27 February 2013

World-class entertainment at Cape Town International Jazz Festival

This year’s Cape Town International Jazz Festival features an amazing line-up of artists from around the world.

Crowd enjoying the music at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival Crowd enjoying the music at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival

This festival is now far more than just two days of music. We hold a variety of events and programmes that expand the love of music among the broader communities of Cape Town and develop musical talent and other skills in the South African music-entertainment industry. – Rashid Lombard, festival director.

The festival takes place on 5 and 6 April at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and promises to be a major highlight on the local entertainment calendar.

This, the 14th such event, features more than 40 local and international artists on five stages over two days, with performers from countries as far afield as Cuba, Brazil and Senegal.

Among these are three-time Grammy Award-winning singer and critically acclaimed actress Jill Scott of the United States; master of jazz violin Jean-Luc Ponty of France; and Steve Turre, pre-eminent jazz trombonist.

British acid jazz and funk group The Brand New Heavies are a highlight on the jam-packed line-up, while other favourites to look out for include London-based drummer Louis Moholo and the indomitable Thandiswa Mazwai (among many other famous names on the international jazz circuit).

According to Rashid Lombard, festival director and CEO of event-management company espAfrika: 'This festival is now far more than just two days of music. We hold a variety of events and programmes that expand the love of music among the broader communities of Cape Town and develop musical talent and other skills in the South African music-entertainment industry.'

Sponsored in the main by the Department of Arts and Culture and the South African Broadcasting Corporation, the festival has a strong element of empowerment and skills development, with 10 initiatives making up a sustainable training and development programme. These include outreach programmes to schools; photographic and music business workshops; scholarships; an arts journalism programme; and masterclasses for established musicians.

The Free Concert, part of the build-up to the festival, will again be held at Greenmarket Square, commencing at 5pm on April 3. It features some of the event’s top headliners.

Also happening again is the Duotone Photographic Exhibition, which displays photographs of past festivals and documents the emergence and growth of global jazz popularity.

Known as 'Africa’s grandest gathering', the Cape Town International Jazz Festival has become an integral part the world’s jazz festival calendar, and ranks alongside the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands. It is the largest musical gathering in sub-Saharan Africa and is a large contributor to the Western Cape’s GDP. There were 34 000 music-lovers at last year's event.

Tickets can be purchased at Computicket outlets, Shoprite Checkers outlets and via the Computicket website. They are priced at R440 for a day pass and R645 for a weekend pass. Tickets for performances on Rosie’s Stage go for R30 per performance.