The 2021 Jazz and Classical Encounters Festival Vol 3 at Spier Amphitheatre featuring some of the best South African jazz and classical artists in a feast of contemporary music, takes place on Saturday, December 4, 2021.
The one-day festival at Spier Estate Amphitheatre in Stellenbosch begins at 12.30pm and will touch your soul, with a mix of jazz and classical icons for eight hours. This special edition of the third must-see event will pay tribute to a number of artists who have passed on in the last 12 months including the legendary soprano… Petersen. Honouring, in particular, the legendary soprano Mam Sibongile Khumalo and renowned Cape Town pianist Andre Petersen.
The event includes refreshment breaks and a chance to absorb the exquisite atmosphere on the estate.
The show will open with SAMA 2019 winner pianist Bokani Dyer and his trio, who will present “Neo Native” with Sphelelo Mazibuko on drums and Romy Brauteseth on bass. Dyer, multi-award-winning Motswana-South African pianist, composer and producer, graduated with distinction from UCT and was awarded two international scholarships facilitating training and masterclasses with world-renowned musicians.
Bokani Dyer will be followed by the amazing soprano Zandile Mzazi accompanied by Yohan Chun on piano and Francois Botha on Double bass. They will present work deeply connected with Mam Sibongile Khumalo’s illustrious career. The Eastern Cape has gifted the country and the arts and culture industry with the sensational soprano opera musician, Mzazi.
Over and above getting recognition by local musical bodies, Mzazi has won numerous competitions and awards for her musical genius in places such as Vienna (Austria), Germany, Italy and the USA. Her mother was the biggest influence for her hard work. She says “I worked hard, sacrificed, didn’t have a normal life growing up as a child and didn’t have time to go play with dolls or other girls. It was practice at home and practice at school.” Her hard work has certainly paid off…
One of the foremost violinists in improvised music, Elinor Speirs is a sought-after performer in New York and Boston’s jazz and avant-garde scenes. Originally from South Africa, Elinor began her career as a classical violinist in London, quickly realizing that a life in interpreted music was not a good fit for her explosive creative energy.
The fourth act is New York based South African born pianist, composer and producer Kathleen Tagg. A 2014 South African Music Awards nominee for best classical album, she has performed on four continents with a host of leading musicians, and the breadth of her collaborations defines her multifaceted career. In the past decade, Tagg’s work has focused on identity, ideas of connection and sound exploration.
For the past six years, she has toured on four continents with David Krakauer in acoustic and electric configurations. In 2017, she and Krakauer created Keepers of the Flame, an evening-length theatrical music event for Poland’s Borderlands Foundations’ annual Misterium Mostu festival (Mystery of the Bridge). In 2019 they created a concert-length immersive concert experience with video designer Jesse Gilbert for the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, with Kathleen acting as dramaturg, co-creator and producer. Tagg has produced all of her own albums– from classical and classical-crossover albums to her 2016 album Where Worlds Collide with South African jazz pianist Andre Petersen.
She will present a solo set of her “piano orchestra”: grand piano augmented with many layers of loops and samples all created from the body of the piano to create a giant orchestral texture. The program centers around paying homage to her duo partner and dear friend, the great South African jazz pianist and composer Andre Petersen and his spirit of exploration, openness and deep curiosity.
The festival will end on a high note with the return to the stage after 2 years of absence from one of the leading jazz artists in South Africa, legendary New Brighton born trumpeter Feya Faku. New Brighton born trumpeter Feya Faku started playing music informally at a young age and got help from local musicians. He then enrolled at the University of Natal to study with Darius Brubeck. It is there, in Durban, that his career blossomed.
He, together with Zim Ngqawana, Melvin Peters and Lex Futshane formed a band that supported all South African great musicians who came to perform at the Rainbow Jazz Club and restaurant. In the late 80s, Faku started touring the world with artists such as Abdullah Ibrahim, Bheki Mseleku, Mankunku Ngozi, Sylvia Mdunyelwa and many more. He has recorded 6 albums under his name as leader and has featured on many others with artists around the world.
Feya will be releasing 2 CDs which he recorded in 2021 in Switzerland after a long period of not playing music due to ill health. One with a Sextet and one in duo/trio format. Recordings which are dedicated to Sibongile Khumalo and Andre Petersen.
2021 Jazz and Classical Encounters Festival organiser and co-producer Aymeric Péguillan, of Pegs Music Project said: “Another very challenging year in many respects has passed, and one during which we, unfortunately, lost many amazing artists. Through their musical heritage, and the legacy they left with us, we can rise again and celebrate them, and through them, spread a message of love and joy.
This year, we will pay tribute to 2 immense jazz and classical artists and educators, the incomparable Mam Sibongile Khumalo, a beacon of excellence in both classical and jazz vocal performance, and the unique talent of pianist Andre Petersen. We hope that this very special 3rd edition of the Festival will bring a big dose of joy and energy to our audience and followers.”
Péguillan, co-producer with Penny Lane Studios, adds: “We are excited to carry on in spite of restrictions and limitations, and continue the journey started 2 years ago, where we present the best of two musical art forms that uniquely highlight our South African identity.”
The spectacular Amphitheatre at Spier provides the ideal venue to showcase these spectacular musicians and artists and has several outlets for picnics and casual dining.
Doors open at 12pm
1st Act – 12.30pm (Bokani Dyer trio) 1st Break – 1.30pm (for 45 minutes)
2nd Act – 2.15pm (Soprano Zandile Mzazi and piano) 2nd Break – 3.15pm (for 45 minutes)
3rd Act – 4 to 5pm (Elinor Spiers Quintet) 3rd Break – 5pm (for 45 minutes)
4th Act – 5.45pm (Kathleen Tagg) 4th Break – 6.45pm (for 60 minutes)
5th Act – 7.45pm (Feya Faku 4tet) Event Ends: 8.45pm.
- R 565 – 1 Festival Show Ticket only
- R 1 790 – 2 Festival Show Tickets and Picnic Basket for Two Persons – Picnic can be enjoyed in Amphitheatre during show.
- R 3 450 – Adult B&B for Two for one night, Picnic Basket for Two Persons & 2 Festival Show Tickets – Signature room, including breakfast