Cape Town - It’s jazz weekend in the Mother City, with almost 37 000 people set to enjoy the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, which has taken over the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
A mix of high-profile international acts and creative local ensembles are performing across the festival’s five stages.
The fun kicked off on Friday night with Indian flautist Rakesh Chaurasia on the main stage, and vocalist Mathew Gold on the Moses Molelekwa stage.
And for those lucky enough to see Gold, it was probably the last time he performs in Cape Town for some time, after he told Weekend Argus he was headed for Joburg.
Gold, whose real name is Mathew Moolman, is well-known for his work with electro group Goodluck, and the track Taking it Easy.
He has since signed to well-known house record company Soul Candi, and launched his album The Rush.
Earlier yesterday, he spoke about being a jazz musician in South Africa today.
“I came back from exile, and I found kwaito and hip-hop. This pushed back the jazz I know. In South Africa, we are all piled together in one festival.”
Later, another South African act, Mi Casa, played on the main stage, graduating there after a packed out Jazz Festival debut on the Bassline stage last year.
Band lead singer J-Something said: “House is the foundation we built this thing called Mi Casa on...
“The music of our first album came from studio jams. To make another double platinum album is a lot of work. So far, so good.”
Mi Casa recently returned from a 16 country African tour, where they played to 75 000 people in Angola. Their new album, Su Casa, features collaborations with other Jazz Festival artists Jimmy Nevis and Black Coffee.
The band and Jimmy Nevis are performing at the sold-out KDay at Sandringham Farm in Stellenbosch today.
Meanwhile, retro pop fans had their fill from pop rockers Level 42 and acid jazzers Shakatak, who were seen earlier this week at the festival’s free concert on Greenmarket Square.
If you are lucky enough to have a pass for tonight, you’re spoilt for choice.
Worcester Secondary School opens on Saturday on the Basil “Manenberg” Coetzee Stage, in a slot traditionally occupied by a school band.
Saturday is a night to see instruments in harmony; pianists Bokani Dyer and Kyle Shepherd play at the premium stage, Rosies.
Shepherd joked yesterday that it was a pleasure for them to play without drum and bass, while Dyer explained that the concept for their joint set was initiated by festival organisers espAfrika.
“Rosies is a big stage and this is a big occasion, but we want to push through that,” Dyer said.
A must-see on the main stage tonight is the coming together of four unique guitarists in the show Shape of Strings to Come. The show brings together Jimmy Dludlu, Alvin Dyers, Richard Ceasar and flamenco player Saudiq Khan.
Dludlu said yesterday that audiences could expect to hear Brenda Fassie music interpreted for guitar.
“This year is the anniversaries of 20 years of democracy and and 15 years of jazz festival; we put together music to celebrate this. We chose music not associated with guitar, it’s going to blow your mind,” he said.
Don’t miss Lalah Hathaway just before them, who won a Grammy for her contribution to Snarky Puppy’s Something.
The performance of this track has more than 2 million views on YouTube, and her harmonising has been praised. “I am still perfecting that harmonising. I don’t know what it is yet,” she said.
If jazz festival tickets are completely out of your hands for tonight, there are other options.
The Cape Town Sounds Fringe Festival continues on Saturday and Sunday at various small City Bowl venues. The event promises 40 artists at venues in and around St George’s Mall and Greenmarket Square.
They have a ticket office at Mandela Rhodes Place.
If you would rather catch a relaxed jazz picnic, there are two on Sunday The official espAfrika post-festival event is at the Liqui Fruit Amphitheatre in Paarl from 6pm. The show will be headlined by saxophonist Kirk Whalum, who played at the festival on Friday night.
Meanwhile, Shakatak will play at another event at Maynardville in Wynberg. The Sunday After Jazz concert starts at 12.30pm. Tickets for both picnics are from Computicket. - Weekend Argus