The key to the success of the festival that takes place this year on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 March at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), is programming. In addition to ensuring that audiences have choice by putting up 40 bands on five stages over two days, festival organisers working jointly with musicians put together "concept bands". These are bands that are specifically assembled for the event. This year will be no different. The list of 20 additional artists unveiled today has four "concept bands" in it.
The first concept band will be a Tribute to Oscar Peterson
featuring Dutch pianist Jack van Poll
, globetrotting South African guitarist James Scholfield
and Dutch bassist Hein van Geyn
. Opting for a piano-guitar-bass format that resembles the definitive Oscar Peterson-Ray Brown-Herb Ellis trio, the three will dig deep into the late Canadian pianist's swinging and massive repertoire. The second band that had been put together for the occasion is Guitafrika
; a unique collaboration by three African guitarists - South Africa's Steve Newman
, Eric Triton
from Mauritius and Alhousseini Mohamed Anivolla
from Niger. In addition to showcasing different guitar-playing styles in the continent, the three musicians are at Africa's Grandest Gathering to celebrate the history and role of guitars in African music.
With a number of Cape Town jazz musicians having passed on in the last year, The Cape Town Tribute Band
has been formed under the musical directorship of Alvin Dyers
and will pay tribute to Winston Mankunku, Tony Schilder, Donald Tshomela, Ezra Ngcukana, Robbie Jansen and Hotep Galeta and Vincent Kolbe . Joining Dyers in the third "concept band" is pianist Nick Williams
, bassist Wesley Rustin
and drummer Denver Furness
. Guests such as saxophonist Buddy Wells
, pianist Mike Perry
, guitarist Errol Dyers
, trumpeter Ian Smith
and singer Sylvia Mdunyelwa
will join the piano-guitar-bass-drums quartet as it goes through tunes like Schilder's "Montreal", Galeta's "Harold's Bossa" and Ngozi's "Crossroads". Conversations
with bassist Victor Masondo
and Johannesburg-based trumpeter/conductor Prince Lengoasa
; dummer Kevin Gibson
; pianist Mark Fransman
and saxophonist Donvino Prins
is the last concept project. The conversations provide a rare opportunity to see Masondo who was recently invited to present his arrangements of Duke Ellington's music at the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival in Washington DC, perform live. Studio commitments and production work has over the years taken Masondo out of the live jazz circuit. "Concept bands make the festival unique. People have the opportunity to see bands that they are unlikely to see somewhere else or in their lifetime", says EspAfrika and festival director Rashid Lombard.
In addition to "concept bands" other headline acts that will join those announced in January are:
- Guitarist, composer, and arranger Chieli Minucci. Unlike in 2009 when Minucci appeared as a guest in Lao Tizer's band when the latter performed in Johannesburg, the award-winning artsist brings to Cape Town his Grammy-nominated jazz-fusion group Special EFX.
- US guitarist Chuck Loeb who in addition to leading his solo projects, has the guitar seat in the preeminent contemporary jazz band, Fourplay. He will be joined on stage by Spanish vocalist Carmen Cuesta.
- Drummer Cindy Blackman - Santana who with her quartet "Another Lifetime" will pay a tribute with Felix Pastorius, son of the late Jaco Pastorius--to drum machine and pioneer of jazz-rock fusion, Tony Williams.
- BeBe Winans, a vocalist that comes out of a Detroit family in which both parents and nine other siblings are all recorded musicians. BeBe is a real performer; comfortable in both gospel and R&B.
