Science & Cocktails with Jazz
Live at The Orbit! 

(Scientific presentation followed by SA Jazz)

Tuesday 25th April 2017 – 20 h 00 – R 20
Science & Cocktails Why do we get lightning? Does lightning strike the same place twice? Does Johannesburg have the most lightning in the world? Are we, in fact, getting more lightning?

How does lightning injure, or even kill people, and what can we do about it?

Lightning is an impressive and dramatic phenomenon. But the form it takes is determined by a process that is not visible to the human eye. In this episode of Science & Cocktails Johannesburg, Ian Jandrell will make the invisible visible by explaining why, and how, lightning forms, and why objects on the ground actually attract lightning.

Prof. Jandrell will explain the leader mechanism of breakdown in air and show some remarkable images of lightning formation. He will also describe the six mechanisms of lightning injury – two of which have a very close association with research undertaken in South Africa since 2000. During this evening’s presentation, we will also have an opportunity to review the very latest data from the South African Lightning Detection Network (SALDN) and find out what it tells us about lightning activity over the subcontinental region.

Afterwards, energising cocktails at the bar while Masechaba and The Soul Peanuts treat us to an electrifying mix of Afro-Soul, Neo-Soul and Jazz.

Masechaba Phakela – Vocalist
Yonela Mnana – Piano
Amaeshi Ikeshi – Bass
Siphiwe Shiburi – Drums

En Fuego – The Orbit’s Salsa Band
Live at The Orbit!

Wednesday 26th April 2017 – 20 h 30 – R 150

En Fuego“En Fuego” is inspired by the dynamic New York style Latino sounds. This Afro-Cuban salsa ensemble bases its repertoire from some of the favorite Salseros including (but not limited to) The Afro-Cuban All Stars, Ruben Blades, Hector Lavoe, The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Eddie Palmieri, Fruko y Sus Tesos, Tito Puente, and Gloria Estefan.

This is an international ensemble and the artists of “En Fuego” have performed globally with The Afro-Cuban All Stars, James Brown, Incognito, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Bebo Valdes, Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath, Lionel Richie, Maceo Parker, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Eddie Palmieri, Frank Sinatra Jr, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Judith Sephuma, Sibongile Khumalo, Feya Faku, Andrea Bocelli, Claudio Roditi, Freshly Ground, among many others.

Musical Directors: David Sendef and Thomas Dyani.

DJ Sendef – MD, trumpet, vocals
Cesar Hurtado – Vocals, perussion
Marcio Houediji – Vocals
Bongeka “ Sweetness” Mkhize – vocals
Riaan van Rensburg – Timbales
Hadiji nDong – Congas
Jason Green – Bass
Bokani Dyer – piano
Dan Selsick – trombone
Janus van der Merwe – Saxophones

Read more about En Fuego 

Unsung Sounds of Freedom
Live at The Orbit!
(Contemporary SA Jazz)

Thursday 27th April 2017 – 20 h 30 – R 130

Yonela Mnana These songs of freedom emanate from uncelebrated composers of repressed sections of society in gender and/or race. The band covering the freedom-craving, transatlantic, black music is anchored by pianist Yonela Mnana, dynamic drummer Siphiwe Shiburi, and bassist Ariel Zamonsky who is fresh from an international tour.

In this presentation of freedom songs, Mnana is flanked by prolific lyrical improvisors in the form of guitarist Keenan Ahrends and saxophonist Sisonke Xonti, who are band leaders in their own right whose debut albums have been recently released.

In the re-echoing of political and personal freedom sounds from Makeba, Simone, Ibrahim, Peterson, etc., Mnana is aided by a young chorally-inclined formation that hails from Katlehong in Ekuruleni where Mnana continues to teach.

This event will be blessed by guest vocalist, and versatile young creative whose album ‘Yellow: The Novel’ is currently making waves; the inimitable Zoe Modiga.

