Thousands of patrons invaded the Zoo Lake to welcome spring with distinctive sounds – celebrating 20 years of freedom through Jazz on the Lake on 31 August.
The free festival saw artists from different cultures performing on one stage. Families and friends came out in numbers with picnic baskets, blankets and camp chairs, to enjoy the sunny environment as they grooved to the sounds of India’s Vidya Shah, Zimbabwe’s Josh Meck and Cape Verde’s Remna Schwarz including Raggae artist Colbert Mukwevho and jazz vocalist Mbuso Khoza.
Crowd favourites Vusi Nova and the acapella trio The Soil had the young crowd singing to their melodies, while the legendary white Zulu Johnny Clegg took fans down memory lane with classics such as Scatterlings of Africa, Osiyeza – The Crossing and Asimbonanga (We haven’t seen him), a struggle song that called for the release of Nelson Mandela… Voices echoed through the park as everyone sang to the chorus.
This year’s festival paid special tribute to Brenda Fassie as some of the musicians performed renditions of the late music icon’s songs.
Winners of the ‘You Sing Like Mabbr’ talent competition – African Rhythms from Krugersdorp, performed their interpretation of Brenda Fassie’s Vuli Ndlela, using Jembe drums and Marimba percussions, to the crowd’s delight.
One of the fans at the festival, Lebogang Morolong said he has never missed the annual festival and to him, it’s not only an introduction to the spring season, but a build up to more festivities in Johannesburg in conclusion of 2014.
“This is by far the best free concert in Johannesburg if not the whole country, where you get to see world-class artists without paying a cent. We were ferried from different park and ride locations to the venue for free, everyone is excited and I’m proud to say that City of Johannesburg is indeed unique in celebrating the amount of talent we have in Joburg.”