As the day for the Hamptons Summer Jazz Festival scheduled for March 1 draws near, there is a growing atmosphere of excitement and anticipation among local jazz enthusiasts.
The fever also extends to the local artists set to rock the stage come Saturday.
They aim to put up memorable performances and entrench themselves into the memories of local music lovers.
The festival will present an opportunity to impress those Batswana who would have been lured only by the prospect of watching South African acts.
“It is about time Batswana believed in their own local talent and not look to international acts for entertainment,” said Shanti Lo in an interview. He says people who have seen him perform should not expect anything other than what they have seen in the past.
“It does not matter whether I perform at the dusty Gaborone West grounds, the GICC (Gaborone International Convention Centre), Botswana Craft or abroad; I always give my all.”
Shanti Lo says he finds it insulting for people to expect a better performance just because he will be performing alongside international acts.
Nnunu Ramogotsi is thrilled at the prospect of sharing the stage with so many local jazz artists.
“Festivals of this magnitude are very rare here in Botswana and it is always a privilege to perform with not just South African greats like Hugh Masekela, Tshepo Tshola and Freshly Ground but also my fellow local jazz artists,” she said.
She said the public can expect an improved performance because it gets better with every show.
“Even the so-called big international artists can always do better,” she said. “You can always take it up a notch.”
Kearoma Rantao also hailed the Hamptons Promoters for organising the festival. “It’s a good concept especially that they intend to do it annually.”
She said people should expect to hear for the first time the remix of her song ‘Meropa’ featuring Dj Krispin.
Rantao believes the festival is exactly what Batswana want because “they seem to enjoy a mix of local and international performances”. There is, she said, a need for more festivals like this.
“What can I say? I’m absolutely thrilled, excited and elated. I ‘m also nervous and honestly a bit anxious about my performance,” said Samantha Mogwe.
The festival provides an opportunity to introduce her debut (soul/R&B) album, set for release in March.
“We have renowned and well seasoned artists on that line-up, and I am honoured to even get this opportunity to perform on the same stage with them. I have made some changes to my set, and have also added a lot of original songs; there is much to be anticipated.”
Other artists also expected to grace the festival include Ndingo Johwa, Shumba Ratshega, Jazzman and British act Sharp Jazz 9.
The event will take place at the Duma FM grounds next Saturday starting at noon until late.