Cape Town International Jazz Festival

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Cape Town International Jazz Festival
Cape Town International Jazz Festival.jpg
The free concert at Greenmarket Square is an annual event that starts the festival.
GenreJazz, funk, afropop, fusion, soul, R&B
DatesMarch, April
Location(s)Cape Town, South Africa
Years active2000–present
Founded byRashid Lombard AND Billy Domingo

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is an annual music festival held in Cape Town, South Africa. The first one was held in 2000[1] to 2005[2] and is recognized as the fourth largest jazz festival in the world[3] and the largest jazz festival on the African continent.[4] The festival was called the "Cape Town North Sea Jazz Festival" due to its association with the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands.[5][6]


The Cape Town International Jazz Festival started in 2000[1][7] as part of the North Sea Jazz Festival. This was part of an arrangement that came about as a result of the partnership between espAfrika (a South African events management company founded by Rashid Lombard) and Mojo Concerts BV, the founders of the Dutch North Sea Jazz Festival.[2] It was the first time that a jazz festival with four simultaneous legs took place in South Africa.[7] The festival occurred ever year until 2005 as the North Sea Jazz Festival.[2] Thereafter, from 2005 onwards, the festival was renamed to the Cape Town International Jazz Festival due to the partnership failing.[2][8] The festival has grown since it first started in 2000, and as a result, attendance has also grown from 14,000 concert goers in 2000 to 34,000 concert goers in 2013.[9] From its inception to 2003, the event was held at the Good Hope Centre but it outgrew the venue, so from 2004, the festival has since been hosted at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.[10]


In 2000, the North Sea Jazz Festival came to Cape Town, South Africa for the first time.[1] From 2000 to 2005, the festival was marketed as the North Sea Jazz Festival as part of a contract between espAfrika and Mojo Concerts.[8][11] The plan was for Mojo Concerts to provide the necessary infrastructure for a world class African Jazz Festival, so as soon as that happened, Mojo Concerts took espAfrika to court.[8] They filed for espAfrika's liquidation to consolidate a 500,000 debt[8] that had been incurred over the 5-year contract. On 26 April 2005, a settlement was reached outside of court in which the debt was consolidated and espAfrika was able to continue with the festival, now under the name of the "Cape Town International Jazz Festival".[8][12]

Previous festivals[edit]

The 2007 edition of the festival was endorsed by then Cape Town's Mayor Helen Zille.[13] The 2010 edition of the festival contributed R 740 million to the Western Cape's GDP.[2] For an extra R25.00 per show, music enthusiasts gain access to the Rosies Stage[6] which features more relaxed, acoustic Jazz Music.[14] Every year just before the main event, a free open-air concert with selected performers is held at the Greenmarket Square.[6][9][14][15]

