CT jazz festival set to foster African music
ESPAFRIKA has pulled out all the stops to ensure the 18th Cape Town International Jazz Festival exceeds all expectations. Jazz fans are likely to make a beeline for the exciting acts announced in the second half of the line-up: saxophonist, producer and composer Kamasi Washington (US) whose release The Epic shook up the jazz critics’ pick lists in 2015 and won the 2016 American Music prize, earning new fans across the world in the process; Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day (US) whose song Rise Up has been adopted as an anthem for change throughout the world; vocalist, pianist, composer and music educator and two-time Metro Music Award winner Nomfundo Xaluva (SA); and multi-award winning saxophonist, composer and arranger Buddy Wells, who will lead his own band in a sensitive yet blistering set as the Buddy Wells Sextet (SA).
For those who favour urban sounds and hip hop there is alternative hip hop trio Digable Planets (US); dance/electronic music producer Jameszoo (NL); STTA (SA), a live concept band and City Festival Battle of the Bands 2016 winner comprising drummer Jstar, turntablists DJ Raiko and DJ P–Kuttah, three live beat machine samplers, versatile vocalist/ Nasty J aka Joniq; and singer/composer, multiinstrumentalist and producer Tom Misch (UK), who leaves his London bedroom studio to head to Cape Town for the first time.
Also on the line-up is music from the deserts of Mali, Morocco and the Kalahari. Jokko is a supergroup of African instrumentalists which brings together five top-ranking players of traditional instruments, all fluent in the modern languages of pop, dance and jazz: renowned balafon (wooden xylophone) player Aly Keita, stringed instrument (guembri and ghayta) player Mehdi Nassouli, Foulane Bouhssine “the Mozart of the ribab”, bassist Childo Thomas and, Senegalese drummer Sega Seck.
Some of the country’s greatest talents, from big local names to rising stars, will also be featured, including composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer “Pops” Mohamed, South Africa’s “unofficial minister of music” whose social commentary takes root in preserving the heritage of indigenous music.
Also gracing the festival stage will be the multiple award-winning and platinumselling group Mango Groove, whose unique “Marabi-Pop” sound has been delighting world audiences since the 1980s.
The Khayelitsha-based arts and culture focus school Chris Hani High will bring the talents of young past and present students to the festival stage, including students from its training and development programme.
This year’s special performance by Camillo Lombard presents a Cape Town Showcase will profile consummate legends who have made their mark in the music industry for over four decades. The line-up will include Sophia Foster, Terry Fortune, Sylvia Mdunyelwa, Sammy Webber and songstress Vicky Sampson.
The Cape Town Showcase also boasts a stellar 14-piece band that comprises a sixpiece rhythm section, five horns and three backing vocals.
Fans can look forward to performances from multiple award-winner vocalist and songwriter Thandiswa Mazwai; Samawinning, Congo-born, Cape Town-based vocalist/composer Tresor; and Sonik Citizen, one of the many musical identities of multi-talented performer, composer and teacher, and multiple award winner Mark Fransman, who will showcase his “lyricalsoul-rock” style.
Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa said: “The festival continues to attract the best musicians from South Africa and abroad; and the musical collaborations that result from this rich engagement produce music that captures the cultural imagination of our people, builds continental cohesion and speaks to the world at large.” – Tonight Reporter The CTIJF takes place on March 31 and April 1. Book at www.computicket.com.