South African jazz pianist Nomfundo Xaluva is thrilled to be back on stage for her first live performance of the year.
She is headlining this year's “Jazzy July” event at the Market Theatre, in Newtown, from August 14 - 28.
The multifaceted artist says she’s been looking forward to this festival since she got the call last year.
“I’ve always wanted to do my own show at the Market so the invite from Bab’ uNgcobo was a very welcome one indeed,” Xaluva said.
Whether she’s performing for 10 people or 1 000 people, Xaluva always gives it her all.
She admits to most looking forward to the audience's presence.
“The gig is equally important and the audience no matter how big or small, deserves respect and good quality music.
“Coming up as an artist in music school, I performed for much smaller audiences… so this won’t be new to me.
“I’m open to what the moment will present.”
On what music lovers can expect, the multi-award-winning artist offered: “Look, I don’t try to be fancy at my shows... I just come as I am and hope for the best.
“I bring the mood and spirit I’m in at that moment and I just let go.
“I bring music and truth always.
“I'll play some new music as well, which will be amazing for me.
“At a time like this, people don’t want gimmicks.
“They just want authentic music and that’s all I really have to offer.
“I don’t over curate a show, ever.”
Her last live performance was over nine months ago at the Jazz and Classical Encounters Festival in Stellenbosch and Xaluva says, even under lockdown restrictions, it was a beautiful experience.
“I wasn’t sure whether my voice still worked after such a long time of not performing,” she laughed.
“It was also emotional just to be in front of an audience again.
“We sometimes take these things for granted.
“It reminded me just how much I love performing.”
As we commemorate Women’s Month, Xaluva touched on challenges that fellow female musicians still encounter.
“Jazz is a man’s world.
“You see it in who gets recognition through awards etc.
“I am not one who values awards as a marker of success but perception is important.
“Representation is important. It’s not enough to appease women through nominations, they deserve to win,” she explained.
Xaluva wears many hats: she's a writer, pianist, musician and lecturer in jazz studies at the UCT.
She also recently obtained her EMBA in Business Administration from Henley Business School.
James Ngcobo, Market Theatre's artistic director, said: “I wanted to give it that old-school intimate and smoky jazz ambience.
“Just get your ticket now and be part of our joyous Jazzy July this August.”
“Jazzy July” kicks off with Nomfundo Xaluva on August 14 with Siya Makuzeni performing on August 21 and Ami Faku closing the festival on August 28.
Tickets to the “Jazzy July” series are priced at R150.
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