Cape Town, 24 January 2017 – espAfrika, the organiser of the country’s longest running and best-loved jazz festival, has pulled out all the stops to ensure that the 18th Cape Town International Jazz Festival exceeds the expectations of its devoted fans. The billing, highlights Festival Director Billy Domingo’s insights into the current musical renaissance around the world, where collaborations are producing unique sounds that are gaining new audiences. The second batch of stars for this year’s CTIJF - which takes place on 31 March & 1 April 2017 - speaks to this movement and adds even more richness and diversity to the event’s reference library of jazz, soul, African and contemporary music.
Jazz fans (purists and those who appreciate crossover crystal clear sounds and piercing notes that thrill) are likely to make a beeline for these exciting acts: Saxophonist, producer and composer Kamasi Washington (USA) and his release The Epic shook up the jazz critics’ pick lists in 2015 and won the 2016 American Music prize, earning new fans across the world in the process; Grammy-nominated songstress Andra Day (USA) whose song Rise Up has been adopted as an anthem for change throughout the world; vocalist, pianist, composer and music educator, and two-time Metro Music Award winner Nomfundo Xaluva (SA); and, the multi-award winning saxophonist, composer and arranger Buddy Wells, who will lead his own band in a sensitive yet blistering set as the Buddy Wells Sextet (SA).
Those who favour urban sounds and hip hop will find appeal in these artists who offer everything from the fresh, dreamy inspiration of a British producer in his early 20s to the harder-edged, funky flavours of a trio of respected (and long-missed) Brooklyn veterans: Alternative hip hop trio Digable Planets (USA); dance/electronic music producer Jameszoo (NL); STTA (SA) – a live concept band and City Festival Battle of the Bands 2016 winner, comprising of drummer Jstar, turntablists DJ Raiko and DJ P–Kuttah, three live beat machine samplers, versatile vocalist/ Nasty J aka Joniq; and singer/composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Tom Misch (UK), who leaves his London bedroom studio to head to Cape Town for the first time in March.
Those seeking the ancestral roots of jazz and hip hop in African music will be captivated by these artists, offering music from the deserts of Mali, Morocco and the Kalahari: Jokko is a supergroup of African instrumentalists that brings together five top-ranking players of traditional instruments, all fluent in the modern languages of pop, dance and jazz. Renowned balafon (wooden xylophone) player Aly Keita, stringed instrument (guembri and ghayta) player Mehdi Nassouli, Foulane Bouhssine “the Mozart of the ribab”, bassist Childo Thomas and, Senegalese drummer Sega Seck.
Also announced in the second half of the CTIJF 2017 line-up, are some of our country’s greatest talents, from big local names to rising stars: South Africa’s ‘unofficial minister of music’ whose social commentary takes root in preserving the heritage of indigenous music, the legendary composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer “Pops” Mohamed (SA) will be gracing the CTIJF stage. Festinos will be transported to the past and future with this unusual artist’s blend of sounds, taking influence from decades of traditional and modern music; Another South African great, the multiple award-winning and platinum-selling group Mango Groove (SA) whose unique ‘Maribi-Pop’ sound has been delighting world audiences since the 80’s; Khayelitsha-based Arts & Culture Focus School Chris Hani High School (SA) will bring the talents of young past and present students to the CTIJF stage, including students from the CTIJF’s Training & Development programme, with a mix of jazz and African influences; this year’s special performance by Camillo Lombard presents a Cape Town Showcase (SA) will profile consummate Cape Town legends who have made their mark in the music industry for over four decades. The line-up will include Sophia Foster, Terry Fortune, Sylvia Mdunyelwa, Sammy Webber and Songstress Vicky Sampson. The Cape Town Showcase also boasts a stellar 14-piece band that comprises a six-piece rhythm section, five horns and three backing vocals.
Festinos will be delighted by performances from multiple award-winner vocalist and songwriter Thandiswa Mazwai (SA); SAMA-winning, Congolese-born, Cape Town-based vocalist/composer Tresor (SA); and Sonik Citizen (SA) one of the many musical identities of multi-talented performer, composer and teacher, and multiple award winner Mark Fransman, who will showcase his “lyrical-soul-rock” style at the CTIJF.
“The CTIJF has reached a point where it is known to deliver a good product. This was evidenced by the sale of tickets even before we made the first artist announcement this year,” commented Billy Domingo. Thanking loyal fans for their support, Domingo went on to say that festival-goers’ faith has been justified in what he dubs as “one of the most potent socially conscious musical line-ups ever staged in South Africa, and one that has exceptional cachet.” It is clearly not to be missed.
Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Alderman Patricia de Lille concurs, "Our City can boast of many jazz icons who have united us around our common love for music and the unique sounds of Cape Town jazz. Those sounds are deeply woven into both our past and our present, and they continue to bring us together. The CTIJF is not just a local favourite, but has rightfully taken its place as one of the primary festivals of its kind on a global scale. Every year it gives us the opportunity to consolidate our position as the events capital of Africa, and brings a national and international audience to our world-class local acts.”
The Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, pointed out that: "The Cape Town International Jazz Festival, now in its 18th edition, continues to attract the best musicians from South Africa and abroad; and the musical collaborations that result from this rich engagement produce music that captures the cultural imagination of our people, builds continental cohesion and speaks to the world at large."
Previously announced artists include:
Jazz supergroup Jazz Funk Soul with Everette Harp, Jeff Lorber & Paul Jackson Jr (USA); Ernie Smith (SA), VuDu (SA); Rudresh Mahanthappa Bird Calls (USA); Gretchen Parlato (USA); Siya Makuzeni (SA); Skyjack (SA/ SWISS); Tune Recreation Committee (SA); Darren English (SA/ USA), Jonas Gwangwa & Friends (SA).
Taylor McFerrin and Marcus Gilmore (USA); Dope Saint Jude (SA); Laura Mvula (UK); Judith Sephuma (SA); The Rudimentals (SA); Sekunjalo Edujazz Band (SA); Manu Dibango (Cameroon) and Moreira Chonguica (Mozambique); Deepak Pandit (India); Marcus Wyatt (SA) and Ranjit Barot (India); Escalandrum (Argentina); and Soweto String Quartet (SA) .
The official sponsors for the 18th annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2017 amongst other are as follows: The Department of Arts and Culture, Independent Media, and host city The City of Cape Town, Johnnie Walker, Amstel and more.