The organisers of the 17th Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) this week announced an exciting line-up of artists that are set to deliver an exceptional and unforgettable live music experience in 2016. This was the first artist announcement for the festival, popularly known as ‘Africa’s Grandest Gathering,’ that will take place on 1 and 2 April 2016 in Cape Town and is set to host more than 37 000 music-loving ‘Festinos’.
International artists announced at the recent press conference held in Johannesburg include three-time Grammy-nominated soul songstress Angie Stone (USA); Grammy-nominated R&B trio SWV (USA); award-winning solo bassist 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 featuring Peter White, Rick Braun and Euge Groove (USA).
Shining a light on homegrown talent, the first South African artists announced for CTIJF 2016 include award-winning jazz pianist Afrika Mkhize ft. Eddie Parker (SA/UK); three-time SAMA winners Mafikizolo ft. Tsepo Tshola (Sankomota); 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; top young jazz bassist Benjamin Jephta and his 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.
Executive Mayor Patricia De Lille said: “We are determined to build an inclusive city and that centres around 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."
Concluding the announcement proceedings, Festival Director Billy Domingo of espAfrika said: “We are proud to create an annual event that has the ability to speak to every demographic and music-lover on the continent. ‘Africa’s Grandest Gathering’ is an extraordinary experience and we will continue to provide our audience with just that. As always, our main objective is to create a platform where known and sometimes unknown artists share the same stage. Our festival has expanded greatly in recent years and there will always be a strong balance between South African artists and their international counterparts. This first announcement is just a taste of what’s in store for fans and with even more acts to be announced on November 24th we are sure CTIJF 2016 will be as always an unique and truly amazing experience.”
The CTIJF Sustainable Training & Development programme takes place in the lead-up to the festival and will launch four weeks prior. The programme will include workshops and masterclasses in photography, arts journalism and a dedicated Music & Career programme. Those interested in participating in these workshops are urged to register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. For more details refer to the festival website (www.capetownjazzfest.com).
The CTIJF 2016 second artist announcement will be released on the 24 November. Tickets for the festival went on sale on 13 October 2015 at Computicket. Ticket cost R895 for a weekend pass (two days) and R590 for a day pass. Limited Rosies Stage tickets cost R30 per performance and will be available from 7 December.
Watch highlights from this year’s festival in the video below.