Artscape jazz festival kicks off as part of its 50th celebration
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Cape Town - The iconic Artscape Theatre is continuing its golden jubilee celebrations with a 3-day jazz festival to kickstart things today.
The Youth to Masters Jazz Festival will take place over the course of three nights featuring unfamiliar young talent to jazz masters for its annual flagship project, funded by the City.
The festival forms part of the 50th anniversary of the building that houses Artscape since its establishment as the Nico Malan in 1971.
The Youth to Masters Jazz Festival focuses on the skills development within the jazz genre and to foster the investment of cultural democratisation of the country, said the Artscape Theatre.
The project was launched in 2003 and has grown extensively since then.
The festival will commence this evening with seven young, aspiring Western Cape-based jazz musicians and instrumentalists who made the cut following auditions held earlier this year. They include learners and informal music students not older than 27.
When the theatre opened 50 years ago as the then-Nico Malan, not only did it host an exclusive audience it also primarily promoted the so-called exclusive “Western” art forms,“ said Artscape communications manager Simone Heradien.
“Within the ambit of arts, these art forms are important to promote and maintain. However, as the entity transformed to Artscape, so too did our productions and programmes transform to become all-inclusive. As the youth are our future audiences and artists in all genres, one arts education focus was that of jazz,” said Heradien.
“This genre, formally marginalised on the earlier theatre days, had to be placed on centre stage alongside indigenous art forms that we equally focus on too, as well as their ‘Western’ counterparts as a conduit not only towards nation-building but towards inclusivity of all genres as well as all performing art forms in order to live by our ethos as ‘Artscape – a home for all’.”
Mayco member for community services and health Zahid Badroodien said the City’s Arts and Culture Branch – Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department – provided grants-in-aid funding to Artscape Theatre Centre in 2021.
“The City recognises the importance of the work of Artscape in creating opportunities in the performing arts sector for young and emerging arts practitioners, previously marginalised artists and art forms, and in making performing arts more accessible to the general public,” said Badroodien.