espAfrika, the organizer of the country’s longest-running and best-loved jazz festival, has pulled out all the stops to ensure that the 18th Cape Town International Jazz Festival exceeds the expectations of its devoted fans.
The billing 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.
CTIJF 2017 line-up
The second batch of stars for this year’s CTIJF – which takes place on 31 March and 1 April 2017 – speaks to this movement and adds, even more, richness and diversity to the event’s reference library of jazz, soul, African and contemporary music.
Jazz fans (purists and those who appreciate crossover crystal clear sounds and piercing notes that thrill) are likely to make a beeline for these exciting acts: Saxophonist, producer and composer Kamasi Washington (USA) 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 songstress Andra Day (USA) 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).
Those who favour urban sounds and hip-hop will find appeal in these artists who offer everything from the fresh, dreamy inspiration of a British producer in his early 20s to the harder-edged, funky flavours of a trio of respected (and long-missed) Brooklyn veterans: 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.
Those seeking the ancestral roots of jazz and hip-hop in African music will be captivated by these artists, offering 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.
Also announced in the second half of the CTIJF 2017 line-up, are some of our country’s greatest talents, from big local names to rising stars: South Africa’s ‘unofficial minister of music’ whose social commentary takes root in preserving the heritage of indigenous music, the legendary composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer “Pops” Mohamed (SA) will be gracing the CTIJF stage.
Festinos will be transported to the past and future with this unusual artist’s blend of sounds, taking influence from decades of traditional and modern music; Another South African great, the multiple award-winning and platinum-selling group Mango Groove (SA) whose unique ‘Maribi-Pop’ sound has been delighting world audiences since the 80’s; Khayelitsha-based Arts & Culture Focus School Chris Hani High School (SA) 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 (SA) which 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.