Cape Town International Jazz Festival by year
Year Date Venue Performers
2000[11] 31 March and 1 April Good Hope Centre Herbie Hancock, Youssou N'Dour, Courtney Pine, Moses Taiwa Molelekwa, Hugh Masekela, Busi Mhlongo, Interzone
2001[16][17] 30 & 31 March Good Hope Centre Marcus Miller, Mal Waldron, Zuco 103, Sibongile Khumalo, Don Laka, Bill Bruford Earthworks
2002[18] 30 & 31 March Good Hope Centre Spyro Gyra, Ahmad Jamal, Toots Thielemans, Andy Narell, Tower of Power, Louis Mhlanga, Judith Sephuma, McCoy Mrubata
2003[19] 28 & 29 March Good Hope Centre Eumir Deodato, Isaac Hayes, Osibisa, Andreas Vollenweider, Jonas Gwangwa, India.Arie, Archie Shepp, Pieces of a Dream, Moses Khumalo, Floetry
2004[20] 10 & 11 April Cape Town International Convention Centre Stanley Clarke, Miriam Makeba, Cassandra Wilson, Abdullah Ibrahim
2005[5] 30 and 31 March 340ml, Cesária Évora, Bobo Stenson, Dhafer Youssef, Transglobal Underground, Dave Holland
2006[4] 31 March & 1 April Miriam Makeba, Chucho Valdés, Freddy Cole, Louie Vega, Sipho Mabuse, Paul Hanmer
2007[13] 30 & 31 March Average White Band, Gino Vannelli, Leela James, The Stoner, Saskia Laroo, Hip Hop Pantsula
2008[15] 28 & 29 March Ananda Project, Gerald Albright, Kenny Barron Trio, Oliver Mtukudzi, Najee, The Manhattans, Zola
2009[6][21] 3 & 4 April Mos Def, 340ml, Hugh Masekela, Freshlyground, Dianne Reeves, Maceo Parker, Peter White
2010[14] 3 & 4 April BLK JKS, Rick Braun, Vusi Mahlasela, TKZee, Richard Elliot, Rachelle Ferrell
2011[22] 25 & 26 March Al Di Meola, Angie Stone, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Herbie Hancock, Erykah Badu
2012[23] 30 & 31 March Lauryn Hill, Mike Stern, James Ingram, Zahara, Dave Koz, Jean Grae, GoodLuck, Lenny White, Donald Harrison, Ron Carter
2013[9] 5 & 6 April Ravi Coltrane, Steve Turre, Mafikizolo, Robert Glasper, Matt Garrison, Buena Vista Social Club
2014[9] 28 & 29 March Kirk Whalum, Erykah Badu, Lalah Hathaway, Mi Casa, Black Coffee, Snarky Puppy
2015[9] 27 & 28 March Basia, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Thundercat, Amel Larrieux, Ringo Madlingozi
2016[9] 1 & 2 April Angie Stone, Cassandra Wilson, BADBADNOTGOOD, SWV, Lizz Wright
2017[9] 31 March & 1 April En Vogue, Gretchen Parlato, Judith Sephuma, Soweto String Quartet, Digable Planets


  1. ^ a b c "The Cape Town International Jazz Festival – Events – South African Tourism". Archived from the original on 2013-01-09. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Cape Town International Jazz Festival History". espAFRIKA. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  3. ^ Berkowitz, Paul (2013-04-03). "Maverick interview: Rashid Lombard". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
  4. ^ a b "Cape Town International Jazz Festival - 2006". 24 Nov 2005. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  5. ^ a b "2005 Cape Town International Jazz Festival: Africa's Grandest Gathering". Retrieved 2013-04-15.
  6. ^ a b c d "Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2009". Retrieved 2013-04-15.
  7. ^ a b "The North Sea Jazz Festival (31 March – 1 April) starts in Cape Town. It is the first time a jazz festival on four simultaneo | South African History Online". 2000-03-31. Archived from the original on 2013-07-18. Retrieved 2013-04-15.
  8. ^ a b c d e Iain Harris. "Town International Jazz Festival 2005". Archived from the original on 2013-06-28. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "Cape Town International Jazz Festival Formerly: North Sea Jazz Festival Cape Town". Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  10. ^ "North Sea Jazz Festival". Western Cape Provincial Government. Archived from the original on 2013-05-05. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  11. ^ a b "North Sea jazz fest comes to Cape Town". City Press. Archived from the original on 2013-06-27. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  12. ^ Karen Breytenbach. "Cape Town jazz festival saved". Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  13. ^ a b Taryn-Lee Biggar. "Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2007". Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  14. ^ a b c "Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2010". Archived from the original on 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  15. ^ a b "Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2008". Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  16. ^ "The African Harvest North Sea Jazz Festival". Die Burger. 2001-03-08. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  17. ^ "Fasten your belts, you're going to get blown away". City Press. Archived from the original on 2013-07-30. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  18. ^ "Jazz festival for Cape Town". News24. 2002-01-30. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  19. ^ "North Sea Jazz Festival Cape Town 2003". Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  20. ^ "North Sea Jazz Festival, Cape Town 2004". Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  21. ^ "Line-Up for Cape Town's International Jazz Festival 2009". Retrieved 2013-04-15.
  22. ^ "Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2011". Retrieved 2013-04-15.
  23. ^ "Line-up for Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2012". Archived from the original on 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2013-04-16.

External links[edit]