Versatile saxophonist and dynamic vocalist, Femi Koya is the new face of the African Renaissance.
Versatile saxophonist and dynamic vocalist, Femi Koya is the new face of the African Renaissance.

5 acts from Africa you must watch at this year's Cape Town International Jazz Festival

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Feb 24, 2020

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Cape Town - While the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) is renowned for bringing some of the biggest names in jazz and jazz-related music to the Mother City, the Festival has always had a bigger mission: To provide a platform to showcase Africa’s musical talent.

Over the last 20 years, the festival has welcomed industry icons such as Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Abdullah Ibrahim and Jonathan Butler to share the stage at Africa’s Grandest Gathering. This year – as the festival celebrates 21 years – the legacy continues, says Festival Director Billy Domingo.

“The CTIJF has always brought celebrated international musicians to South Africa, but we have also used the festival as a vehicle to showcase African artists. This year we will see renowned African artists such as South Africa’s Judith Sephuma, Femi Koya from Kenya , Manou Gallo from Ivory Coast, Abdullah Ibrahim from South Africa and the KWETU TRIO (from Kenya and South Africa) bringing the best of jazz to the Mother City,” he says.

Multi-award winning artist Judith Sephuma has continued to dominate airwaves for close to two decades.  Since the release of her triple platinum-status debut album titled A Cry, A Smile, A Dance in 2001, Judith has attracted interest and acclaim from jazz, afro-soul and gospel music lovers all over the world.

Manou Gallo, born in Côte d’Ivoire, is a virtuoso and her unique talent is rich with the heritage of her origin of the Djiboi tribe.

Manou Gallo, born in Côte d’Ivoire, is a virtuoso and her unique talent is rich with the heritage of her origin of the Djiboi tribe. She plays the tambour (percussion drums) which is normally only reserved and allowed for men in the Ivorian culture. When she discovered the bass guitar, she brought this knowledge with her, transforming it into a percussion instrument.

Versatile saxophonist and dynamic vocalist, Femi Koya is the new face of the African Renaissance, combining West African highlife and jazz, South African Sofiatown with a nostalgic afrobeat root sounds. Koya has shared the stage with the likes of Yvonne Chaka Chaka and John Legend, and is known for songs such as “Ori Mi” and “Iba”.

Abdullah Ibrahim is South Africa’s most distinguished pianist and a world-respected master musician.

Abdullah Ibrahim, South Africa’s most distinguished pianist and a world-respected master musician, has toured the world extensively for more than a quarter-century. An icon of the South African resistance movement, his song “Mannenberg – ‘Is Where It’s Happening’” became an unofficial national anthem for black South Africans under apartheid.

Kenyan-born Aaron Rimbui is a self-taught pianist, keyboardist, drummer, bandleader, producer, and composer. In 2017, Rimbui joined South African jazz icons Herbie Tsoaeli on Bass and Ayanda Sikade on drums to create the KWETU TRIO. The group delicately mixes mainstream bebop, afro-funk, and soul ballads to create a sound that speaks to their different geographic influences.

Video: Shifaan Ryklief

Come and experience this once-in-a-lifetime jazz spectacular. General access tickets for the 2020 festival are on sale now at Computicket at R999 for a Weekend Pass and R649 for a Day Pass: bit.ly/CTIJF2020  

CTIJF 2020 award-winning VIP hospitality packages are on sale now, with two-day festival experiences starting from R2 999 ex VAT. Contact Samantha Pienaar on 021 671 0506 or email [email protected] Alternatively visit www.capetownjazzfest.com/hospitality for more information.

The official sponsors of the 21st annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival are Independent Media, AYO Technology Solutions, The Department of Arts and Culture, Host City – The City of Cape Town, Engen, Scottish Leader, Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages, SAB AB-INBEV, Raymond Weil and Heart 104.9FM.

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