Swing blues will spice up The Festival

Jacqueline "Jacqui" Moloi and George Hesse (Moloi.Hesse Band), will perform at The Festival @St Dunstan's on May 7.

George Hesse and Jacqueline “Jacqui” Moloi started the band 11 years ago.

Sometime during 2005, after having heard Moloi sing at a company function where they were both working, Hesse got together with her and formed Moloi.Hesse.

The core idea of the collaboration was to develop a period blues sound, with Moloi projecting a strong upfront stage presence, backed by a steady rhythm section and complemented with good soloists.

They eventually found the right combination: electric bass, keyboards, guitar, drums, saxophone and Moloi’s stylised voice.

Moloi’s style, strong voice and stage persona – exuberant and sometimes vulnerable – provided a great opportunity to develop into a ’60s style “blues combo”.

“Our jazz-tinged swing blues repertoire includes songs by Robert Johnson, Jimmy Reed, Preston Foster, Pinetop Perkins and many more, all lovingly played with just a hint of New Orleans mojo,” said Hesse.

“The band has over the last few years has become more ‘blues/crossover’, moving from the traditional earlier blues and fusing into a more approachable, exciting ‘blues-jazz’ experience.

“Our onstage sound projects a strong traditional ’60s Hammond B3 Organ sound, swinging drumming and a strong Fender bass sound, all supporting Jacqui’s strong vocal stylings.”

Hesse started playing guitar and electric bass in local garage bands in and around Pietermaritzburg.

In late 1969, he moved up to Johannesburg and continued to play on and off in several small blues combos.

Moloi started her musical career at St Anne’s Diocesan College in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal.

She completed a music course in singing and playing piano; however, it was soon evident that singing was her great passion. After completing her formal education, Moloi continued singing solo and in a capella groups, performing mainly at soirees and occasionally corporate functions.

The Festival will be held at St Dunstan’s College, in Rynfield on May 7.

The list of confirmed bands for the event has steadily grown since the announcement of Gangs of Ballet, DJ Voltrex and Desmond and the Tutus.

Johnny Apple, DJ Fresh and Timo ODV have since also joined the ranks of the entertainment for the day and Bongi Mthombeni will be the master of ceremonies.

Event promoter Paul Smith said tickets were expected to go on sale by Wednesday, March 2.

Tickets will be available at St Dunstan’s College, between 7am and 8am from Wednesdays to Fridays, at the Benoni City Times office and at Harvey World Travel Benoni (Rynfield).

The general entry tickets will be R100 each (children under six years enter for free), while the Golden Circle tickets will sell for R250 each and backstage VIP passes for R350 each.

Look out for next week’s follow-up article on Desmond and the Tutus.

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