CTIJF festival director Billy Domingo sums up this year’s line-up: “The 2018 offering encompasses the full scale of the jazz genre. This line-up showcases diverse cultures and musical styles to reveal the complexity of the music, to inspire, uplift and energise. It also presents the opportunity to indulge in a moment of quiet reflection. It’s an exciting programme with something for everyone and I’m really looking forward to sharing it with our audience - loyal festinos and new visitors to the festival. This year it is only natural that we pay tribute to the great Bra Hugh, and I am especially proud of the celebration the Masekela family have put together to honour his incredible legacy.”
Few African musicians have captured the essence of the continent’s sound as has Hugh Masekela. For 78 years, South Africa was gifted with an innovator who impacted African jazz with a unique brass tone and storytelling style that transcended the societal divide. For CTIJF 2018, a potent line-up of some of the country’s best players will present The Boy’s Doin’ It A Celebration of Hugh Masekela’s Life & Music (SA), highlighting the genius of this influential trumpeter, flugelhorn-player, singer and composer. Whether he was breathing life into poignant heritage jazz or collaborating with hip young stars, this legend created timeless music which resonated with young and old. This tribute will revisit the work of this remarkable showman, showcasing his succinct lyricism. Festival-goers can expect evergreens from the Masekela songbook – township anthems that carry the weight of our history but live on to inspire and convey the abundant joy of rootsy Afro-fusion.
New Orleans act Tank and the Bangas has a knack for combining styles - fiery soul, deft hip-hop, deep-groove R&B and subtle jazz - into one dazzling, cohesive whole that evokes the scope of New Orleans music while retaining a unique feel of its own. “It’s music that can’t really be put in a box,” says singer/poet Tarriona ‘Tank’ Ball. Her charisma helped the five-piece win NPR’s 2017 Tiny Desk Concert Contest, plus a signing to Verve Records. The ball came up in the slam poetry scene before meeting band mates Merell Burkett (keys), Joshua Johnson (drums), Norman Spence (bass) and Albert Allenback (alto sax). Each of the band’s gigs is different. “One show will feel very electronic or hip-hop, and another will feel slow and vibey, and then another will just be poetry and off-the-cuff riffs,” adds Johnson.
Southern swagger, Jamaican blood, with a South African name, Masego is a Gumbo of culture and creativity. His music is best described as TrapHouseJazz. Masego’s journey began on YouTube. He put 10,000 hours in live looping with his saxophone, beat machine and keyboard. Masego used to rip beats from SoundCloud's future beat and house producers, added saxophone over them, then headed to Instagram to dedicate the song to a curly hair beauty from his explore page. His soulful singing and his jazzy personality coloured every track and heart and caught the attention of many producers like Kaytranada, Sounwav, and new greats like KRS-One and Medasin.
The house and hip-hop rap of dance/electro duo Black Motion have seen them clinch SAMA Awards for Best Duo/Group of the Year and Best Dance Album. Smol and DJ Murder teamed up to form Black Motion in 2010. Their breakthrough came when they joined Spirit Motion and produced the hit single Banane Mavoko. DJ Oskido went on to license the song for his compilation CD Oskido’s 10th Commandment. Together these musos explore the dynamism and synchronicity of their musical careers. Their album highlights have included Talking to the Drums, Fortune Teller and Ya Badimo – house music for the ancestors.
For the full CTIJF 2018 artist programme, visit www.capetownjazzfest.com
The 19th Cape Town International Jazz Festival takes place on 23 and 24 March 2018 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Day passes are still available at Computicket.