Gaborone is set to come alive on March 1, 2014 when local and South African jazz greats take to the stage at a potentially scintillating show dubbed ‘The Hamptons Jazz Summer-Fest’.
The concert, to play out courtesy of Hamptons Promoters, promises to be the biggest local jazz event in recent memory.
“This is a strong international festival tourism market which will attract local and international visitors to Gaborone in March every year. This dynamic summer Festival offers a unique platform for promotion,” said Debbie Smith of Hamptons Promoters.
With a line-up that includes legends Hugh Masekela and TshepoTshola, the concert is set to arouse feelings of nostalgia among the old-folk. Masekela’s music career dates back over 50 years. His first album ‘Grazing in the Grass’, came out in 1968 and sold more than four million copies.
Tshola started his career in the 1970s as a lead vocalist for Sankomota. Both artists are no strangers to Botswana, having performed in Gaborone as recently as 2011 and 2009 respectively.
Accompanying the two legends will be another of SA’s best groups, Freshly Ground. The group released their debut album ‘Jika Jika’ in 2003 but it was their 2004 offering, ‘Nomvula’, that sky-rocketed them to international stardom. They have also held successful shows in Gaborone. Sharp Jazz 9 (UK) will also grace the event.
Hoisting the Botswana flag on the night will be Ndingo Johwa, Shanti Lo, Nnunu Ramogotsi, Kearoma Rantao, Kabo, Shumba, and the young Samantha Mogwe whose debut album is set for release later this year. “Our aim is to have our local artists have more influential contact with South African big artists and use this priviledge as a stepping stone towards exploring music in UK, America and the rest of the world,” Smith said.
She said the festival will be a daylong celebration of local and international music that aims to celebrate the music of jazz.
“The festival will be steeped in the relaxing ambiance of good music, great company, excellent wine, champagne and other beverages,” she said. “This festival is set against the most beautiful manicured luscious green gardens of Duma FM Grounds with its charm and beautiful orange mangrove trees.”
She said the festival will feature a day to evening concert in the spectacular open air location.
The festival undoubtedly presents a rare opportunity for the usually sluggish and boring Gaborone entertainment industry and provides an ideal outing for both the young and old.
The Hamptons say they hope to grow the concert into a two day festival as in the likes of Standard Joy of Jazz in South Africa.