African Celebrations at UJ Weekend of Jazz

Joburg audiences are in for a treat, with UJ Arts & Culture’s inaugural Weekend of Jazz which takes place at their Auckland Park Campus in Johannesburg, 25-27 May 2018. Curated with the young and young-at-heart in mind, the programme nods to the ‘nostalgia’ of the genre and area, while offering new ways to experience the magic of the music.

In line with UJ Arts & Culture’s ‘metamorphosis’-focused consideration of different perspectives; Christine Msibi from Jozi Unsigned, who curated this programme, explains “We have adopted an intergenerational approach to programming the live jazz experience; pairing living legends with up-and-coming talent in order to diversify both the experiences we offer and the audiences they attract”.

Coinciding with the ‘eve’ of Africa Day, UJ staff and guests will be treated to a programme opening performance by celebrated drummer Tlale Makhene, accompanied by UJ’s Soweto Campus Jazz Band. Flirting with the edges of expectation right from the beginning, World Music Band Sun Xa Experiment kicks off the Africa Day celebrations on the Friday evening. R&B soul singer Langa Mavuso brings a bit of ‘contemporary, with an air of nostalgia’; before local afrobalkan legends Bombshelter Beast takes to the floor to get the party truly started.

In tune with the essence of jazz composition, and this urban melting pot of musical influences, Saturday evening brings with it a showcase of further incredible local talent in Soweto-born master collaborator Mandla Mlangeni and avant-garde musical artists the Jazz Cats, with respected songstress Zoe Modiga bringing the night to a close.

Sunday, May 27th is dedicated to an appreciation of Jazz, in the form a Jazz jam picnic hosted on the UJ Arts Centre piazza. Offering an opportunity for various local jazz groups to show off their own music collections in a relaxed setting, the event is family-friendly and long lazy picnics are encouraged. This showcase will include a performance by the Steve Dyer Quartet, presenting Anglo African. This new body of work reflecting part of a growing global movement re-examining, re-vising and re-aligning of personal and collective identities.

The details of the programme are as follows:

Friday May 25th

19:00 :: Sun Xa Experiment

20:00 :: Langa Mavuso

21:00 :: Bombshelter Beast

Saturday May 26th

17:00 :: Mandla Mlangeni

18:00 :: Jazz Cats

19:00 :: Zoe Modiga

Sunday May 27th

14:00 – 16:00 :: Jazz Jam Picnic with Steve Dyer Quartet, presenting Anglo African – is dedicated to an appreciation of Jazz, in the form a Jazz jam picnic hosted on the UJ Arts Centre piazza.

All performances take place at the UJ Arts Centre on the University of Johannesburg’s Kingsway Campus, Auckland Park. Tickets are R200 for a Day Pass (R120 for students), or R400 for a Weekend Pass (R200 for students), and are available via or at the door.

About UJ Arts & Culture

UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA) produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. A robust range of arts platforms are offered on all four UJ campuses for students, staff, alumni, and the general public, to experience and engage with emerging and established Pan-African and international artists drawn from the full spectrum of the arts.

In addition to UJ Arts & Culture, FADA ( offers programmes in eight creative disciplines, in Art, Design and Architecture, as well as playing home to the NRF SARChI Chair in South African Art & Visual Culture, and the Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre. The Faculty has a strong focus on sustainability and relevance, and engages actively with the dynamism, creativity and diversity of Johannesburg in imagining new approaches to art and design education.