Exciting first round line up for the coming Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2007 up announced

AN EXCITING CAPE TOWN INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL 2007 LINE UP ANNOUNCED WITH JACK DE JOHNETTE, GERRY ALLEN, ESTHER MILLER, CONCORD NKABIBDE, BEV SCOTT-BROWN, RANDY CRAWFORD, JOE SAMPLE and LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO TO HEADLINE

The 8th annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival takes place on Friday 30th and Saturday 31st March at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

Affectionately known as Africa's Grandest Gathering, this multi-stage event enables its organisers, espAFRIKA, to promote all genres within jazz and jazz-related performances, bringing together a dazzling bill of 40 local and international artists performing in five different venues to a diverse audience. The annual free Community Concert takes place on 29th March on Greenmarket Square.

With the Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2007 now only two months away, espAfrika has released the first list of artists appearing at the 2007 jazz festival.

Artists already confirmed include soul-jazz diva Randy Crawford, jazz legend Joe Sample, South Africa's own world famous vocal group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Sibongile Khumalo and Jack DeJohnette, Intercontinental with Danilo Perez, Jerome Harris, Byron Wallen and Jason Yarde, The Caribbean Jazz Project feat. Paquito D'Rivera, Dave Samuels and Andy Narell, Vivid Afrika, Concord Nkabinde, Esther Miller feat. Special guest Jeremy Pelt, Bev Scott-Brown, Bruce Muirhead Quartet, Fethi Tabet, Shannon Mowday, Lira, Diego Amador, Standard Bank National Youth Jazz band, Rudmentals, Nils Landgren, Hilton Schilder, Bheki Khoza, Lee Konitz quartet, Stimela, Tortured Soul and Gerri Allen Trio feat. Jimmy Cobb.

RANDY CRAWFORD'S return to the Cape Town International Jazz Festival stage will be welcomed by her many SA fans. For more than three decades she has traversed a musical spectrum that ranges from jazz and soul to R&B and pop. Her warm timbre, inventive, emotional phrasing, and songs like 'Give Me the Night' and 'Almaz' have won Crawford countless fans around the globe.

JOE SAMPLE is a world famous jazz pianist and composer who has entertained for more than four decades, first as a founding member of the ground-breaking fusion ensemble, The Crusaders, and since the late '70's, as a popular solo contemporary jazz artist.

LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO is the Grammy Award winning, South African a cappella singing group that represents the traditional culture of South Africa. The "isicathamiya" vocal group has fulfilled its role as South Africa's cultural emissary at home and around the world with enthusiasm and dignity. The group has recorded and performed with a long list of international stars like Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Ben Harper, The Wynans and George Clinton, and leader Joseph Shabalala and his group will be warmly welcomed to the Festival stage.

SIBONGILE KHUMALO is the acclaimed South African diva who's soulful and dynamic performances have enchanted diverse audiences across South Africa and abroad. She interprets a variety of musical genres with integrity and poise, moving effortlessly from traditional South African and European styles to more jazzy melodies but all with her trademark South African flavour.

JACK DE JOHNETTE is widely regarded as one of jazz music's greatest drummers and he has collaborated with many major figures in jazz history including John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Sun Ra, Jackie McLean, Thelonious Monk and Bill Evans. His most notable work was as the drummer in Miles Davis's group at the time of the epochal upheaval marked by 'Bitches Brew,' an album that changed the direction of jazz.

JEROME HARRIS has won international recognition as one of the more versatile and penetrating stylists of his generation on both guitar and bass guitar, performing with a host of major jazz names, most notably in conjunction with Sonny Rollins for many years.

BYRO WALLEN is one of the most dynamic and versatile jazz voices currently on the British scene and has performed with rap outfits such as The Roots, Digable Planets and Us3. Byron has appeared beside African pioneers such as Hugh Masekela, Manu Dibango and Amampondo, Lonnie Liston Smith, Ronnie Laws and Chaka Khan.

JASON YARDE, currently based in the UK, is a multi-talented composer, arranger, producer, musical director and saxophonist who composes across a variety of styles (progressive jazz, classical, hip-hop fusion, free improvisation, broken beats, R&B, reggae, soul, song writing) and for a variety of media (chamber ensembles, big band, dance, film, electro-acoustic and midi).

DANILO PEREZ is a highly rated Panamanian pianist and composer whose distinctive blend of Pan-American jazz (covering the music of the Americas, folkloric and world music) has attracted critical acclaim, loyal audiences and three Grammy nominations for his ebullient and innovative recordings.

VIVID AFRIKA is the coming together of two of South Africa's most adventurous yet sensitive composers and musicians, namely McCoy Mrubata (alto and tenor saxophones, saxello and flute) and Greg Hadjiyorki Georgiades (who plays nylon guitar, oud, bouzouki and fretless resonator guitar).

CONCORD NKABINDE is one of South Africa's most accomplished bassists and over the past few years he has enhanced his reputation by working with a host of top names including Johnny Clegg, with whom he has been recording and touring.

