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Here you'll find on offer an eclectic mix of local and international jazz, which is why they call it 'Africa’s Grandest Gathering', as the Mother City puts on a show of sexy, soulful jazz and entertains in style.
The first festival took place in 2000 and, over the years, attendance figures have grown from 14 000 to well over 30 000. The event consists of live performances from 40-plus international and African artists over 2 days across 5 stages and, for those who love music, it’s a festival of note, with musicians playing to full houses.
Big names to have performed at the festival include Lauryn Hill, Dan Brubeck, James Ingram, Dave Sanchez, Dave Koz, Earth, Wind and Fire and many others. Local musical greats such as Hugh Masekela and Jimmy Dludlu continue to thrill audiences and there are also workshops and events highlighting new, young, talents and investing in the future of South African jazz.
Cape Town’s hotels are only too keen to put on special packages for festival-goers and excellent deals are available for those who want to travel to the Mother City. Pre- and post-tours include visits to major attractions such as Robben Island and Table Mountain, as well as visiting the townships for more local flavour (and more local jazz).
The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is now ranked as one of the top jazz festivals in the world and is right up there with Holland’s North Sea Jazz Festival and Switzerland’s Montreux Festival.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Cape Town International Jazz Festival
Tel: +27 (0)21 671 0506
How to get here
There are direct flights to Cape Town from London and other international capitals. You can also fly from Johannesburg.
Best time to visit
The Cape Town International Jazz Festival takes place at the end of March each year.
Things to do
While you are visiting Cape Town, plan a trip to Robben Island or take a township tour if you'd like to understand more about the history of the country.
Head out to the winelands either before or after festival. Enjoy the wine estates of Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.
Where to stay
Accommodation in Cape Town varies from 5-star hotels, to guest houses and B&Bs, as well as value-for-money backpackers. It's a good idea to book early (2 to 3 months in advance) if you're visiting for the jazz festival.
What to eat
Cape Town is known for its fine dining. One of the most sought-after restaurants is Luke Dale-Roberts' Test Kitchen in Woodstock, but you'll have to book months in advance to secure a table.