Another special act will be a performance by our own Hugh Masekela
and Larry Willis
. In 2005, Masekela released an album that was different from his previous recordings. Almost Like Being In Jazz, consisted of jazz standards taken from the American songbook. In the recording there was not a single Masekela composition. Also absent were South African and homebrewed compositions that the 71-year artists always belts out. "When I first began recording and performing in America, self-anointed 'jazz experts' Leonard Feather and Stanley Crouch were extremely offended by the music I was playing and vehemently declared: THIS IS NOT JAZZ', says Masekela on the origins of his unusual recording. Throughout his career, Masekela wanted to prove these "jazz policemen" wrong and show them that he can play "jazz". But more than that, the trumpeter who draws massive audiences wherever he performs was keen to show his respect for composers and past performers who had brought great joy to music lovers with their outstanding songs. Joined by pianist Larry Willis, bassist Victor Masondo and drummer Lee-Roy Sauls, Masekela will play music that inspired him to record Almost Like Being In Jazz. Unlike the other times where he performed on the Kippies stage, Masekela will lead his qaurtet in front of a seated audience at the Rosies stage.
Other artists added onto the list are: South African pianist and producer Don Laka
; Berlin-based nu-jazz group Jazzanova
that features US vocalist/bassist Paul Randolph; leading South African trumpet-player Feya Faku
; live house band Tortured Soul
from Boston; Mozambican saxophonist Orlando Venhereque
; local hip-hop outfit Tumi and The Volume
, poet and actor Naima McLean
- a band led by a South African young and promising trumpet-player Lwanda Gogwana
; local student group Sekunjalo Edujazz Band
; bass guitarist from Botswana , Citie
; and three artists from Cape Town's StereoType Records - Chad Saaiman, Mathew Moolman
and Lloyd Jansen
As part of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival's commitment to the sustainable development of the Music Arts industry, the festival Workshops
that takes place at various venues throughout the CBD and greater Cape Town area over an 8 day period
. This social investment component explores various elements of the jazz world and includes Arts Journalism, Music Workshops, Music Business, Master Classes, Arts and Culture Focus Schools, Gigs for Kids, Youth Workshops and the Photography Workshop
. Another element of the CTIJF is the esteemed Duotone Photographic Exhibition
that documents the emergence and growth of jazz globally. The Community Concert
(free to all) will take place prior to the festival on the Wednesday
at Green Market Square
and is a showcase of some of the international and local acts scheduled to perform at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Two exciting new additions to this year's workshops is The Juilliard School, New York
- Conversations 2011: A Trans-Continental Jazz Event and The Berklee College of Music (US)
-Auditions, Interviews and Clinics.
'This is a positive development that we believe will strengthen ongoing efforts to build the necessary skills base to sustain the growth and development of the creative and cultural industries' says the Minister of Arts and Culture, Honorable Paul Mashatile
The artists revealed at the first artists announcement who will appear at this year's festival are: Earth, Wind and Fire (US), Christian Scott (US), Dave Ledbetter and the Clearing (SA), Dave Koz (US), Esperanza Spalding (US), Gang of Instrumentals (SA), Gazelle (SA), Hanjin (Singapore/Hong Kong), Hubert Laws (US), Ivan Mazuze (Mozambique/SA), Lisa Bauer (SA), Monique Bingham (US), Patricia Barber (US), Sandra Cordeira (Angola), Simphiwe Dana (SA), The Flames - Official Reunion (SA) and Wayne Shorter Quartet with Brian Blade, Danilo Perez & John Patitucci (US) and Youssou N'dour (Senegal)
Such a lineup and programming prompted South African Tourism CEO Ms Thandiwe January-McLean to say; "South African Tourism takes great pride in supporting this world-class event that has helped showcase our country as a unique lifestyle and musical destination".
Ticket prices for the 2011 festival are: R365 for a single day pass and a two-day weekend pass is R499. As in previous years, there will be an extra fee of R25 per act for patrons wishing to attend concerts on the Rosies stage. Tickets are available at Computicket and Shoprite-Checkers stores.
The gold sponsors for the Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2011: Department of Arts and Culture, Ritek Investments. Other sponsors include Provincial Government of the Western Cape, The City of Cape Town, Hansa Pilsner, Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Cape Town Partnership, SA Tourism, Polo, the Western Cape Education Department and the Pepper Club Luxury Hotel and Spa.