Africa’s grandest gathering

By: Nomonde Mohapi
Published on: 07 May 2017

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For 18 years now, the last weekend of March, sees over 30 000 Jazz patrons from in and outside of Africa gathered at Africa’s Grandest Gathering,The Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

The stages of this annual event have been graced by the world’s greatest music legends. Among them Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Kirk Walhum, Dan Brubeck and local legends like Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Thandiswa Mazwai, Jonathan Butler and Jonas Gwangwa and many other greats.

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The legendary Thandiswa Mazwai at the 18th Cape Town International Jazz Festival in 2017                                                                                                             Picture by: Rashid Latiff

As an attempt to win over the hearts of a younger crowd, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival has diversified it’s line-up in the most beautiful way by including, in it’s acts: alternative music, Hip-hop and House music. The likes of Black coffee, Mos Def, The Internet, Aka, The Brother Moves On, Jimmy Nevis, The Soil, Laura Mvula, Micasa, Reason and The Muffinz can be said to have been the faces of diversity.

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Rapper, Khuli Chana captivating hip hop heads in 2014                       Picture by: Rashid Latiff

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is held over two days at The Cape Town International Convention Centre, it welcomes live performances from 40 and above international and African artists on 5 stages.

The festival only starts in the evening, therefore tourist attractions like: Long Street, Kloof Street, Robben Island, Khayelitsha, Langa, Woodstock, Table Mountain, Bo-Kaap, Cape Point, Observatory and the V&A Waterfront are usually buzzing with jazz patrons during the day.

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Long Street by day                                                                                             Picture by: Stephen Windell

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is now ranked as one of the top jazz festivals in the world and is right up there with Holland’s North Sea Jazz Festival and Switzerland’s Montreux Festival.

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Erykah Badu performing at the 15th Cape Town International Jazz Festival in 2014                                      Picture by: Rashid Latiff

Cape Town International Jazz Festival in pictures

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