Organizers and the local music industry are calling it
the "mother of all celebrations." South Africa's 10th Annual Cape
Town International Jazz Festival kicks off today, April 3rd. In its first year – 2000 -- the two-day event
attracted 15,000 jazz lovers to Cape Town's Goodhope Center. The numbers have
since grown and last year the festival attracted over twice as many people.
Cape Town International Jazz Festival has become an important event on the
world music calendar. In 2006, MelodyTrip – an international music festival
website - ranked it the 4th best annual jazz festival in the world.
year 40 bands – 20 from Africa and 20 from overseas
– will perform on five stages over two days. The music extends beyond jazz and
encompasses elements of Afro-pop, soul, funk, blues, Latin and hip-hop. Among the artists scheduled to perform are bassist
Kyle Eastwood, son of movie star Clint
Eastwood. Also the UK-based acid-jazz
group Incognito, the British jazz-funk band Shakatak and Mos Def of the
United States -- a multi-award nominee in the field of hip hop.
the local front are acts such as Freshlyground, Ringo Madlingozi, Sibongile Khumalo and the Cape Town Jazz Orchestra. Also to be featured
is one of South Africa's
legendary trumpeters, Hugh Masekela,
who will be celebrating his 70th birthday on stage at the festival. Also
celebrating at this year's Jazz Festival – the Latin-beat group Loading Zone,
based in Cape Town, which will celebrate its twentieth anniversary.
who prefer straight jazz sounds can look forward to John Coltrane's disciple Dave Liebman, Miles Davis' drummer Al Foster, an acappella group called New York Voices, local veteran drummer
Maurice Gawronsky and the Quartet and
the years, the festival has become more than a musical event. Organizers
incorporate music workshops, clinics and community outreach concerts. A study
by the Center for Tourism Research in Africa, based in Cape
Town, found that close
to half the audience that attended the festival in 2007 came from outside South Africa.
This year the Cape Town Jazz Festival is taking
place April 3rd and 4th with weekend admission costing
was also a free community band concert for area music fans that were not able
to attend the main festival, held Wednesday, April 1st.