January-26th-2011, 04:46 AM
CAPETOWN JAZZ FEST - March 25 and 26th
CAPETOWN JAZZ FEST
EARTH, Wind & Fire will headline the Cape Town International Jazz Festival this year.
The US R&B/funk band - lauded for their sophisticated horn section, melodic singles and textured arrangements - will play at the 12th annual jazz fest, which will take place on Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26.
The Cape Town International Conventional Centre is again home to the festival, during which 40 international and local jazz artists will play on five stages over two days.
In addition to the performances, the festival will also encompass Gigs for Kids, a golf day, a free concert, the Duo Tone Exhibition, an arts journalism course, music workshops, master classes and after-parties, where musicians will jam late into the night.
The rest of the line-up is sure to excite jazz lovers and includes the Wayne Shorter Quartet, US songbird Esperanza Spalding, the New Orleans-born trumpeter Christian Scott and the multi-disciplinary singer Hanjin Tan from Singapore on the international side.
Local musicians include Dave Ledbetter and the Clearing, the Lisa Bauer Quartet, Simphiwe Dana, Gang of Instrumentals and Gazelle.
Ticket prices have increased slightly to R499 for a weekend pass, R365 for a day pass and R25 extra for performances at Rosies (the stage for extreme jazz connoisseurs).
The regular, and extremely popular, free concert on Green Market Square starts at 5pm on Wednesday, March 23.
For aspirant musicians the most exciting aspect of this year's training and development programme is the involvement of two of the US's most prestigious music schools. Juilliard School in New York City and Berklee College of Music in Boston will facilitate interactive workshops, auditions and clinics.
Berklee College will also offer a one-year scholarship for a student, as well as a semester scholarship for three students and online scholarships for five students, while Juilliard is finalising its involvement.
Musicians and students will be invited to attend these workshops and more information will be forthcoming on the festival's website (www.capetownjazzfest.com)
Research into last year's festival by the Institute for Tourism and Leisure Studies showed that loyal attendees at the 2010 festival mostly spent their money on accommodation, followed by food, restaurants and transport to the festival. The event itself generated R43 million spent by visitors, while the total direct spending amounted to R52.6m.
The event created 731 temporary and permanent jobs in the Western Cape, and this excluded the people directly involved in the organising committee. Last year 34 000 people attended the festival, which is more than double the reported 14 000 who attended the first festival, back when it was still known as the North Sea Jazz Festival Cape Town.
THE LINE UP SO FAR
SIMPHIWE DANA - SOUTH AFRICA: This SA Music Award-winning Xhosa songstress has in a short time become well known for fusing jazz, pop and traditional music to great effect. She is raising her international profile, but still manages to keep up the presence at home. Her recently released studio album, Kulture Noire, follows the critically acclaimed Zandisile (2004) and The One Love Movement on Bantu Biko Street (2006).
HANJIN TAN - CHINA: Chinese jazz singer Hanjin Tan probably came to the attention of the jazz festival organisers for his work on the live recorded album Raw Jazz (2009). It features scat singing and convincing lyric interpretation with a laid-back attitude. He is a tenor with a flexible range extending into falsetto and he apparently does a really good mouth trumpet impression.
CHRISTIAN SCOTT - US: Grammy Award-nominated trumpeter Christian Scott is noted for his use of an unvoiced tone, which he calls his whisper technique. If you google the New Orleans-born composer and producer you will see that many websites reference a JazzTimes magazine quote calling him "the architect of a new commercial viable fusion".
LISA BAUER QUARTET - SOUTH AFRICA: Drummer and vocalist Lisa Bauer's quartet's debut album Finding a New Way (2010) was influenced by her studies in New York and San Francisco.
DAVE KOZ - US: This smooth jazz saxophonist played the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in 2009 alongside headliner, Jonathan Butler, and has played the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz and been to South Africa several times, so he's no stranger to local audiences.
GANG OF INSTRUMENTALS - SOUTH AFRICA: The Joburg-based urban trio give voice to what is popular locally. They have a tv profile, and have branched into film, but it's really all about the music.
PATRICIA BARBER - US: This piano-playing vocalist sings in a fairly low register and a traditional jazz/blues style. Still, she doesn't exactly conform to conventional idioms and does write her own material as well as putting her own spin on what she hears in the pop world.
MONIQUE BINGHAM -US: If you google this artist you're more likely to find mp3 samples of David Guetta or Ralf Gum's work featuring her as a vocalist, and she's all over Myspace and YouTube. She has worked with Naked Music's Blue Six, Sir Piers and if you really want to go way back, was the voice of late 1990s live band Abstract Truth.
IVAN MAZUZE - MOZAMBIQUE /SOUTH AFRICA: A saxophonist and UCT Master's graduate who has performed with several of South Africa's top jazz musicians and at international jazz festivals. His debut album, Maganda, was nominated in the Best Contemporary Jazz Album category at the 2010 Samas.
