This past Sunday was the first of many lazy Sunday afternoon jam sessions at Cafe Art in Stellenbosch and my oh my, was it ferocious. Around 30 – 40 people came through to see this project find its feet, from poets to rappers to musicians to journalists – you name it. It’s deeply satisfying knowing that something you put resources and effort into, is slowly coming to fruition.
For the last five years I have been an attendee of many a jam session in Stellies, whether at Thumbs Up (where the jam session’s first incarnation, a Monday night – was a full out celebration of dingey club RnB, white lines, jazz cigarettes and shady looking Macedonians) or at Klein Libertas Theatre where it had its last stint before making its home at Cafe Art. You see, Cafe Art is remarkably the ideal venue for an inclusive spirit of the performing arts. With its open air layout and rustic decorum, it complements the idea of cultivating an arts culture in Stellenbosch far beyond what I believe has been achieved in this town before, especially on the least busy day of the week – Sunday.
With that in mind, I contacted my buddy and poet Adrian Different (who heads up a large portion of the happenings at Slipnet’s InZync Poetry Session, which happens once a month at AmaZink Eatery in Kayamandi) to partner with me in bringing the same spirit that attracts over 300 people to AmaZink once a month, to Cafe Art for the Soapbox Jazz Jam Session – an all inclusive celebration of the arts as a whole and not only of jazz, despite it comprising a resident jazz quartet (consisting of myself on bass, Keenan Stevens on guitar, Ronny Siegelaar on drums and Thielman Janse Van Vuuren on keyboard).
We started the event off with a small bebop set, which then set the tone for a range of other vibrant forms of expression. Below is a slideshow of what went down.
For the rest of the month, there will be no cover charges but from October onwards we will charge a small fee to cover our expenses. I hope to see you there sometime.