UK based South African born ESTHER MILLER will be performing with special Guest JEREMY PELT (USA) is one of South Africa's leading jazz singers, whose South African performances include The Grahamstown Arts Festival and the Standard Bank Jazzathon. She also completed two highly successful Jazz Services sponsored tours of the UK in spring 2003 and 2005. Jeremy Pelt tops Downbeat Rising Star Trumpet honors for the 4th year in a row! Since his arrival, he has been fortunate enough to play with many of today's and yesterday's Jazz luminaries, such as Jimmy Heath, Frank Wess, Charlie Persip, Keter Betts, Frank Foster, Ravi Coltrane, Winard Harper, Vincent Herring, Ralph Peterson, Lonnie Plaxico, Cliff Barbaro, Nancy Wilson, Bobby Short, Bobby "Blue" Bland, The Skatalites, Cedar Walton,

BEV SCOTT-BROWN is a much sought-after South African session singer with premier SA acts including Late Final and the Jonny Cooper Orchestra. She recently released her acclaimed debut CD titled 'It's the Little Things'.

The leader of The BRUCE MUIRHEAD QUARTET is a versatile jazz, rock and orchestral guitarist/bassist, teacher, composer and recording studio owner, who has appeared as featured guitarist and electric bassist for the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, in addition to performing with some of Cape Town's most popular jazz artists, including Melissa van der Spuy on piano and Kevin Gibson on drums.

The group known as The CARRIBBEAN JAZZ PROJECT, features three well known artists - clarinet and saxophone sensation Paquito D'Rivera, vibraphonist Dave Samuels, best known for his work with Spyro Gyra, and steel drum exponent Andy Narell. In conjunction with them are other musicians, namely Argentinean pianist, Dario Eskenazi, Oscar Stagnaro, the electric bassist from Lima, Peru, and drummer Mark Walker. The group combines a unique blend of jazz, salsa and other styles from south of the border, opening up a new idiom in Latin American fusion into the jazz medium. The Project has won 2 Grammy awards

FETHI TABET is a singer, lutist, violonist, and percussionist of Algerian origin best known as an exponent of Eastern music and an accomplished player of hurdy-gurdy with bow.

The STANDARD BANK YOUTH JAZZ BAND (SBNYJB) is a product of the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival, which takes place in Grahamstown in July each year as part of the National Arts Festival. It attracts the very best young jazz musicians in the country and is selected from the 250 young musicians from around South African who come to the festival.

Each member of the SBNYJB is a highly competent musician, and the average age of the band members is 19. The STANDARD BANK YOUTH JAZZ BAND vibrantly reflects the cosmopolitan nature of South African society, and has an interesting mix of gender and race. The conductor of the band is usually a South African musician of significant status and experience, as well as being a teacher and composer.

LIRA is the exciting new South African R&B performer whose original compositions are distinctly refreshing, evoking authentic expressions of contemporary jazz, and a fusion of Xhosa and Zulu lyrics with Latin rhythms. The title track off 'Feel Good', Lira's successful 2006 debut album on SONY/BMG, topped the Metro FM charts and her appearance at the Festival is yet another major milestone for this talented artist.

Saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist, SHANNON MOWDAY, is one of the most diverse and sought after performers and recording artists to have emerged from South Africa. Her music successfully blends jazz with an eclectic mix of African rhythms and folklore and she was deservedly selected as the winner of the 2007 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz.

DIEGO AMADOR is a musical phenomenon. His music is almost impossible to define, mixing the traditional with vanguard Flamenco in a truly original style. A pianist and composer, he also sings and plays almost every possible instrument of flamenco from guitar to percussion. Diego, world-rated pianist who is regarded as one of Spain's finest jazz musicians and who was a member of the revered flamenco-rock band, Pata Negra, founded by his brothers. He is one of the most gifted young musician-composers of the current flamenco scene, and remains very much rooted in the unique gypsy approach to rhythm and harmonic structure and is thus hailed as a provocative, innovative and creative force within flamenco's evolution.

THE RUDIMENTALS are paving the way to a new South African sound. They have blended the essential, tried and trusted elements of Ska with both rural and urban African music. With its roots still firmly planted in the Jamaican dance halls of the 60's, the band have fused ingredients of the local, like Zimbabwean cultural music and Goema, with the familiar back beat of Ska. This contemporary combination makes the music both accessible and fresh. The wicked final product being African Ska.

HILTON SCHILDER is the highly regarded South African jazz pianist who is a member of the illustrious musical Schilder family, as well as a founder member of the legendary Cape Jazz group, The Geniuses, alongside Mac Mackenzie on bass, Gerard O'Brien on guitar, and Ian Herman on drums. He has also performed with groups like The Sons of Table Mountain, The Hilton Schilder Quintet, New Age, and in the late `90's joined Mac Mackenzie in his outfit, Namakwa. Together with Mac, Hilton is still playing an integral role in keeping Cape Goema jazz alive through their recent outfit, the Goema Captains of Cape Town. Hilton is also focusing his energy on concept group, Rock Art - a Khoi electric crossover band incorporating live musicians and a DJ.

