As the festive season prepares to move into top gear, holiday-makers heading for Durban are invited to join thousands of the city’s resident music and jazz enthusiasts in celebrating one of the year’s prime attractions - the Siyagiya 2013 Durban International Music and Cultural Carnival.

This jazz extravaganza is presented by Mbongeni Ngema’s Committed Artists Foundation. The event features a line-up of big-name luminaries, along with the cream of KwaZulu-Natal’s new generation stars, who are set to wow the crowds at Westridge Stadium on Monday, 16 December from 17:00 until late.

Razzmatazz - A Wave of New Talent forms the first component of this big-stage outdoor entertainment event. It stars a roster of KwaZulu-Natal young artists. This includes: Bingelela; three-man hip-hop group, Naughty Boys; ghetto-street-soul house music pioneers, Cocktail; maskandi hybrid wonder-boy, David ‘Qadasi’ Jenkins; Durban’s Afrosoul; along with ground-breaking musical mover-and-shaker, Zakes Bantwini; and heart-soothing vocalist, Naima Kay, whose debut CD has catapulted her into the front-line of live entertainers in recent months.

As a grand-scale lead-in to Siyagiya’s big-stage evening entertainment, the show’s producers are to present South Africa’s Lira, who is currently celebrating the first decade of her career, which has seen her clocking up multiple awards and multi-platinum sales across five studio albums and two live DVDs.

Starting at 20:00, Siyagiya’s mainstage Jazz Extravaganza stars a powerhouse of top-liners. Sharing the limelight with performing arts icon Mbongeni Ngema are internationally acclaimed jazz legend Hugh Masekela; revered world-music super-star, Salif Keita; livewire jazz exponents Velephi Khumalo, Themba Mkhize, Bongani Nkwanyana and Bheki Khoza; Metro FM Award-winner Mbuso Khoza; Durban’s Heels Over Head; acclaimed indigenous musician Sazi Dlamini; and world music figurehead, Madala Kunene; as well as the gifted young poet, Botlhale Boikanyo, winner of the 2012 SA’s Got Talent.

Accompanying these stars are 14 back-up singers and 16 dancers, with a virtuoso 12-piece live band comprising highly respected musos such as keyboard players Eddie Mathiba, Butana Ngubeni and Barny Bophela, sax player Khaya Mahlangu, trumpeter Sidney Mavundla, trombone player Basil Roberts and percussionist Sibonile Ngubane, among others.

Conceived as a tribute to South African jazz greats such as Sipho Gumede, Alan Kwela and Sandile Shange, Siyagiya’s Jazz Extravaganza will be produced and directed by Mbongeni Ngema along the lines of a fully-fledged stage musical. It will carry the trademark wow factor production values that have made Ngema block-busters such as Sarafina international hits, proclaiming its creator’s unique capacity for thrilling mass audiences.

Tickets ranging from R150 to R350 for Siyagiya 2013 are available for pre-booking through Computicket, on 0861 915 8000, or online at While early booking is advised for this six-hour bonanza, which is set to become an annual fixture on Durban’s festive season calendar, tickets will also be available at the venue. Gates open at 15:30.

Facilities include a food court, a beer garden and cash bars. VIP patrons (R350 ticket holders) will have access to free parking within the parameter of the venue and a private VIP area, while secure parking will be available close-by for others who will be able use a shuttle service to the venue. For more information, click here.

Committed Artists Foundation receives generous funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) and it is this support which makes the production of Siyagiya 2013 possible. Partnered by The Mercury newspaper, Inanda FM and Sounds Good, a brand of SABC1, Siyagiya’s presenters have announced that they are also building a partnership with SA Breweries, who will be represented at the event by one of their leading brands, Hansa Pilsner.