Visitors from around the country can once again get a taste of genuine Karoo hospitality at the bumper Journey to Jazz Festival. JANE MAYNE chatted to performer Guiliette Price about her billing on the lineup.

Prince Albert will play host to a myriad of music, arts and lifestyle events from 1 to 5 May, 2024, at the much-loved Journey to Jazz Festival (J2J). Something of a celebration of the human spirit, the showcase spans a range of activities, but overall, music features large.

Notably, vocalist Giuliette Price, who was part of The UCT Little Big Band at last year’s inaugural festival, bounces back as a bandleader in her own right. She says, “I had the privilege to perform as part of the UCT tentet, and it was such an incredible experience. I really enjoy projects that are community focused, and J2J is definitely one of those. It’s very involved in the community in Prince Albert, trying to get kids interested in jazz and building dreams around the possibilities that the future can hold.”

“For me to come back to the festival with my solo project is something that I’m extremely proud of, and I am very privileged that I got this opportunity. I’m super excited to watch some of the South African jazz artists on this lineup. And I hope that everyone understands the importance of this festival, because it’s going to be an amazing celebration of life and love, jazz and community,” she adds.

Giving flowers

For her repertoire, the songwriter says she’s going “to curate a setlist to pay tribute to the musicians that I’ve grown up with and really admire. I think my own personal journey to jazz is something that I want to highlight. I want to be giving flowers to South African artists, so I want to include some of their repertoire, like that of Melanie Scholtz. And then of course I’m going to be doing my own originals. But I do want to have this beautiful blend of what has inspired me and what I have created from those inspirations – whether it be standards or South African jazz standards, I want to be able to really portray the pieces in my own way, and in my own artistry.”

Since her move to Cape Town in 2021, Guiliette has amassed a substantial body of work.
“I’m sitting on maybe two albums, but I’m trying to give each song its own space to flourish in its own way. And I think at the moment, my career is still in its early stages. So, releasing music little by little is a bit more strategic than releasing all of it at once. I’ve been building my originals over the years, and then it will just be a matter of selecting the best few to make its way to the world,” she enthuses.

As a tantalising sample, she’s just released an EP, titled Rather Lie, which is available on all streaming platforms.

“It’s a song that I composed in 2019, when I first started studying jazz. The chord progression is actually almost a contrafact of Autumn Leaves. That was one of the first songs that I learnt, and I remember just being very inspired by the changes from major to minor. I then rearranged the chord changes and gave it my own lyrics and my own melodies. When I got to the point of actually releasing something, that song was one that I wanted to introduce myself to the world with. It was recorded live at the South African College of Music in one of the recital rooms, and it turned out really well.”

Bedroom pop

Guiliette situates her style as sitting somewhere between jazz, indie and ‘sad bedroom pop’. She explains: “Bedroom pop is songs that you write in your bedroom that are very commercial. I think my music has so many influences so it’s hard to kind of pinpoint what it is. Obviously, you can hear the jazz training that comes out in some of my performances, with scatting embellishments that I draw from vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Betty Carter and Nancy Wilson.”

“And then my own personal songwriting is what I describe as bedroom pop, which is sad music that comes from a very intimate place of isolation. That’s a very raw energy that I like to captivate in my compositions. I love pop music, so I think that also infiltrates into my expression.”

Guilette Price jazz vocalist
Guilette Price

Cultivating inclusivity

The singer is currently completing a BMus Diploma in Jazz Voice at UCT, which is very practical based.

“My last year is consisting of a lot of academic work, reflecting on the philosophy around jazz and my own expression towards jazz. It’s been an incredible journey. I’m going to try my best to use all the resources that are that is available to me until I have to brave the music industry for myself.”

“I’m learning that you can’t just be good at your instrument. You also need to have a message, and be creating community, and I’m learning how to do that every day. I’m going to try and be as authentic as I possibly can and make sure that my ethics are right. I’m going to try and stand up for something that I believe in and use music as a vessel of expression, and try to heal with that music and reflect on times, and just be honest – and hopefully I can one day live up to my idols that have come before me.”

“I think that music has this power to reach anyone and everyone. And I want to be someone who cultivates inclusivity in my music expression, and the more places that I can draw from the more my own sound is refined. I guess it’s just about being playful and believing in this bigger picture.”

Read up on the Voordeur Collection and other arty exhibits on show at J2J 2024 here.

J2J tickets are available on, along with tickets to various performances at venues across the town.

Who: Vocalist Giuliette Price Journey to Jazz
What: J2J 24 – Journey to Jazz Festival 2024
When: 1 to 5 May, 2024
Where: Prince Albert Karoo South Africa