The 2015 Arts Alive Festival is back with a bang!

Jimmy Dludlu

Jimmy Dludlu will perform at Jazz on the Lake on September 6.

THE Arts Alive Festival is back with a full programme featuring artistic offerings from Africa to the Caribbean and the United States. Presented by the City of Joburg and managed by Joburg City Theatres, it will run from September 5 to September 27.

The festival will feature a range of exciting overseas and local artists within literature, poetry, master class workshops, music and dance; a diverse range of music from Jazz to Afrobeat, hip hop, dancehall reggae and traditional rhythms to kwaito.

The Festival launches with the Izigi Traditional Music & Dance Celebrations at the Soweto Theatre on Saturday, September 5. A free event for whole family.

“We have come full circle, Arts Alive, a Johannesburg City festival was fully managed in the first decade of its existence, by the City of Joburg,” says Chris Vondo, spokesperson for City of Johannesburg.

“For 2015, we are exploring and reincorporating the festival as a fully managed festival through the Joburg City Theatres. This allows us to use all our resources including staffing, to maximise the quality and sustainability of the festival. We believe that all people have a right to arts and culture and every year this festival hopes to serve as a conduit for the people of Joburg to talk, laugh and enjoy together.”

The City of Joburg is exploring new venues and parks and the flagship festival event, Jazz on the Lake, will take place at a new venue – the James and Ethel Gray Park in Melrose, situated between North, Edgewood and Melrose Street.

Angelique Kidjo

Angelique Kidjo

Femi Koya

Femi Koya

Jazz on the Lake takes place on Sunday, September 6 and features African superstar, Angelique Kidjo (Benin/West Africa), drum and bass duo, Sly and Robbie, from Kingston, Jamaica, collaborating with South African musicians, guitar maestro Jimmy Dludlu (SA/Mozambique) and Nigerian saxophonist Femi Koya with his Pan African Big Band. Entrance is free and the concert starts at 11 am.



On Tuesday, September 8 there will be an indoor concert at the Bassline with Sly and Robbie and singer-and-composer, Nomfundo Xaluva, who will perform with her jazz quartet featuring pianist and songwriter, Thandi Ntuli. Entrance is R120 and the concert starts at 8 pm.

The festival will partner with Moshito, a music symposium and exhibition event, which includes the Moshito Concert on Saturday, September 12 in Newtown Park, featuring a cross section of artists covering the entire South African song book. Entrance is R120, and the concert starts at 1 pm.

Arts Alive, together with the National Department of Arts and Culture, will present the third African Women Writers Symposium under the theme Peace and Turmoil: African Women in the World. This will take place at The Fringe, Joburg Theatre, from Thursday, September 17 to Saturday, September 19.

The symposium will feature poetry, music, talks and workshops from award-winning writers, from South Africa, the continent and it’s diaspora. The literary symposium will also host a special tribute to the life and work of the late Noble Laureate, Nadine Gordimer and African- American poet Jayne Cortez.

Writers and poets featured this year include Sapphire (New York), whose book Push was the basis for Oscar-winning movie Precious, Linton Kwesi Johnson, the father of dub poetry (Jamaica/United Kingdom), Natalia Molebatsi (SA), Myesha Jenkins (SA), Afro Latino poet John Murillo (New York) and various other exciting South African women writers.

Entrance is free, and the sessions start at 6 pm on September 17 and 18 and from 11 am to 10 pm on September 19. Booking is essential as seats are limited.

Joburgers will be spoilt for choice with the Speak the Mind Poetry Festival at Bassline on Saturday, September 19 with a range of poets and music, including Tony Award-winning poet Black Ice, Leshie Lovesong (Botswana), Maskandi’s living legend Madala Kunene and others. Entrance is R100 through Computicket, R150 at the door, and the concert starts at 4 pm.

The Arts Alive Urban Vibes Concert on Saturday, September 26, for the innercity and greater Johannesburg urban youth, is not to be missed!

Taking place simultaneously inoutdoor Newtown Park and the Bassline, it will feature a range of local and international live bands and DJs including Kwesta, Freshly Ground, Tumi, dancehall reggae singer and guitarist Cherine Anderson, Jah Vinci from Jamaica, DJ Cleo and many other exciting live acts.

Entrance is R120 and the concert starts at 5 pm.

The Arts Alive Festival will end on a high note, partnering with Eldos Jazz at the much awaited annual Eldos Jazz Music Concert on Sunday, September 27 at the Ext 6, Soccer grounds in Eldorado Park.

With an upbeat programme, this concert attracts thousands of residents from Eldos and surrounding areas, and remains a much awaited event on the cultural calendar of the year. Entrance is free and the concert starts at 10 am.

For more information visit the Joburg Arts International Festival Facebook page and website for more details,
You can also like the Facebook page: African Women Writers Network
For general enquiries and booking your seat at the African Women Writers’ Symposium please phone 011 373 7508/ 7526  or email

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