I recently went to my first (definitely not last) Cape Town International Jazz festival. The control freak in me had picked beforehand all the acts I wanted to see and was a bit disappointed as some were on the Friday but luckily most were on the Saturday show that I was attending. Before we continue I need to apologize for the lack of jealousy inducing Instagram worthy pics, I was in wine country- priorities shifted.
What I can do however is tell you about the acts. Beginning with The Soil – their performance was not only spiritual, transcendental it was also a lot of fun. Since it was the first performance it really set the tone. I was in the mood to get down plus the dancing helped with the over indulgence of earlier in the day.
Simphiwe Dana the queen mother was next and luckily her stage was right next to that of the soil. She is my spirit animal in fact I plan on going to her annual church event later this year. Her performance was awe inspiring, the songs relevant to the current affairs and she took some time to educate us. Everyone was somber when she sang Senzeni na? If you ever doubted that she was a proud feminist you need only look at her all female band (the best in the industry)!
Next was UK born singer Corinne Bailey Rae. Guys she was just there to have fun like you could tell from the moment she jumped on stage that we were in for a treat. Her set was a mixture of her hit songs and her other well-known songs she had the crowd singing along. She spoke about how she was in Cape town a few years back to shoot her music video for put your records on and this performance at the jazz fest was a full circle moment for her.
Next was the Hugh Masekela tribute, the tribute was approved by his family. It was funny how my friends and I moments before were whining about how tired we were yet from the very first song up until the last we danced nonstop. Allow me to brag about the stellar performances: ntate Tshepo Tshola and Ma Sibongile Khumalo proved why they are legends in their own right and sang Bra Hugh’s’ songs as if their very lives depended on it. J Something was next and sang Heaven and had to come back on stage for an encore as the crowd just wouldn’t stop singing. Do not even get me started on the instrumentalist they too were superb.
I have to say that all the acts left everything on the stage, there was no performance that I felt was substandard. I do wish I had gotten a chance to see all of the stages I heard that The Bassline stage was off the hook, especially the night before when Black Motion performed. In between the other acts I would catch the end of other acts, performers such as Masego and the renowned Claire Phillips. They made me wish I could have split myself into two. A mental note for next year is to watch more international acts, and attend both nights.
If you haven’t gone to the festival be sure to add it to your bucket list and whilst you there explore the amazing city that is Cape Town.