by Alexandria Van Essche

UK band at free concert

Big names to perform at free concert

Green Market Square in Cape Town hosts the CTIJF free concert on 3 April

The 14th annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTJIF) Free Concert is going to get 'heavy' this year, with some of the Mother City’s most celebrated local talent playing alongside the pioneers of acid jazz.


On Wednesday, 3 April 2013, one of the most successful acid-jazz/UK funk groups of all time – the Brand New Heavies – will join one of South Africa’s jazz greats, Jimmy Dludlu, as well as winner of the popular local Open Mic Jazz Vocal competition, Candice Thornton, Cape Town pop star Jimmy Nevis and the St Joseph’s Marist College school band on the stage in Green Market Square.


The Brand New Heavies are a British band whose unique mix of jazz, funk and soul has lit up the dance scene for well over two decades, and who show no sign of stopping. They first became known in the 1980s as an instrumental acid jazz group and have become a significant feature of the British music landscape.


Dludlu is a self-taught acclaimed guitarist, arranger, band leader and singer, known internationally for his original African jazz and fusion music.


Joining these international stars is well-known jazz, blues, R&B and gospel singer Candice Thornton, who mesmerised the crowd at the finals of the Open Mic Jazz Vocal context last year.


Born and raised in Cape Town, 20 year-old Nevis is a singer, songwriter and producer. His debut album is now being distributed in the United States while he is topping the charts with his second hit single, "Heartboxing"


The St Joseph’s Marist College Jazz band hails from the Peninsula and first started out six years ago. Their repertoire ranges from traditional jazz standards to more contemporary pieces, showcasing the versatility of the musicians in the group. 


Festival director and chief executive of espAfrika Rashid Lombard says: “The Free Community Concert is now a well-established Cape Town tradition over the festival period. It is a special evening packed with live music as an exceptional gig for those who are unable to make it to the main show.


“The free concert has been running as long as the Cape Town International Jazz festival itself and is a non-negotiable component of what the Cape Town International Jazz Festival wants to offer the people of Cape Town.


“This is truly a night for the Cape Town community. The atmosphere promises to be full of excitement as the square buzzes with the sounds of local and international jazz music. We expect to see the square full of fans on the day, as we do every year, as locals gather to experience an evening of rich sounds.”


The Free Concert on 3 April starts at 5pm and is scheduled to end at 11pm. It forms part of the festival’s Sustainable Training and Development programme, sponsored by the City of Cape Town, the department of arts and culture, the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) through the South Atlantic Arts and Culture Trust, the SABC and South African Tourism.


espAfrika will notify the public about road closures around Green Market Square beforehand.


Paul Mashatile, minister of arts and culture, says: “The festival’s 10 different empowerment and skills development initiatives represent powerful sets of interventions that provide experiences and opportunities to individuals who would never otherwise have them. The department of arts and culture is proud to be associated with this vital component of the annual jazz event, as it opens up new opportunities and expands awareness of the power of arts and culture in our society.”


“The SABC has a long history with the CTIJF and in 2012 entered into a three-year partnership with Cape Town’s Grandest Gathering. The partnership extends beyond broadcasting and talks to shared values and a desire for skills transfer to happen,” says Kaizer Kganyago, spokesperson for the SABC.


“The SABC is proud to be the co-sponsor of the festival’s T&D programme, aimed at a new generation of musicians, arts journalists and photographers. In order for measureable progress to take place from the T&D initiative, the focus should not be based purely on short-term results – developmental work requires longer time frames to deliver meaningful and lasting impact."


Patricia de Lille, executive mayor of Cape Town, adds: “It is heartwarming to know that many children from and around Cape Town are exposed to music, musical instruments and rhythms in an entirely new way. The City and this festival have a long track record together: the event attracts visitors to our city, while its communities actively participate in the festival."


NLDTF CEO Charlotte Mampane says: “We at the NLDTF are involved in supporting arts and culture, together with welfare, sport and recreation. Under the leadership of our chairperson, Professor Nevhutanda, we are all very passionate about the job creation in the various organisations we fund each year. Our investment to the South Atlantic Arts and Culture Trust for the T&D programme for this year’s festival is a valuable investment for the development of the music and entertainment industry.”

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