DAVE LEDBETTER AND THE CLEARING - SOUTH AFRICA: While they draw on everything from funk to groove and the sounds of Africa, this six-piece band consist of some of the hottest jazz musicians to be found on the local scene: Dave Ledbetter (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, fretless guitar and lap steel; Buddy Wells (saxophones); Kesivan Naidoo (drums); Andrew Lilley (piano and keyboards); Shane Cooper (double bass, acoustic bass and electric bass) and Lee Thomson (trumpet and flugelhorn).
SANDRA CORDEIRO - ANGOLA: A vocalist who performed at the inaugural Luanda Jazz Festival, fusing Angolan rhythms into the traditional US jazz genre. Reaching the finals of Radio France International's Prix Découverts (2010 Discovery Prize) highlights France's current fascination for all things musical from Africa.
THE FLAMES - SOUTH AFRICA/US: This official reunion of the Durban pop trio, formed in 1963, will coincide with a release of remastered recordings by the group of Burning Soul (1987) and Soulfire (1968), which is great for fans since the original master tapes were destroyed in a fire. Steeped in Atlantic soul and the Motown sound, The Flames were first non-white local band to hit the Top 20 chart on Springbok Radio. They were the first group to record with Brother Records (the label owned by the Beach Boys), and two of them joined the Beach Boys after The Flames disbanded in 1970.
ESPERANZA SPALDING - US: This young multi-instrumentalist is fast making a name for herself as a jazz vocalist and bassist. One of the youngest professors at Berklee College of Music, Spalding has released three albums and collaborated with Fourplay, Christian Scott, Donald Harrison and Theresa Perez, among others, and has been nominated in the Best New Artist category at this year's Grammys.
GAZELLE - SOUTH AFRICA: They call what they do Lim Pop to indicate their origins and play a mix of electro, disco, funk, pop and African contemporary, but they're so much more than just what you hear. They use music, dance, art, photography and fashion to comment on and satirically condemn corruption and the antics of African despots.
YOUSSOU N'DOUR - SENEGAL: The singing percussionist helped to develop the popular style of singing known as mbalax. He mixes this with everything from Cuban samba to hip hop and often filters his Senegalese culture through a contemporary lens of genre-defying rock and pop.
lHUBERT LAWS - US: Spanning a career of 40-plus years, this saxophonist and flautist moves effortlessly between jazz, pop, rhythm and blues and classical. Grammy Award-nominated, Laws is as comfortable with a symphony orchestra as he is recording a studio session.
EARTH WIND & FIRE - US: Earth Wind & Fire passed through South Africa fleetingly in 2004, after they played at the gala show of M-Net's musical talent reality tv programme Project Fame, but that was without members Maurice White and Phillip Bailey. But all the band members will definitely be here later this year. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and performed at the first formal White House dinner hosted by Barack and Michelle Obama in 2009.
WAYNE SHORTER QUARTET - US: Virtuoso saxophonist Wayne Shorter will be coming out to the fest with drummer Brian Blade, pianist Danilo Perez and bassist John Patitucci. Acknowledged as one of jazz's greatest living composers, Shorter was in Miles Davis's second great quintet, led jazz fusion band Weather Report in the 1970s and has seen many of his compositions become jazz standards.
More Information: http://www.capetownjazzfest.com
February-25th-2011, 10:55 PM
For Rashid Lombard of espAfrika, waiting for more than three years to bring famous saxophonist Wayne Shorter to perform on the big stage of Cape Town International Jazz Festival, have yielded fruits after all. In fact, Lombard had to exercise the patience of a snake to be able to find space in Shorter’s busy schedule and get him to perform at Africa’s Grandest Gathering.
According to him, he had always wanted the 77 year-old saxophonist to appear in Cape Town. “For years, it’s been our wish to get Wayne Shorter to the festival. As a touring artiste we could never get the time right. We are thrilled that this time around, this living jazz legend could make it,” he says.
At the centre of every innovation that occurred in jazz in the last 50 years, Shorter leads his stellar quartet made up of pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade at the festival that takes place on Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26 at Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). The quartet, made up of bandleaders of repute, has been together since September 2000. Shorter whose introspective saxophone tone is engulfing, assembled the acoustic group as he took a turn towards music that predates his association with bands like the jazz-rock fusion outfit, Weather Report.
Earth, Wind and Fire
Joining Shorter as headline act, are the 1970s band, Earth, Wind and Fire (EWF), and American saxophonist Dave Koz. Rooted in soul, funk, gospel, blues and jazz, EWF emerged as the other wing of pop music of the 1970s, a wing based on Afro-American musical sensibilities. To produce its sound, EWF members used their skills as jazz musicians to produce brassy music that transcended categories. The results were everlasting hits such as Shining Star, Mighty Mighty, Let’s Groove and Kalimba Story.
