espAfrika, the organizers of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, have once again come up with an exciting artist line-up for the 17th edition of the festival, which is to be held on April 1st and 2nd. There will be around 37.000 visitors again this year and among the international acts are Angie Stone, who has a new record out called “Dreams”, Cassandra Wilson with her Billie Holiday tribute project, new jack swing trio SWV who will have a new album out in early February called “Still”, bassist Victor Wooten, vocalist Lizz Wright, the afro-blues duo Amadou & Mariam, tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, pianist Roberto Fonseca, Canadian trio BadBadNotGood, French hip-hop meets neo-soul singer Laetitia Dana and Meshell Ndégeocello plus supergroup Jazz Attack featuring Peter White, Rick Braun, and Euge Groove as well as Sheila E.
But it is always exciting to discover new and established home-grown acts at this festival I had the pleasure to visit during the very early years of its existence (was it the first one in 2000?). Among those will be award-winning pianist Afrika Mkhize ft. Eddie Parker, South Africa’s leading jazz bassist Benjamin Jephta Quintet, top-selling local phenomenon Nathi with special guest Vusi Nova, or Mbokodo Award ‘Women in Jazz’ winner Thandi Ntuli. Also on the menu, the Legendary Ladies In Song with Dorothy Masuka and Abigail Kubeka feat. Lenny ‘Special’ Mabaso.
Executive Mayor Patricia De Lille said: “We are determined to build an inclusive city and that centres around creating a shared heritage. The Cape Town International Jazz Festival has become an institution which breaks down barriers and gives us the opportunity to celebrate our shared love of music, together. Every year it allows us to consolidate why Cape Town is becoming the events capital of Africa. Showcasing our local talent is also an integral part of displaying the role that the arts have to play in that regard.”