The FMR Jazz Workshop Biggish Band has progressed from the 'amphibious dives' of Observatory to the stylish 'Amphitheatre Circuit' of Cape Town -- and what a fine collection of outdoor venues our beautiful city has to offer!

Having conquered the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre in Stellenbosch in December and the V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre during the Jazzathon 2004 earlier this month, the JWBB is now moving on to the Hout Bay Amphitheatre this coming Saturday January 31 and then the Helderberg Nature Reserve 'Envirotheatre' the following Sunday 8 February. Being a rowdy 19-piece band of musicians, this style of venue also really suits the band's 'outgoing' (ughh..) nature ..

the JWBB taking the Jazzathon 2004 by storm.. what a jol!

the audience was in for a pleasant surprise
as the brochure advertised us as a 13-piece brass-ensemble,
well they were 60% right with the numbers  ... and we do have brass
... but we don't play no 'pavane on a g-string' or 'concerto for boobtube' ....
45 minutes later they were tearing the house down and howling for more!
as Simon likes to exclaim repeatedly after a good gig: 'we torched the place!'

  • The concert at the Hout Bay Amphitheatre on Saturday the 31st forms part of their 3rd season of summer concerts. This is a cozy venue inside the Mainstream Shopping Centre opposite the Hout Bay Hotel (where the weekend market is) - just after the last roundabout coming down from Constantia Nek heading towards Chapman's Peak. Click here for a map. Tickets are R30 and the show will start at 20h30 and consist of two 1-hour sets for a full evening's entertainment.
  • The following week on Sunday 8 February we're at the Helderberg Nature Reserve in Somerset West for a Sunset Concert. This event is hosted by the Friends of the Helderberg Nature Reserve who run an Educational Environmental Centre which brings many young learners from the Helderberg including Macassar and Nomzamo in order to teach them about the conservation of our rich heritage, and especially about conserving our fauna, flora and water. The  Educational Environmental Centre is run by volunteers and they supplement the salary of a conservation officer (until recently his salary was paid for by the Friends). In order to generate funds they run this mini Kirstenbosch-style Sunset Concert Series in the Reserve on Sunday evenings from 17:30 to 19:00 with gates closing at 20:00. More info about the Helderberg Nature Reserve available on their web site. Here's a map to the reserve:

At both these gigs the JWBB will be performing it's trademark repertoire of original Big Band Jazz, composed for us by the likes of Mertyn Barrow, David Ledbetter, Douglas Armstrong and Jannie 'Hanepoot' van Tonder, as well as some new arrangements of South African classics by Zakes Nkosi, Hugh Masekela, Dollar Brand, Chris McGregor, etc

And then to continue in this vein of 'theaataar', we'll be at Masque Theatre in Muizenberg on Sunday 7 March, more about that later ..


The JWBB is an amateur Big Band based in Cape Town, and lead by trombonist Jannie 'Hanepoot' van Tonder
The JWBB plays original compositions written for the band, as well as arrangements of South African Jazz standards.

Saxes: Chris Dippenaar, John Ntshibilikwana, John Thorne, Graham Thorne, Nick Green
Trumpets: Charlie Heyes, Douglas Armstrong, Dumani Katywa, Stuart Bowen
Trombones: Andrew O'Donoghue, Shelley Williams, Simon Hough, Matthew Grant
Rhythm (gt, pno, bs, dms, perc): Rick Beckman, Ralston van der Schyff, Sidney McKinnon, Mike Horne, Keith Coxon

More info: / 072 189 2481
or phone Cynthia at the Jazz Workshop on 424 4956
or check out

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