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THE CAPE TOWN International Jazz Festival celebrates 15 years since it started in the Good Hope Centre as an extension of the North Sea Jazz Festival.
Since that 1999 festival it has grown into the premiere jazz event on the continent, drawing artists from around the world and locally.
Over two days people can watch 40 shows across five stages and the Cape Town International Convention Centre is working on extending its capacity beyond the expected 34 000 people.
Last year festival organisers instituted a no-passout system to aid security. This limits the number of people re-using tickets and will be in effect again this year.
While many Capetonians are not quick enough off the mark to get a ticket to the two-day event, which sells out faster than you can say the festival’s name, the free event on Green Market Square on Wednesday, March 26, makes up for a lot.
This year Good Hope FM’s LuWayne Wonder will be the MC and the crowds will be able to enjoy Shakatak, the UK jazz/funk band that were quite popular at the festival when they performed in 2009. They will be joined by Dutch band Tasha’s World, and locals Crazy White Boy, the winners of the open mic competition, Sade Ross and the Arts and Focus Schools Superband.
Festival organisers espAfrika started the Summer Jazz Series earlier this year and US smooth saxophonist, Kirk Whalum, will bring the inaugural and successful series to an end on Sunday, March 30, at the Liqui-Fruit Amphitheatre, adjacent to the Taal Monument.
The outdoor Paarl venue has drawn the crowds and Cape Town-bred bass player, Jonathan Rubain, and his band will open the concert. (doors open 4.30pm, show starts 6pm.)
In a last-minute decision, multi-award winning record producer and DJ, Black Coffee, has made the line-up for both nights and not just one as previously indicated.
This year’s Duotone exhibition will celebrate the 15th edition with a selection of images from in-house photographers, some of whom have covered the festival since its inception. The exhibition documents the huge variety of artists who have performed, which number just more than 5 000.
• The Cape Town International Jazz Festival takes place on March 27, 28 and 29. Check www.capetown jazzfest.com for the detailed schedule.