[JPL] First round of names to appear on the 2011 Cape Town International Jazz Festival released

Eric Alan at Jazz Rendezvous eric at jazzrendezvous.co.za
Wed Jan 26 00:38:32 EST 2011

Cape Town International Jazz Festival: Packed with the Best
Cape Town International Jazz Festival organizers had to wait for more than
three years to be able to find space in saxophonist Wayne Sorter¹s busy
schedule and get him to perform at Africa¹s Grandest Gathering. According to
espAfrika and festival director Rashid Lombard, as organizers they have
always wanted the 77-year old saxophonist to appear in Cape Town. ³For
years, it¹s 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 make².
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 at Friday 25 and Saturday 26 March at Cape Town International
Convention Centre (CTICC). The quartet, whose members are bandleaders of
note 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 predate his association with bands like the jazz-rock
fusion outfit, Weather Report.
To join Shorter as headline acts is the 1970s band Earth, Wind and Fire
(EWF) and US 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 ³Shining Star²,
³Mighty Mighty², ³Let¹s Groove² and ³Kalimba Story². Although he comes from
a different period, Koz¹s approach is similar to that of EWF, production of
well-crafted music that appeals to a wider audience.
A multifaceted artist, 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. It will not be for
the first time that the saxophonist appears at the Cape Town International
Jazz Festival. He appeared as a guest at the festival¹s 10th anniversary in
2009 where he shared the stage with guitarist Jonathan Butler. A sign of how
popular Koz¹ music is on these shores, the first country outside of the US
where his recording gained platinum status is South Africa. His 1999 The
Dance sold over 100 000 units.
As in previous years, there will be at this year¹s event an equal split
between African artists and those from abroad. To lead Africa¹s contingency
is West African griot Youssou N¹dour and reigning queen of Afro-soul,
Simphiwe Dana. In musical career that goes back to 1975 when he became a
professional musician, N¹dour 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, Dana¹s contemplative voice has won her one award after
the other. 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 the
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 wanting
to hear her sing will definitely exceed the 2005 crowd.
Part of the African squad this year is South African-based Mozambican
saxophonist and flautist 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 Africa¹s best 10 musicians. Cordera is the second Angolan artist to
perform at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. She follows in the
footsteps of singer Paulo Flores whose reception at last year¹s festival is
a testimony of how the audience at the festival is open musically.
Festival organizers are again sticking to programming that makes the two-day
event not only memorable but a music show where attendees have choice that
ranges from straight-ahead jazz sounds to more urban and 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 year¹s musical
extravaganza his own band, The Clearing. The band is presently putting final
touches to its recording.
Programming at the festival continues to provide a stage for younger but
serious musicians. On this year¹s line-up is South African singer Lisa
Bauer, Hong Kong-based Singaporean singer and producer Hanjin, and
bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding. In addition to leading her band
Spalding is a member of Joe Lovano¹s 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 in
June last year. 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
The line-up will be incomplete if there are no artists and bands that create
nostalgia and a sense of déjà vu. One artist that will definitely create
such feeling is US flautist Hubert Laws. Laws is one of the musicians that
secured a place in jazz for flute. In the 1970s, Laws was the No.1 flautist
in Downbeat readers¹ poll for 10-years in a row; a position he held for
seven year in the critics¹ poll. He achieved this without abandoning his
love for classical music. Throughout his career, the 71-year old flautist
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 country¹s 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 band¹s appearance in
Cape Town will definitely be a reunion and connect the group with thousands
of its fans. 
To provide contemporary sounds will be ³lieutenants of funk, corporals of
beat and renegades of rhyme², 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.
The artists revealed at the first artists announcement who will appear at
this year¹s festival are: Earth, Wind and Fire (US), Christian Scott (US),
Dave Ledbetter and the Clearing (SA), Dave Koz (US), Esperanza Spalding
(US), Gang of Instrumentals (SA), Gazelle (SA), Hanjin (Singapore/Hong
Kong), Hubert Laws (US), Ivan Mazuze (Mozambique/SA), Lisa Bauer (SA),
Monique Bingham (US), Patricia Barber (US), Sandra Cordera (Angola),
Simphiwe Dana (SA), The Flames ­ Official Reunion (SA) and Wayne Shorter
Quartet with Brian Blade, Danilo Perez & John Patitucci (US) and Youssou
N¹dour (Senegal) . 
As part of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival¹s commitment to the
sustainable development of the Music Arts industry, the festival proudly
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 the 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 year¹s workshops is The Juilliard School,
New York - Conversations 2011: A Trans-Continental Jazz Event and The
Berklee College of Music (US) -Auditions, Interviews and Clinics.
The festival will take place at the CTICC, on Friday 25 and Saturday 26
March. For more information go to: www.capetownjazzfest.com
Ticket prices for the 2010 festival are: R365 for a single day pass and a
two-day weekend pass is R499. As in previous years, there will be an extra
fee of R25 per act for patrons wishing to attend concerts on the Rosie¹s
stage. Tickets are available at Computicket and Shoprite-Checkers stores.

The gold sponsors for the Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2011:
Department of Arts and Culture, Ritek Investments. Other sponsors include
Provincial Government of the Western Cape, The City of Cape Town, Hansa
Pilsner, Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Cape Town Partnership, SA
Tourism, Polo, the Western Cape Education Department and the Pepper Club
Luxury Hotel and Spa.

Warmest regards, 
Have a fabulous day.
Peace, safety and happiness,
See it Š with your own ears
Yours in Music

Eric Alan
RADIO 2000
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