US crooner Joe Thomas joins local stars at Mapungubwe Arts Festival

American singer Joe Thomas is one of soul music’s most celebrated male vocalists, a soul-drenched singer at his best when delivering ballads. He is set to perform at the annual Mapungubwe Jazz and Heritage Festival at the Polokwane Cricket Ground in Polokwane, South Africa on Saturday 12 December.

US star Joe Thomas will headline the Mapungubwe Jazz and Heritage Festival in Polokwane, South Africa.
US star Joe Thomas will headline the Mapungubwe Jazz and Heritage Festival in Polokwane, South Africa.

The Jazz and Heritage Festival will close the annual Mapungubwe Arts Festival, which takes place from 4 to 12 December. Headline act Thomas is set to bring his soul-stirring authority and reveal powerful truths through song in his first concert appearance in Limpopo. The line-up also includes Hugh Masekela, Zimbabwean legend Thomas Mapfumo, Judith Sephuma, PJ Powers, Mahotella Queens, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Wanda Baloyi, Mmatema, Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse, Ray Phiri & Stimela, along with local favourites like Shangaan Disco king Penny Penny, Xitsonga singer Joe Shirimani and 16-time SAMA winner Dr. Thomas Chauke.

As was the case for the festival’s 2014 edition, the Jazz and Heritage Festival will be preceeded by a Gospel Festival on 5 December. Here gospel fans can expect to be entertained by the likes of Joyous Celebration, Worship House, Sfiso Ncwane, Winnie Mashaba, Pastor Lungi Ndala, Urban Matshila and Go Explo.

The Mapungubwe Arts Festival will kick off with a Cultural Carnival parade and stage performances on 4 December and see audiences being treated to a week-long programme of electrifying theatre, comedy, DJs and live music. The festival forms part of the local government’s mandate to develop excellence and high performance in the arts sector while creating work for local artists.

Nandi Ndalane Limpopo MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture, said: “Art is royalty and the Mapungubwe Arts and Culture Festival will, true to its name, be a treasure trove of talent development, sustainable living for artists and international cultural exchanges.”

“Mapungubwe Arts Festival is not only a platform that promotes social cohesion provincially but also an event that welcomes our brothers and sisters that work in other provinces,” added Limpopo Premier Chupu Stanley Mathabatha.

Africa’s leading festival organiser T-Musicman and Tsalena Media are at the helm of the event, which seeks to establish the province of Limpopo as a leading destination on the music circuit and affirm the vast breed of talent the area has and continues to produce while adding to the contribution of arts and culture for sustainable economic development and growing the local tourism industry. Hotels, restaurants and various outlets from Polokwane benefit greatly from the event, and local businesses can treat the week-long revelry as a unique opportunity to sell their services and products and to benefit from the influx of visitors the event attracts.

Tickets are available now from Computicket, at R100 for the Gospel Festival, R50 for the Comedy Knights and Pre-Party, and R150 for the Jazz and Heritage Festival.

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