US Jazz Legend Kirk Whalum to launch Awesome iLembe Arts Festival – Thursday, March 27

US Jazz Legend Kirk Whalum, makes a special appearance in KZN on Thursday, March 27 at the Sibusisiwe CommunityCentre in Mandeni to launch the first Awesome iLembe Arts Festival that place across the iLembe region on the North Coast later this year. An innovative and far-sighted initiative by the Department of Arts and Culture in partnership with Awesome Africa Festival Productions, this multi-cultural festival will take the music to the people – and directly into the communities at venues in Mandeni, Ndwedwe, Maphumulo and KwaDukuza.


This “concert of a lifetime” by Whalum, offers fans an opportunity to enjoy his much celebrated series “The Gospel According to Jazz” in Africa for the very first time. The tenor saxophonist has collaborated with industry greats such as Al Jarreau, Quincy Jones and Barbara Streisand and it is his passionate sax solo that is heard on Whitney Houston’s mega-hit, “I Will Always Love You”. Kirk considers himself as a “man of the people”, and is the recipient of numerous awards and acknowledgements for his musical excellence, and won his first Grammy award for Best Gospel Song “It’s What I Do”, featuring Lalah Hathaway. He recently recorded the next chapter in his series (Chapter IV) in New York to be released worldwide in September. He will preview some of those new songs as well as perform his anthems from the past.


The concert starts at 17:00 for 17:30 with a cappella gospel choir “Consuming Fire” from Mandeni followed by Whalum. 


Tickets are R150 and can be purchased in advance from Computicket (0861 915 8000). Only 500 tickets are available for purchase, and there will be no door sales. For more info call Gabi Nkabinde on 084-3578860. The festival website