Statement by the Minister Paul Mashatile at the official opening of the joy of jazz festival

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21 May 2013

Programme Director

The Premier of Gauteng, Premier Nomvula Mokonyane

MEC for Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture in Gauteng, MEC Lebogang Maile

Representatives of the City of Joburg

The Promoter of the Joy of Jazz Festival, Mr. Peter Tladi

Our partners in this project
 
Our artists

Members of the Media

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We have met here to announce the list of artists that will be featured at this year’s Joy of Jazz Festival.

The Joy of Jazz has become one of the premier events on our country’s jazz scene.

It is also one of our flagship initiatives, as the Department of Arts and Culture, that we will continue to support as we implement the Mzansi Golden Economy Strategy.

It is our intention that events such as the Joy of Jazz should be up-scaled so that they can continue to make an even bigger contribution to the economies of host cities and towns.

In addition these events contribute towards promoting social cohesion and nation building as well as the building of sustainable livelihoods, especially for our artists.

Joy of Jazz also offers an opportunity for our artists to showcase their talent, exchange best practices and explore possible collaborations with some of the best artists in the world.
 
Events such as the Joy of Jazz also play an important role in facilitating skills development as well as identifying, developing and promoting the artistic talent so abundant in many of our young people.

This was evident from the development workshops conducted over the years by some of the artists featured in the Joy of Jazz.

I am told that the workshops were a resounding success and that the young people who took part in these workshops drew inspiration and valuable life long lessons.

Going forward, we must continue to invest in the development of young people in the arts.

This we must do because the youth are the future of our country and more specifically the future of our sector.

The development programme which forms part of the Joy of Jazz Festival, is in line with efforts by the Department of Arts and Culture to build the necessary skills base to support the growth and development of our sector.

These efforts will culminate in the establishment of the National Skills Academy for the Arts; a center of excellence providing an opportunity for artists to perfect their skills and become the best at what they do.

Programme Director, we are also delighted that like in the previous years, the Joy of Jazz will be held at the Newtown Cultural Precinct.

To us this is a significant development as it is in line with our goal of establishing cultural precincts across the country.

These are cultural spaces that will feature performances on a continuous basis.

We encourage the organizers of this event to keep Newtown as the permanent home of the Joy of Jazz Festival.

As part of the progress we are making to establish cultural precincts across the country, more than a week ago, we handed over a cheque worth R 13 million to kick-start the establishment of a cultural precinct in Gugulethu, as part of the Ray Alexander Center.

In the coming months we will unveil details of more precincts across the country.

We wish you a successful 2013 Joy of Jazz Festival.

We also thank our partners for their continued support of this important festival.
    
Thank you.