Pigeon Jazz In The City
July 28, 2012
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Jazz is one of my favourite genres of music.  When I came across this video introducing the upcoming Joy of Jazz festival in Johannesburg, I was totally smitten.

“To introduce the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festival 2012, a full jazz ensemble was set up in Pigeon Square in Johannesburg. Seeds and popcorn were scattered over the instruments and the new jazz band called ‘Featherweights’, assembled to create music. It wasn’t long before the sounds of pigeon jazz filled the air – much to the delight of passers-by.” — Standard Bank Group

I was really impressed by this advert. I love the way that  music, pigeons, public art and the local passers-by are used to create a dramatic and engaging story.  Its almost as if the pigeons have been choreographed.  Genius!

The video was shot in Pigeon Square in Ferrairasdorp in the Joburg inner city. Pigeon Square is the feeding spot of dozens of pigeons, which are fed by the local community. Recently, Paper Pigeon, a sculpture depicting three massive steel pigeons, was installed in order to mark the western gateway to the city.

The public art piece, by Gerhard and Maja Marx, was designed specifically with the pigeons in mind. The origami-inspired steel pigeons even have perching rods  for the pigeons to sit on. I love that this  inner city public art landmark was the main inspiration for the Joy of Jazz advert.

Steel pigeons of Johannesburg's Pigeon Square

Art for birds… how cool is that?


After the awesome live performances at the Standard Bank jazz festival in Grahamstown a few weeks back, I’m really looking forward to the Joy of Jazz. The Joy of Jazz  festival takes place on 23 – 25 August in Jozi’s Newtown Prencint.  Congrats to Standard Bank for their continued support of South African arts (they sponsor Oppikoppi festival too!) and thanks to Past Experiences for sharing the video.  Jazz is back in the city, ke nako!

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Meruschka Govender

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