The Cape Town International Jazz Festival has been called the ‘popular upstart’ by Canadian radio station CBC.
But upstart or not, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) and ‘Africa’s Grandest Gathering’ is ranked within the top 10 best jazz festivals in the world. While talking numbers, it also turns ‘Sweet Sixteen’ in 2015 and is in the mood to celebrate.
espAfrika, a subsidiary of Sekunjalo Investments Limited and the festival organisers, have sourced another stellar line-up of local and international artists and acts from jazz and jazz-related genres – the first 20 (of 40) announced today.
This year’s line-up includes:
Amel Larrieux (USA); Beatenberg (SA); Bänz Oester and The Rainmakers (SWISS/SA); Claude Cozens Trio (SA); Carlo Mombelli and The Storytellers (SWISS/SA); Courtney Pine presents House Of Legends (UK); Delft Big Band (SA); Dirty Loops (SWEDEN); Gerald Clayton Trio (USA); Melanie Scholtz Presents ‘Our Time’ Ft. Jitsvinger (SA); Madala Kunene (SA); Mahotella Queens 50th Anniversary Celebration With Special Guests (SA); Naima Kay (SA); Sons Of Kemet (UK); Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse (SA); Basia (UK); The Brother Moves On (SA); Purbayan Chatterjee & Talvin Singh (INDIA/UK); Wallace Roney Quintet ft. Lenny White & Buster Williams (USA); Zoe Modiga (SA)
Taking place on the weekend of 27 and 28 March 2015, the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) will once again be transformed into festival central with five stages; one of the largest hospitality villages experienced in South Africa and host more than 38 thousand Festinos.
From a city perspective, Mayor Patricia De Lille remarked: “The City of Cape Town wants to do our part to ensure greater recognition of culture and heritage. We want to celebrate what has become an integral part of Cape Town’s cultural landscape. Each year jazz lovers come together through their love of music. This event helps to bring us together in creating the kind of future we want for Cape Town; one of communities, united in a common goal, love or interest. The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is one such ‘common’ interest that can help us build a truly inclusive city while also providing a great platform for artists.”
But it is so much more than a music festival. The CTIJF continues to spread its influence in the direction of its training and development works. Fundamental to growing artists and professionals for the future and to sustaining the growth of the entertainment industry as a whole, these outreach
programmes take place over a six week lead up period. They encompass school-goers drawn from selected arts and culture focus schools, to professional journalists and photographers looking for greater insight with which to expand their careers.
Minister of Arts & Culture, Nathi Mthethwa says: “Once, again, we are proud to be the leading sponsor and supporter of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival that we have been associated with since its inception.
“The festival has grown by leaps and bounds to become an important flag bearer for the role and contribution of the performing arts, especially jazz music, in tourism, nation building and, above all, economic development. Over the years, the festival has attracted a growing audience from all corners of the country and the world. Significantly, it has created a platform for indigenous artists to showcase their outstanding talent alongside their international counterparts and to continue to nourish the soul of our people. “Few will doubt that this festival continues to make a meaningful contribution to bringing diverse people together, creating employment opportunities and fostering a spirit of economic self-reliance among our musicians and other players in the sector.”
Indeed, as the ‘jazz fest’ continues to grow in popularity, its audience make-up continues to represent the true cosmopolitan nature of national and international music and entertainment lovers. Many of these visitors stay on to experience Cape Town and its surrounds for longer, thereby extending the economic impact of the festival. This is also highlighted by the popularity of the hospitality section of the event, which has proven to be an invaluable networking tool for consolidating business relationships.
However, perhaps the CTIJF’s best attribute is its ability to create a space where an appreciation for good music and a great experience is shared and enjoyed by all who attend, no matter who they are or where they come from. This is the testament that has withstood the test of time and which, will see it last for time to come.
The official sponsor for the Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2014 is the Department of Arts and Culture. Other sponsors include Brandhouse, South African Tourism, City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Government and Peninsula Beverages.
Tickets prices are: R860 for a weekend pass and R530 for a day pass and are on sale immediately from http://www.computicket.com. Limited Early Bird weekend passes are available. Rosies stage tickets cost R30 per performance and will be available from mid-Feb 2015. Visit www.capetownjazzfest.com for the updates.