Although, he comes from a different period, Koz’ approach is similar to that of EWF, production of well-crafted music that appeals to a wider audience. A multifaceted artiste, Koz not only plays saxophone masterfully, he runs a yearly Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour, owns a record company, promotes an annual Dave Koz & Friends Jazz Cruise and hosts a syndicated radio programme that is broadcast through smooth jazz stations across the US. This would not be the first time that the saxophonist will appear at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. He appeared as a guest artiste at the festival’s 10th anniversary in 2009 where he shared the stage with guitarist Jonathan Butler. A sign of how popular Koz’ music is on these shores is revealed in the fact that South Africa is the first country outside the US where his 1999 recording, The Dance gained platinum status. The album sold over 100 000 units.
Between African and Western Artistes
As usual, there will be at this year’s event an equal split between African artistes and those from abroad. To lead Africa’s contingent is West African griot Youssou N’dour and reigning queen of Afro-soul, Simphiwe Dana. In musical career that goes back to 1975 when he became a professional, N’dour has grown to be a musical ambassador of the African continent. With his voice, he champions the cause of the entire continent. In many ways Dana is taking the same path. Since the launch of her 2004 debut album, Dana’s contemplative voice has won her one award after another. It has also won her a huge following locally and internationally.
In 2005 which is the last time that the silky-voiced singer appeared at Cape Town International Jazz Festival, her show was rescheduled and moved to a bigger venue as more than the expected number of music lovers came to hear her. With a stunning new Afrocentric recording, Kulture Noir, those eager to hear her sing will definitely exceed the 2005 crowd.
Part of the African squad this year is South Africa-based Mozambican saxophonist and flutist Ivan Mazuze as well as up-and-coming Angolan vocalist Sandra Cordera. Cordera, who fuses bossa nova with strong Afro-jazz styles, was selected last year by Radio France Internationale (RFI) as one of Africa’s best 10 musicians. Cordera is the second Angolan artiste to perform at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. She follows in the footsteps of singer Paulo Flores whose reception at last year’s festival is a testimony of how the audience at the festival is open musically.
Festival organisers are again sticking to programming that makes the two-day event not only memorable but also a show that offers the audience a choice between straight-ahead jazz sounds and more urban/contemporary styles. For those for more jagged chords and notes, they will have the opportunity to hear hot-blowing US trumpeter Christian Scott; Patricia Barber who is revered for her pianism and her contralto voice; and Cape Town-based guitarist, pianist, vocalist and gifted composer Dave Ledbetter. Known for his work with groups like the energetic Truly Fully Hey Shoo Wow Band and Boereqanga, the talented musician leads, at this year’s musical extravaganza, his own band, The Clearing. The band is putting final touches to its recording.
Stage for upcoming acts
The festival continues to provide a stage for younger but serious musicians. South African singer Lisa Bauer, Hong Kong-based Singaporean singer and producer Hanjin, and bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding will all have the opportunity to showcase their talent. In addition to leading her band, Spalding is a member of Joe Lovano’s new band, Us Five. Spalding, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and drummer Francisco Mela were the rhythm section that accompanied McCoy Tyner at the CareFusion New York Jazz Festival last year June. Always determined to cross barriers, Spalding is a rising star. Her latest recording weaves chamber music and jazz improvisation. Her bass-playing transfixes audiences and her multilingual singing hypnotizes listeners.
Hubert the law
The lineup will be incomplete if there are no artistes and bands that create nostalgia and a sense of déjà vu. One artiste that will definitely create such feeling is American flutist Hubert Laws, who is one of the musicians that secured a place in jazz for flute. In the 1970s, Laws was the No.1 flutist in Downbeat readers’ poll for 10-years in a row; a position he held for seven years in the critics’ poll. He achieved this without abandoning his love for classical music. Throughout his career, the 71-year old flutist has demonstrated his ability to straddle effortlessly the worlds of jazz and Western classical music. After a partial withdrawal from the music scene in the mid-1980s, Laws is back, starting where he left off.
Surely to bring down the house is the old South African band, The Flames. Steeped in Atlantic soul and Motown sound, before disbanding in 1970, The Flames was one of the country’s top pop groups. The band was the first non-white South African group to reach the Top 20 charts of the whites-only Springbok Radio. The Flames is also the first group in the world to record with the label that the famous Beach Boys owned. The band’s appearance in Cape Town will definitely be a reunion and connect the group with thousands of its fans.
Gang of Instrumentals
To provide contemporary sounds will be “lieutenants of funk, corporals of beat and renegades of rhyme”, Gang of Instrumentals, South African group that fuses electro, disco, funk, pop and African rhythms; Gazelle, and Monique Bingham whose name is synonymous with the live band, Abstract Truth.
As part of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival’s commitment to the sustainable development of the music arts industry, the festival presents a series of 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 as well as many other workshops. 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 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 are The Juilliard School, New York Conversations 2011: A Trans-continental Jazz Event, and the Berklee College of Music (US) -auditions, interviews and clinics.