Pops Mohamed. Picture: Supplied
Pops Mohamed. Picture: Supplied
Andra Dey. Picture: Supplied
Andra Dey. Picture: Supplied
Kamasi Washington. Picture: Supplied
Kamasi Washington. Picture: Supplied

EspAfrika, the organiser of the country’s longest running jazz festival, has pulled out all the stops to ensure that the 18th Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) exceeds all expectations. 

The line-up highlights festival director Billy Domingo’s insights into the current musical renaissance around the world, where collaborations are producing unique sounds that are gaining new audiences. 

Jazz fans are likely to make a beeline for these exciting acts announced in the second half of the CTJIF line-up: Saxophonist, producer and composer Kamasi Washington (US) and his release The Epic shook up the jazz critics’ pick lists in 2015 and won the 2016 American Music prize, earning new fans across the world in the process; Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day (US) whose song Rise Up has been adopted as an anthem for change throughout the world; vocalist, pianist, composer and music educator, and two-time Metro Music Award winner Nomfundo Xaluva (SA); and, the multi-award winning saxophonist, composer and arranger Buddy Wells, who will lead his own band in a sensitive yet blistering set as the Buddy Wells Sextet (SA). 

For those who favour urban sounds and hip hop there is alternative hip hop trio Digable Planets (USA); dance/electronic music producer Jameszoo (NL); STTA (SA) – a live concept band and City Festival Battle of the Bands 2016 winner, comprising of drummer Jstar, turntablists DJ Raiko and DJ P–Kuttah, three live beat machine samplers, versatile vocalist/ Nasty J aka Joniq; and singer/composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Tom Misch (UK), who leaves his London bedroom studio to head to Cape Town for the first time in March.

Also on the line-up is music from the deserts of Mali, Morocco and the Kalahari: Jokko is a supergroup of African instrumentalists that brings together five top-ranking players of traditional instruments, all fluent in the modern languages of pop, dance and jazz. Renowned balafon (wooden xylophone) player Aly Keita, stringed instrument (guembri and ghayta) player Mehdi Nassouli, Foulane Bouhssine “the Mozart of the ribab”, bassist Childo Thomas and, Senegalese drummer Sega Seck. 

Some of the country’s greatest talents, from big local names to rising stars will also be featured, including composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer “Pops” Mohamed, South Africa’s ‘unofficial minister of music’ whose social commentary takes root in preserving the heritage of indigenous music. 

Also gracing the CTIJF stage will be the multiple award-winning and platinum-selling group Mango Groove whose unique ‘Maribi-Pop’ sound has been delighting world audiences since the 80’s. The Khayelitsha-based Arts & Culture Focus School Chris Hani High School will bring the talents of young past and present students to the CTIJF stage, including students from the CTIJF’s Training & Development programme, with a mix of jazz and African influences. 

This year’s special performance by Camillo Lombard presents a Cape Town Showcase will profile consummate Cape Town legends who have made their mark in the music industry for over four decades. The line-up will include Sophia Foster, Terry Fortune, Sylvia Mdunyelwa, Sammy Webber and Songstress Vicky Sampson. The Cape Town Showcase also boasts a stellar 14-piece band that comprises a six-piece rhythm section, five horns and three backing vocals. 

Festinos can look forward to performances from multiple award-winner vocalist and songwriter Thandiswa Mazwai; SAMA-winning, Congolese-born, Cape Town-based vocalist/composer Tresor; and Sonik Citizen one of the many musical identities of multi-talented performer, composer and teacher, and multiple award winner Mark Fransman, who will showcase his “lyrical-soul-rock” style at the CTIJF.

Billy Domingo says this year’s CTJIF has “one of the most potent socially conscious musical line-ups ever staged in South Africa”.  

The Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa, pointed out that: “The Cape Town International Jazz Festival, now in its 18th edition, continues to attract the best musicians from South Africa and abroad; and the musical collaborations that result from this rich engagement produce music that captures the cultural imagination of our people, builds continental cohesion and speaks to the world at large.” – Tonight Reporter

The festival takes place on March 31 & 1 April. Book at www.computicket.com.

Tickets are available at www.computicket.com at the following links:

Weekend Passes: http://bit.ly/2eHG6bJ

Day Passes: http://bit.ly/2fuzXOO

For corporate hospitality packages, contact Samantha on 021 671 0506 or email [email protected]

Follow CTIJF on social media and use the official hashtag to share your CTIJF experience with us: 

Official hashtag: #CTIJF2017

Facebook: facebook.com/CTJazzFest 

Twitter: twitter.com/CTJazzFest

Instagram: Instagram.com/capetownjazzfest