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ALL THAT JAZZ

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BLOWING HIS HORN: Hugh Masekela

Cape Town Jazz Festival hits the groove
If you were superstitious you might believe the number to be unlucky, but after taking the long trek down to Cape Town last weekend for the 13th Cape Town International Jazz Festival, I couldn’t help feeling how fortunate I was to be part of such a great experience.
The sell-out event that attracted 34000 jazz lovers from around the world to the venue was spread over five stages. It featured a who’s who of the jazz world from USA chart topping band Atmosphere to local singing sensation Zahara in a line-up that also included hip hop with South Africa’s epic rapper HHP and long-time reggae superstars Third World.
Other luminaries to appear included American superstar Dave Koz, featuring Grammy winning vocalist Patti Austin, music icon James Ingram, and the sensational Ms Lauryn Hill.

The ever young legend of the trumpet Hugh Masekela was also there to team up with three of South Africa’s most acclaimed vocalists to present a musical tribute to the great African songbird Miriam Makeba. In a proud display of local talent Dorothy Masuka, Zamajobe Sithole and Lindiwe Suttle were amongst the many South African artists on show.
The musical celebration is not only an “iconic live music experience,” as festival promoter Billy Domingo, COO of espAfrika pointed out, but with last year’s event contributing R498 million to the Western Cape’s economy and creating 2700 jobs, it is also a significant player in the South African economy.
Buoyed by the success of the jazz festival, the organisers now plan to put on a reggae version with the expectation of rivalling the famous Jamaican Reggae Superspalsh Festivals. If they do – I’ll be there!