On Saturday night I had the most inspirational and uplifting experience in a long time.  I photographed the International Jazz Extravaganza at the Durban ICC.

For those who know me you are probably going, Wade…Jazz?

Yup I was too until the event kicked off with a guitar solo by Luthando Jackson.  I would have been blown away if it was Eric Clapton playing that piece but no this was a 10 year old self taught genius. Oh my goodness what a way to start the evening.  For more events and corporate work covered by OD Media go here

Next in the lineup was Nduduzo Makhathini who is a Metro Award winner and has been a South African Music Awards nominee for several years.  He is now my hero.

I have never(as far as I can remember) seen such a passionate musician.

He doesn’t stop moving whilst “sitting” at the piano and plays each note like it’s his last.  As soon as attention was drawn to him he would divert it to his band members and made sure that they were recognized as well.

There are a lot of photos of Nduduzo below as I couldn’t help being mesmerized by his onstage persona.  I salute you and your passion, may it never stop.

At this stage of the evening I could have left saying it was the best evening ever but I stayed and witnessed some more memorable performances.

Spyro Gyra were up next and I quickly learnt that you should not judge a book by it’s cover. They may look like an “older” band but these cool cats can rock.

Once again it was the passion of each musician that was so inspiring, don’t get me wrong the music was incredible, but for me watching someone who is passionate about their skill means everything.

The drum solo by Joel Rosenblatt was something to witness and I couldn’t believe how he just went on and on slaying away.  My arms would have fallen off half way through. Bandleader Jay Beckenstein is unbelievable and has amazing skills.  I have no idea how he can blow so hard into that saxophone for so long.

I kept thinking that he was about to pass out from lack of oxygen and that he needed to take a breath but he just kept on giving it everything that he had.

Mind boggling and truly outrageous.

Last up on the evening was Lee Ritenour, also known as Captain Fingers.

Lee is a truly skilled musician and enthralled the audience with a number of his hits from the 70’s up until now. The evening for me was a huge success and for those brave organizers and sponsors who made this a first, well done and we hope to see this again next year.  Heck I could watch it every week.

Heck I could watch it every week.

Thank you to the following:

Durban Tourism; South African Tourism; South African Airways; Mzansi Magic; Gearhouse; Kaya FM; Durban ICC; Tea Cup Projects; Fusion Travel and Tours and of course all the guests for making the evening so successful.

And to those photographers who pitched up half way through a set or jumped up and down in front of everyone, were on their phones and just being disrespectful to all those people behind them in the audience, let’s hope that we get a next time and that you can act in a more professional manner. That was not a good advert for photographers and it puts all of us in a bad light.