Cape Town International Jazz Festival helps artists grow
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
This much-repeated phrase can be interpreted in many ways and was highly appropriate in terms of the recent music and careers workshops held as part of, and facilitated by, the 2020 Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
Four workshops were run by Sustainable Training and Development at the Cape Town International Convention Centre over the past month, ending on Saturday. Each covered different topics to guide learners and educators to develop their skills not only in the entertainment industry but in contributing to enhancing communities.
Many people dream of being on stage and making a name for themselves, and the workshops offered a insight into ways of communication; the nitty gritty of administration, such as artist biographies and hospitality requirements; and production tools like stage requirements.
Pop singer Jarrad Ricketts spoke eloquently at the final workshop; giving inspirational tips in the workshop “Journey through Sound”.
He told learners from schools across the Western Cape, from Bergvliet to Worcester: “Talent is talent and money can’t buy that.”
Ricketts grew up in a musical family and started performing in church and local competitions as a teenager. He joined local boy band Protégé and toured South Africa before he went solo. He’s performed in top spots internationally and last year released a single, If You Like, off his SA Music Awards-nominated album Break The Rules.
“I didn’t even study music, but the point is we’re all born into circumstance,” he told the rapt audience. “You need to understand your space and find the line between being real and realistic.”
Ricketts said a couple of years ago, while driving into Cape Town, he saw a poster advertising the jazz festival. “I said to myself, ‘I can’t wait to see my name on that poster’, and two years later it happened.”
He added, “You need to take yourself seriously and use what you have right now. I never thought about finding me - I knew I would just find myself. It’s very important to just throw yourself into the deep end. Don’t waste an opportunity, do those things to get in the door.”
But he advised learners to be well-prepared. “Preparation is key. When I learn a song, I study four or five different versions. Do your research and practise every day,” he said.
“Learn all those things which help you to become who you want to be. Learn the hard lesson and don’t be afraid of tripping and falling - and fall forwards...”
Lynn Hannibal, head of music at Bergvliet High School, said: “This is such a good event and really valuable. Our pupils were inspired by the messages in all the sessions. What stood out was about dreaming big and being brave, and how to present oneself, using opportunities and being true to oneself.”
General access tickets for the festival are available at Computicket at R999 for a Weekend Pass and R649 for a Day Pass.