BEHIND THE KIT: Cindy Blackman will play at the upcoming Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

THE LATEST artist announcement of performers destined for Cape Town International Jazz Festival stages on March 25 and 26 at the CTICC should offer a little something for most punters.

In addition to ensuring the choice of listening to 40 bands on five stages, the festival’s organisers have put together four concept bands specifically assembled for the event.

A Tribute to Oscar Peterson will feature pianist Jack van Poll, globetrotting guitarist James Scholfield and Dutch bassist Hein van Geyn.

Opting for a piano-guitar-bass format that resembles the definitive Oscar Peterson-Ray Brown-Herb Ellis trio, the three will dig deep into the late Canadian pianist’s swinging repertoire.

The second collaboration will be GuitarAfrika, fronted by Steve Newman, Eric Triton from Mauritius and Alhousseini Mohamed Anivolla from Niger. In addition to showcasing different guitar styles from the continent, the three will celebrate the role of guitars in African music.

With the recent passing of numerous jazz musicians in mind, a Cape Town Tribute Band has been formed under the directorship of Alvin Dyers. It will pay tribute to Winston Mankunku, Tony Schilder, Donald Tshomela, Ezra Ngcukana, Robbie Jansen, Hotep Galeta and Vincent Kolbe.

Joining Dyers in the third concept act is pianist Nick Williams, bassist Wesley Rustin and drummer Denver Furness. Guests include saxophonist Buddy Wells, pianist Mike Perry, guitarist Errol Dyers, trumpeter Ian Smith and singer Sylvia Mdunyelwa. They will play tunes like Montreal, Harold’s Bossa and Crossroads.

Conversations with bassist Victor Masondo and trumpeter/conductor Prince Lengoasa, drummer Kevin Gibson, pianist Mark Fransman and saxman Donvino Prins complete the concept projects.

These Conversations will provide an opportunity to see Masondo, who was recently invited to present his arrangements of Duke Ellington’s music at the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival in Washington DC.

Other headline acts now also confirmed are guitarist Chieli Minucci, who will bring his Grammy-nominated jazz-fusion group Special EFX.

US guitarist Chuck Loeb, who in addition to leading his solo projects and having the guitar seat in Fourplay, will be joined by Spanish vocalist Carmen Cuesta.

Drummer Cindy Blackman-Santana and her quartet Another Lifetime will pay tribute with Felix Pastorius (son of Jaco Pastorius) to fusion pioneer/drummer Tony Williams and his groundbreaking band Lifetime.

Vocalist BeBe Winans, whose Detroit family are all recorded musicians, will air his gospel and R&B.

Hugh Masekela will be joined by pianist Larry Willis, Victor Masondo and drummer Lee-Roy Sauls. Masekela will play music that inspired him to record Almost Like Being In Jazz, an album which consisted of jazz standards taken from the American songbook. They will play to a seated audience on the Rosies stage.

Other artists added to the line-up are Don Laka; Berlin-based nu-jazz act Jazzanova with US bassist Paul Randolph; Feya Faku; house band Tortured Soul from Boston; Mozambican saxophonist Orlando Venhereque; Tumi and The Volume; Naima McLean; Songbook – led by Lwanda Gogwana; Sekunjalo Edujazz Band; Citie, and three artists from StereoType Records – Chad Saaiman, Mathew Moolman and Lloyd Jansen.

Other participants include Earth, Wind & Fire, Christian Scott, The Clearing, Dave Koz, Esperanza Spalding, Gang of Instrumentals, Gazelle, Hanjin, Hubert Laws, Ivan Mazuze, Lisa Bauer, Monique Bingham, Patricia Barber, Sandra Cordeiro, Simphiwe Dana, The Flames, Wayne Shorter Quartet with John Patitucci and Youssou N’dour.

l Tickets are R365 to R499. Call Computicket at 083 915 8000.