February 11, 2011 – For Kenyan jazz lovers, their ears begin to twitch in February because they know that just around the corner – in March – it will be time; time for the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
Now in its 12th year, the CTIJF can easily be identified as one of the most popular overseas event for Kenyans, and other jazz lovers from across Africa.
In the true spirit of celebrating good music, 1970s favourites Earth, Wind, and Fire will be gracing this year’s festivities, which will run over two days starting March 25, 2011.
If that were not exciting enough, organizers have dropped names like US Saxophonist Dave Koz and Senegalese super-celebrity musician Youssou N’dour (currently touring with Kenyan singer Suzanne Owiyo).
The cherry on the CTIJF cake however took about three years to pick! In a statement sent to newsrooms, organisers say they’re exhilarated after a ‘three-year wait’ to finally have 77-year-old saxophonist Wayne Shorter on their line-up.
According to festival director Rashid Lombard, it’s a dream come true.
“For years, it’s been our wish to get Wayne Shorter to the festival. As a touring artist we could never get the time right. We are thrilled that this round this living jazz legend could make it.”
Shorter has been jazzing it up for more than five decades. He will be flanked by his pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), where the festival will take place.
The event will be evenly split between African artists and those from other continents.
Other names to watch are bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding, Mozambican saxophonist Ivan Mazuze and from South Africa, plus Simphiwe Dana, who will be appearing at the festival for a second time.
You might also want to check out Angolan vocalist Sandra Cordera, selected last year by Radio France Internationale as one of Africa’s best 10 musicians.
There are 23 performers in total; including Christian Scott (US), Dave Ledbetter and the Clearing (SA), Dave Koz (US), Gang of Instrumentals (SA), Gazelle (SA), Hanjin (Singapore/Hong Kong), Hubert Laws (US), Lisa Bauer (SA), Monique Bingham (US), Patricia Barber (US), and The Flames – Official Reunion (SA).
Though the main festival will take place on two days, there will be a series of music workshops spanning 8 days. The prestigious Berklee College of Music, which schooled the likes of Kanjii Mbugua and Eric Wainaina will be conducting auditions, interviews and clinics.
SA Tourism, Hansa Pilsner and the City of Cape Town will be among the main sponsors of the event.