Lesley Jennings (27) from Ladybrand in the Free State is making waves in the entertainment industry for the past few months and is the brains behind the popular hangout ‘Jazz on the Lawn’ and the managing director of GigCulture.
She grew up in a house where she, her father and her brother played musical instruments, predominantly jazz, rock n roll and blues. Jennings told Bloemfontein Courant that this was certainly where her love for music started. “I consider myself a very passionate person when I do something, I believe in doing it to the best of my ability.”
She explained she had done other jobs as a teacher and saxophonist and this plethora of exposure shaped her to become an understanding person, appreciative of an industry that many look down on, and she is certainly passionate about business and South Africa. Lesley said her niche and main focus is hosting and promoting jazz concerts.
Jennings describes Jazz on the Lawn as an absolutely special experience
and added that it is not often that an event concept lasts, due to many reasons, but she believes that Windmill Casino hosting this event has been an integral part of its success.
“Over the past 11 events, I have worked with so many brilliant people – our technical providers, continuously share insight and go above and beyond, which is the reason that even with the possibility of impending weather conditions, we have never cancelled or compromised on quality.”
She said the musicians they have hosted, have surpassed the expectations and they managed to create a valuable platform for musicians to engage with their fans.
“What I would peg as the recipe for success, is having an event that isn’t intimidating. Often the introduction to styles such as jazz can be overwhelming in the way they are delivered, but we’ve curated a wonderful day experience of good music in an enjoyable environment.”
She said that her business has taken many different shapes and forms, GigCulture was inspired by the challenges people face in the industry, for musicians, clients and audience members. “I don’t think I am fully aware of all the solutions, but the first step in making a difference is to take the first step. I can’t imagine doing anything else, and being able to contribute to the development of our industry in the Free State is such a humbling experience.”
Bloemfontein entertainment lovers can definitely look forward to the launch of the GigCulture site, which will be a centralised hub of everything to do in Bloem. There are a number of events connecting creatives, “We often complain that there is nothing to do in Bloem and GigCulture promises to eradicate that statement from our community.”
“I’d like to do building audiences for jazz and classical music; the objective is to pave the way for local promoters and administrators within their respective genres. We will also be developing a knowledge bank, where important conversations will be had and tools will be shared for people who want to build a career in the industry.” she concluded. – Sazly Hartzenberg