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In a glittering Great Gatsby-themed evening, Standard Bank Joy of Jazz and MNS Attorneys honoured exceptional contributors to South African arts. Hosted by radio personality Lupi Ngcayisa, 11 of South Africa’s top arts trailblazers were celebrated in a night to remember.

As honours were read out, it was a roll call of great advocates for the importance of the arts in growing South Africa and growing the arts in South Africa. Diane and Mike Rossi were recognised for their support of jazz education. Greg Maloka’s contribution to the arts through the airwaves was acknowledged, while Michelle Constant’s support for the business of the arts was applauded. James Ngcobo was honoured for his long-standing theatrical contribution to the arts.

Creating sustainable venues and spaces for the arts is critical to the industry and both Simnikiwe Sondlo, owner of Niki’s Oasis Jazz Restaurant (who was honoured for preserving a jazz venue for all times,) and Sam Mhangwani (who was recognised for producing a sustainable music festival), were celebrated for the role they have played.

Mncedi Zulu was recognised of his long-standing appreciation for jazz, Sam Nhlengethwa for his appreciation of jazz, through visual arts and Siphiwe Mhlambi’s support through the lens that captured jazz icons. Yvonne Chaka Chaka took honours for her lyrical and humanitarian contribution to the arts.

These icons were celebrated in style with a remarkable ensemble of musicians including Luyanda Madope (piano), Siphelelo Mabuza (drums), Lwanda Gogwana (flugal horn), Thembinkosi Mavimbela (double bass), Sisonke Xonti, Senzo Ngcobo (trombone) alongside Spha Mdlalose, Titi Luzipo, Lindiwe Maxolo and Sakhile Moleshe.

“MNS Attorneys is really proud to be supporting deserving individuals who have contributed immensely to jazz. This is our second year of supporting the Jazz Honours and it is wonderful to be able to associate ourselves with this award and have the opportunity to honour the people who are contributing to the arts,” said Mncedisi Ndlovu, Chairman of MNS Attorneys.

The Jazz Honours is part of the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festival, scheduled from 26 to 28 September at the Sandton Convention Centre.

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