British band headliners at one of the most prestigious live-music events in Africa
14th international jazz festival features 40 world-class acts from 12 countries
Discover the music scene in Cape Town, from private ‘Jazz Safaris’ to some of the hottest live music venues in Southern Africa
Widely known as the grandest gathering in Africa, 2013’s Cape Town International Jazz Festival is set to be as toe-tappingly brilliant as ever. Taking place on the 5th-6th April, it will showcase more that 40 world class acts from 12 different countries with a diverse line up that includes traditional jazz, hip-hop, funk, dub step, samba and electronica.
This is the 14th year this highly regarded festival has been held, and it has grown over time to become the 4th largest event of this kind in the world. Over 30,000 visitors are expected to watch some of the most iconic artists from across the world take to its 16 stages.
Topping the bill are British soul funk pioneers The Brand New Heavies, whose new studio album, featuring N’Dea Davenport on vocals, is set to be released this year. The Festival will also see the great Louis Moholo return to Cape Town, his birth-town, from London, the city he has called home since the 60s. Renowned as one of the world’s leading jazz drummers, Moholo first made his mark on the jazz percussion scene with the band, The Blue Notes – latterly receiving a number of accolades for his contribution to the freedom of South Africa through music.
Home grown talent includes Cape Town’s top musicians Jonathan Rubain and Don Vino, regular performers with Lady Smith Black Mambazo, while international performers include award-winning American singer-songwriter and actress, Jill Scott.
Cape Town’s Music Scene:
Home to the distinctive ‘Cape Jazz’ style, the Mother City has deep-rooted jazz and music traditions and is one of the best places in South Africa to experience an iconic element synonymous with Africa.
Other music experiences in Cape Town include a Jazz Safari, created by Coffee Beans Routes(www.coffeebeansroutes.com; £63 per person, no minimum group number required), which begins with a private informal performance and casual dinner at a musician’s home, followed by a visit to a local jazz club. Given the nature of jazz musicians and the music scene, each jazz safari is improvised and no two are the same.
Live music-lovers should also check-out The Assembly (www.theassembly.co.za), the hottest venue to see the latest bands and DJs of the moment, Swingers Jazz Club – best for Monday nights – and the rooftop bar of the Grand Daddy hotel: ‘eclectic, fun’. Meanwhile other music festivals worth flying down to Cape Town include rock festival Rocking the Daisies (October;www.rockingthedaisies.com) and Synergy Live (November; www.synergylive.co.za), which sees more than 60 local bands, live acts and top DJs take to the stage in the beautiful Boschendal estate in Franschhoek.
Getting there: South African Airlines
South African Airways offers return flights to Cape Town from London Heathrow from £841.49pp Prices includes tax, surcharges and APD valid for departures until September 2013. For more information, please visit www.flysaa.com or call 0844 375 9680.
The Grand Daddy Hotel (www.granddaddy.co.za). Centrally located on Long St, this boutique hotel is home to the world’s first airstream rooftop trailer park with seven trailers each individually designed by local designers, while the rooftop bar is a great place to catch some good sounds on a summers’ eve. Rooms from £150 per night, on a bed & breakfast basis.
Winchester Mansions (www.winchester.co.za). Overlooking the V&A waterfront promenade, this established family-run hotel offers a classic Cape Town experience not to be missed with its weekly Sunday live jazz brunch. From the hotel’s renowned restaurant ‘Harveys at the Mansions’ colonnaded courtyard, an array of national and international jazz bands perform every week allowing guests to enjoy lazy Sundays, with vistas of the Atlantic. Rooms from £160 per night, on a bed & breakfast basis.