Five stages hosting more than 40 performers from South Africa and around the world. Two joyous days of slick, smooth tunes and a sea of 37,000 smiling faces. It’s even earned itself the nickname: ‘the grand gathering’. It’s not hard to see why the Cape Town International Jazz Festival is still going strong after more than 17 years!
Cape Town’s striking mountain landscapes and sparkling, turquoise seas provide a spectacular backdrop for this unique music festival. The festivities kicks off each year with a much-anticipated free concert in Greenmarket Square, the festival’s way of saying thank you and giving something special back to the locals.
The festival line-up this year is jam packed, but there are a few performers that we’re particularly excited about!
You may remember their 90s commercial hit ‘Free Your Mind’, a song calling out prejudice in all its forms. Now, with over 20 million albums sold and a host of MTV Music Awards and American Music Awards to their name, all-female RnB group En Vogue plan to bring their own brand of soul and hip hop to the Basil “Manenberg” Coetzee stage.
Grammy-nominated Jazz artist Gretchen Parlato hails from Los Angeles and is well known for her sultry, intriguing tones. One journalist from the Buffalo Times summed her up best when they wrote: “Gretchen Parlato has always operated from the premise that a whisper can be more powerful than a scream.”
Judith Sephuma is an Afro funk, jazz and gospel singer who’s been singing her heart out since she was a child. Described by News24 as one of South Africa’s national treasures, Judith’s voice is warm, full and strong, and her music uplifting.
Representing the UK is inventive singer songwriter Laura Mvula. Originally from Birmingham, this two time Mercury Prize nominee and two time MOBO award winner first discovered her love of singing in church. Today her musical talents take her around the world, performing in venues like New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. She’s also recently recorded a track called ‘Overcome’ with the legendary Nile Rodgers. This woman is going places.
Cape Town International Jazz Festival is about so much more than jazz, featuring everything from rap to the – and so much in between. This diverse, inventive festival keeps pushing the envelope, which is why it has firmly cemented its place in the global events calendar.
Want to explore more within Africa? Head over to our CM City blogs on Cape Town and Victoria Falls to explore a fine selection of boutique hotels, typical cuisine and many more thrilling events and tourist attractions.