Standard Bank Jazz festival celebrates 20 years
2017-03-21 00:00:00.0

Standard Bank is celebrating two decades of sponsorship of one the most unique and credible jazz festival’s in SA, and for 10 days every year turns Grahamstown into “Jazztown” during the National Arts Festival. Its 20th anniversary edition from 30 June to 8 July this year features over 150 musicians from 14 countries across a diverse range of styles and collaborations. 

Included in the line-up are one of the world’s premier multi instrumentalists, the Australian James Morrison Quintet, Estafest from the Netherlands, Andy Narrel, Judith Sephuma, The Soil, Zinzi Makeba and Africa Mkhize, Yaron Herman & Ziv Ravitz, Jimmy Nevis, Marcus Wyatt’s Bomb Shelter Beast, Shane Cooper, Kyle Shepherd, Thandi Ntuli, Desmond and The Tutus and many others.

Recognised as a catalyst for South African Jazz, this year’s festival showcases artists that have made their name at the festival over the past 20 years whilst also giving a platform to exciting new young players – amongst them sensational Brazilian bassist Michael Pipoquinha, who at the age of 21 is receiving critical acclaim worldwide.

Arguably the musicians’ favourite festival, the Standard Bank Jazz festival is known for its ambitious collaborations across styles, continents and generations and manages to attract year after year serious musicians to a small magical corner of South Africa.

For 10 days, the DSG campus – “Jazztown” - and the Monument are jam-packed with performances which continue long after the lights have gone down, where the performances move to the jazz café in downtown Grahamstown where the musicians hang out for some serious spontaneous improvisation.

The festival is probably South Africa’s best-kept jazz secret and the launch pad for South Africa’s next generation of jazz stars. It is here that the Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz makes their big debut performance. This year’s winner, bassist Benjamin Jephta, will be following in the footsteps of successful alumni that include Kesivan Naidoo, Kyle Shepherd, Bokani Dyer and many more.

“If you’re serious about music and jazz, and want an experience that will live with you for a lifetime then put it on your bucket list and come to Jazztown this year,” says Hazel Chimhandamba, Head: Group Sponsorships for Standard Bank who have supported the festival for 20 years.

Move fast and book your accommodation and travel early as thousands of South Africans descend annually upon Grahamstown for the National Arts Festival and Standard Bank Jazz Festival. For more information on where to stay in Grahamstown and surrounds, visit 

Stay informed of the Standard Bank Jazz Festival by connecting with Standard Bank Arts on 

• Facebook:
• Twitter: @standardbankart #Jazztown  #NAF17 


Notes to editors: 

SPONSORSHIP AND FUNDING The Standard Bank Jazz Festival is presented with support funding from The Austrian Embassy; Concerts Norway; Concerts South Africa; The French Institute of South Africa; London Centre of Contemporary Music; Paul Bothner Music; ProHelvetia Johannesburg; The Royal Netherlands Embassy; SAfm; SAMRO; Swedish Arts Council; Swedish Jazz Federation; Mary Lou Meese Youth Jazz Fund and the Swiss Arts Council. The Standard Bank Jazz Festival, Grahamstown is produced by Eastern Cape Jazz Promotions. *Jazztown is what the Standard Bank Grahamstown Jazz Festival is colloquially known as; with hundreds of musicians, students and fans descending on the DSG campus for 10 days of incredible jazz performances. 


The arts in Africa are a powerful expression of our creativity and play an integral part in generating a positive narrative with a global impact. It’s upon this narrative that Standard Bank has established its mandate - supporting a wide range of initiatives to both nurture young talent and showcase the rich diversity of our creative arts. Standard Bank’s commitment to investing across the arts spectrum on the continent represents a 30-year legacy and we are proud to provide on-going support for a variety of key projects, which have evolved into highlights across the South African and African cultural calendar. 

ISSUED BY: Total Exposure 

Media Queries: 

Total Exposure 
011 788 8725 
Ann Toerien

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