The second lineup announcement for the 17th Cape Town International Jazz Festival was made this week. While I was still trying to get over the excitement of Angie Stone and SWV who were confirmed on the 1st lineup, the organisers went ahead and added one of my all time favourite groups Driemanskap!
Africa’s Grandest Gathering, now celebrating its 17th year, just got grander. American singer and songwriter Cassandra Wilson will grace the Rosies stage with her tribute to Billie Holiday – for jazz lovers this rich and sublime experience is not to be missed. Many critics acknowledge Wilson as the pre-eminent jazz singer of our time and her highly anticipated performance at CTIJF 2016 is set to be a feature for many Festinos.
Also enhancing the star quality of this glittering line-up is multi-award winning, drummer, percussionist, vocalist, songwriter, performer, arranger, producer, composer, instrumentalist, author and humanitarian, Sheila E. She is a celebrated artist in her own right, but has also graced the performances of other major entertainers such as Prince, for whom she is a regular contributor, Ringo Starr and Beyoncé. Sheila E.’s music fuses pop, R&B, funk, rock, Latin and jazz, creating a unique signature that has been heard in solo and as support.
Adding even more weight to the 2016 line-up are the likes of: JAV (Reunion Island/Mozambique/SA); multi-award winning local and international pop reggae aficionados Dr Victor & the Rasta Rebels (SA); Cape jazz master, Ramon Alexander (SA); hip hop and soul fusion mistress Laëtitia Dana (France); versatile guitar virtuoso Cameron Ward (SA); award-winning pianist, composer and producer Bokani Dyer (SA); jazz guitarist Themba Mokoena (SA); ‘indietronica’ electronic artist Felix Laband ft. Derek Gripper (SA); Gugulethu hip hop crew Driemanskap (SA); kora specialist and acoustic guitarist, composer, arranger & performer Derek Gripper (SA); the multi award-winning and much loved Elsies River School Band (SA); the scintillating voices of the multiple award-winning singers and composers, Dorothy Masuka, Abigail Kubeka ft. Lemmy ‘Special’ Mabaso who form Legendary Ladies in Song (SA); jazz pianist Tete Mbambisa’s Big Sound (SA) brings the party to Cape Town; psychedelic/dream hip-hop duo Christian Tiger School (SA); replacing Afrika Mkhize is award-winning jazz pianist Nduduzo Makhathini’s Listening to the Ground Project ft. Eddie Parker; adding to the mix is the supremely talented Sekunjalo Edujazz Big Band (SA).
Commenting on the extraordinary line-up, Festival Director Billy Domingo remarked: “These artists are representative of the diversity of the jazz music genre. Each year we set out to select performers who provide depth and range of music craft, as well as broad entertainment value to our ever discerning audiences.
“Providing clear proof that Africa is growing as a desirable destination for international artists and tourists alike, I believe we have delivered a line-up that celebrates our diversity, provides variety and one that is certain to appeal to the CTIJF’s local and foreign, faithful ‘Festinos’ and newcomers alike” he concluded.
Previously announced artists for CTIJF 2016 are: Three-time Grammy-nominated soul songstress Angie Stone (USA); Grammy-nominated jack swing trio SWV (USA); three-time solo bassist award-winner Victor Wooten (USA); singer-songwriter, rapper and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello (USA); Grammy-nominated afro-blues duo Amadou & Mariam (Mali); instrumental jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD (Canada); tenor saxophonist Mark Turner (USA); jazz and R&B vocalist Lizz Wright (USA); santoor and classical artist Rahul Sharma (India) performing with jazz saxophonist George Brooks (USA) and jazz pianist roberto SOLO fonseca (Cuba) and supergroup Jazz Attack ft. Peter White, Rick Braun and Euge Groove (USA). Award-winning jazz pianist Nduduzo Makhatini ‘s Listening to the Ground Project (who replaces Afrika Mkhize) ft. Eddie Parker (SA/UK); three-time SAMA winners Mafikizolo ft. Tsepo Tshola; top-selling local phenomenon Nathi with special guest Vusi Nova; rising songbird Tribute ‘Birdie’ Mboweni; SAMA-nominated pop sensation Muzart performing with award-winning hip hop artist Khuli Chana; South Africa’s leading jazz bassist Benjamin Jephta Quintet; Mbokodo Award ‘Women in Jazz’ winner Thandi Ntuli; Cape Town favourites TopDog; and introducing the exciting new music experience of Tumi Mogorosi and Project ELO.
Commenting on the line-up and the festival, Executive Mayor Patricia De Lille said: “We are determined to build an inclusive city and that centres on creating a shared heritage. The Cape Town International Jazz Festival has become an institution which breaks down barriers and gives us the opportunity to celebrate our shared love of music, together. Every year it allows us to consolidate why Cape Town is becoming the events capital of Africa. Showcasing our local talent is also an integral part of displaying the role that the arts have to play in that regard.”
Minister of Arts & Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa had this to say in anticipation of next year’s festival: “Jazz is a means with which we tell our stories. Therefore, we welcome the first announcement of the artists who will grace the Cape Town International Jazz Festival with their presence to delight jazz lovers. We believe that events like the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, where the living legends of jazz rub shoulders with younger local artists, play an important role in providing for a cross pollination of knowledge, skills and talents. We are a nation who loves jazz music and our love of jazz is striving for interplay of individuality with the collective, which also characterizes our struggle for freedom and our efforts to achieve sustainable economic and social development in the present phase of our history. Jazz has grown in popularity over the years, bringing South Africans and the rest of the continent to this much-loved event. This festival creates a space for engagement and enjoyment, and also increases the economic contribution of the arts to the city of Cape Town.”
Tickets are available at www.computicket.com and although weekend passes are officially sold out, day passes are still available at R590 each. Please visit www.capetownjazzfest.com for the Artist Per Day programme. Limited Rosies Stage tickets cost R30 per performance and will also be available on www.computicket.com from 7rd December 2015.