Yonela Mnana – piano
Siphiwe Shiburi – drums
Ariel Zamonsky – bass
Sisonke Xonti – tenor sax
Keenan Ahrends – guitar

Read more about Yonela Mnana

Salim Washington and Sankofa CD Launch
Live at The Orbit!
(Contemporary SA/USA Jazz)

Friday 28th April & Saturday 29th April – 20h30 – R150

Salim Washington & Sankofa CD Launch

Photo: Lindo Mbhele

Drawing its inspiration from the Sankofa bird, a Ghanian symbol of the return of diasporic Africans to the motherland, the Sankofa band is a true representation of moving forward whilst looking back. With matured sounds honouring the traditions of jazz and sounds of today that tell stories of modern day life, this collective of South Africa’s great jazz musicians are led by Professor Salim Washington.

For this special ensemble, Professor Salim Washington brought together musicians whom he feels share his sentiments about music and life. Now residing in South Africa for the past 3 years, Salim has recorded his 3rd album upon his return to the motherland. For this band 2016 begun on a high note in January as they left crowds in great admiration after their perfomances in Johannesburg at the Afrikan Freedom Station, an Afrocentric multimedia gallery in Westdene and the warm sophisticated bistro venue and jazz club, The Orbit. Recorded at the SABC Studios, lovers of jazz music are patiently waiting for the release of the spiritually moving music they expirienced, enticing all those that were not present to expirience it live through the rave reviews the shows received. The album is due for release before the year ends.

Salim explains his aesthetic goals: “I have had many years of experience playing in various size jazz ensembles, playing in festivals and other gigs throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, the Carribean. The scope of what I want to say musically and socially is now requiring a larger platform. I am now using multiple horns and multiple voices as well as a slightly expanded rhythm section. It is my ultimate goal to have the jazz band expanded by a philharmonic orchestra, South African choir, and Pan African percussion ensemble (with styles ranging from West African to Cuban and Brazilian influences). The vocal component should also include poetry, which not only makes a nice bridge between semantic content and music, but also gives vent to direct social commentary to compliment the music.”

Salim Washington – tenor sax, flute, oboe, bass clarinet
Nduduzo Makhathini – piano
Dalisu Ndlazi – bass
Ayanda Sikade – drums
Mthunzi Mvubu – alto sax
Sakhile Simani – trumpet
Sakhile Moleshe – vocals
Zoe Masuku – vocals
Lesego Rampolokeng – poetry

Read more about Salim Washington 

This performance is presented in association with Once in Joburg.

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International Jazz Day
Live at The Orbit!
(Contemporary SA Jazz)

Sunday 30th April – 16h00 – R 120 per set – Day pass: R 300

International Jazz Day

Photos: Tseliso Monaheng and Peter Maurer

The important contribution that jazz has made to the global society is never lost on South Africa. Jazz is the medium a host of South African musicians used to reconnect the country to the rest of the African continent and remind not only other African countries, but South Africans themselves that they belong. Through jazz, they have constantly reminded us that we belong to an incredible continent of nations and people who relentlessly stood by South Africans fighting for liberation.

It was through jazz that our artists told the world who we really are and who we strived to be, providing an alternative narrative to that disseminated by the state media of the oppressive regime. However, for South Africa, jazz has not only played a humanitarian and political role internationally, but the music has played a pivotal role in our domestic affairs. Be it struggle, celebration, or lamenting; jazz offered us the sound of the times. Jazz music brought South Africans of all walks of life together to talk, dance, commemorate, and organise. Through jazz, we developed our own style, lingo, and culture. Jazz provided a message of hope at times where there was very little in our daily lives.

Since then, jazz has become an integral part of South African culture which is why The Orbit celebrates jazz six days a week, particularly on International Jazz Day. For this year’s celebrations, we feature 2017 Standard Bank Young Artist of The Year for Jazz, Benjamin Jephta; Mbokodo Award winner Thandi Ntuli, and veteran pianist Paul Hanmer. Through these artists and many others, jazz continues to make an immense contribution to South Africa’s fabric.

Jephta, Ntuli, and Hanmer have employed very different styles in jazz to facilitate an array of conversations about identity, politics, spirituality, history, community, and many other themes from different perspectives. It was thus fitting that The Orbit celebrate International Jazz Day with these outstanding musicians.

The day’s proceedings will start at 16h00 and will be followed by a jam session for all to join after the last performances.

International Jazz Day is presented in association with Chivas Regal and International Jazz Day.

Read more about Thandi Ntuli, Benjamin Jephta, and Paul Hanmer 

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