?

Due to our now established music programme, once we have a new idea/theme/concept we are generally able to produce the concert easily from there. By way of example we hosted our first ever opera at NIROX Sculpture Park last month; Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’ was performed in our outdoor amphitheatre.
  1. How did you go about finding such a beautiful, perfect venue?

I see NIROX as a great gift to the World. The Foundation exists to foster the arts and hosts various sculptors, painters, poets, photographers, dancers, musicians, etc from all corners of the globe. NIROX Sculpture Park is a curated space of undulating lawns, meandering waterways and dams and large-scale contemporary sculpture neatly nestled in the Cradle of Humankind.
  1. Why Blues? Why not Jazz … many would argue that it’s just as romantic?

Apart from already having a successful springtime jazz concert ‘Jazz in the Cradle’, Love and the Blues are often entangled in each other. But all musical genres carry a degree of romanticism.
  1. How do you source your participating musicians, or do they request participation?

We look to foster young musicians who we believe should be given the opportunity to perform to a discerning audience. Added to that we also host more seasoned professionals but encourage/challenge them to perform in different formats to their usual set-ups. This balance sets the tone and flow for the day.
  1. Any plans to do ‘Valentines Blues’ in any other cities?

Valentine’s Blues has its home at NIROX…
  1. Why in Joburg? (Not that we’re complaining AT all!!!)

Thanks entirely to the pristine surroundings of NIROX Sculpture Park in the and the Foundation’s kindness in allowing us to host this programme on their premises.
  1. What can people expect when they come to this year’s event if they’ve never been before?

Guests can look forward to a glorious day of Music, Food, Art & Nature in the  Cradle of Humankind. Gates open at 10h00 with the music programme commencing at 11h00. Epic festival cuisine will be on offer courtesy of the Epicurean Emporium, as well as other accoutrement including champagne, cocktails, a Bombay Sapphire gin & tonic bar, oysters, desserts, artisan ice-cream, coffees, etc. The festivities conclude around sunset.
  1. And if those attending have attended either of the previous 2 Valentines Blues events, are there any surprises in store? Anything new on the program?

Somewhat ambitiously we are hosting NIROX’s largest-ever artists residency in the preamble to the concert. We have invited the entire line-up to stay at NIROX for the 2 days preceding the concert for a chance for the artists to engage, collaborate and rehearse for Sunday.
In addition, we have invited additional instrumentalist to supplement each set by way of cello, flute, saxophone, harmonica, keys, bass, lapsteel slide guitar and voice to create an entirely unique production.
  1. What’s the over-riding message you’re trying to convey with your event?

The event is first and foremost a showcase of the invited artists. This access to the arts, coupled with a beautiful natural environment and curated food and beverage selections, creates a space for guests to enjoy and engage in the experience.

 

What you’ll need to know:
Gates open at 10h00.
Tickets are available for online pre-sale from www.acousticsnow.org at R330.
Tickets for sale at the gate at R360 – subject to availability.
Kindly note no food or drinks allowed on the premises, these may be bought on site.
Bring a picnic blanket for your comfort and allow NIROX Sculture Park to host you and your special person.
Attendance is restricted. Right of admission reserved.
Tickets for children under 12 are R165 online and R180 at the gate.
Infants aged 2 and under enter free of charge.
(While children are welcome, parents are required to ensure that they do not disturb the performance).

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