World-class Trombonist and Vocalist NILS LUNDGREN and HIS FUNK UNIT (11 piece band) - Nils Landgren has been involved in a variety of music styles and projects. These include jazz, rock, soul, hip hop, big bands, and studio sessions, and by his own reckoning, at least 500 albums. Mostly, for natural reasons with Swedish artists but also with such internationals stars as ABBA, The Crusaders, Eddie Harris, Bernard 'Pretty' Purdie and Herbie Hancock. Nils even plays on the first Wyclef Jean solo album, titled Carnival and Joe Sample.

His concerts from Stockholm to Beijing have been met with ecstatic acclamation. In duo with pianist Esbjorn Svensson, he has elevated Swedish folk music to the level of subdued works of art. As the artistic director of the 2001 Berlin Jazz Festival, designed a state of the art presentation of Scandinavian trends and moods. In May 2002 Nils was honored with the 'Tore Ehrling-prize' by the Swedish Society of Popular Composers for "His outstanding contribution to spread Swedish jazz music around the globe".

LEE KONITZ QUARTET regarded as the preeminent cool jazz saxophonist, because he performed and recorded with Claude Thornhill, Lennie Tristano (both often cited as important cool jazz proponents of the mid 1940s), and with Miles Davis' on his epochal Birth of the Cool, which gave the form its name. Konitz has been playing improvised music across six decades, with more than 50 albums to his credit. He's a main figure in the music called jazz, known for the distinct sound he gets from his alto sax and his penchant for exploring. He has also recorded or performed with Dave Brubeck, Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Elvin Jones

STIMELA

It has been indeed a long trip for Ray Phiri. From early days in Mpumalanga - where he was born and raised - where he used to dance to his troubadour father's puppet shows. Ray had his first break when he, in 1962, managed to dance for the legendary Dark City Sisters when they performed in Mpumalanga. He made enough money giving him a chance to travel to Johannesburg. He became founder member of the soul music giants of the 1970's, the Cannibals which were later joined by the late Mpharanyana. When the Cannibals disbanded Ray founded Stimela, with whom he conceived gold and platinum-winning albums like Fire, Passion and Ecstacy, Look, Listen and Decide as well as the controversial People Don't Talk So Let's Talk.

GERRY ALLEN TRIO FEAT JIMMY COBB

Hailed as "a jazz pianist who dares to follow an unmarked road" (The New York Times) and honored for "her extensive music education and a devotion to the swinging roots of jazz" (Los Angeles Times), pianist/composer Geri Allen is a true original. Rhythmically subtle yet startlingly provocative, Allen respects the jazz tradition, but refuses to be bound by it, and her original works journey into constantly adventurous areas, always seeking out new musical avenues. However, its Allen's spectacular writing that has fueled her emergence as a jazz leader. she has worked with musicians as diverse as Charles Lloyd (with whom she's been touring for two years), Mal Waldron, Vernon Reid, Mino Cinelu, Mary Wilson and The Supremes, Tony Williams, Ron Carter, Oliver Lake and Betty Carter and Ornette Coleman.

Jimmy Cobb, given his selfless approach to rhythm, the work of drummer Jimmy Cobb tends to be somewhat undervalued by comparison with the aggressive innovations of numerous contemporaries. More often than not, Jimmy Cobb has been defined less by what he plays than by whom he has played with. Besides much-heralded stints as the rhythmic impetus behind Miles Davis, Wynton Kelly, Wes Montgomery, the Adderley Brothers, and Sarah Vaughan, Cobb has performed with a who's who of instrumental and vocal giants, one of the most in-demand drummers of his generation.

TORTURED SOUL is music that will move you. It's a new concept in the world of house music: it's live. The instrumentation is simple and organic - drums, electric bass, vintage keys, and soulful vocals. Tortured Soul filters club sounds like afro beat and samba through a lens of jazzy house, funk and American soul to reflect intense grooves evocative of Jamiroquai, Stevie Wonder, Prince and Fela Kuti

EspAfrika will be releasing more names as they become available, but even at this early stage with artists of the caliber already confirmed, the line-up for the Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2007 ensures it will be another outstanding event.

Ticket prices for the 2007 Festival have increased for only the second time since the Festival began. Single day passes will be R290.00 and full weekend passes will be R430.00. As in previous years, there will be an extra fee of R25 for patrons wishing to attend concerts on the Rosies stage. Tickets are available from Computicket.

The demand from both South African and international jazz fans for tickets, trains, flights, accommodation, and travel packages for the sell-out festival has already begun. The organisers have been working with South African Airlines (SAA) to make a large variety of travel packages available. Details of these are available from SAA at +27 11 978 1144 or on their website www.flysaa.com

All line-up updates and other festival info can be found at the official Festival website at: www.capetownjazzfest.com

The Gold sponsors for the Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2007 are South African Airways, South African Broadcasting Commission (SABC), Standard Bank and the Department of Arts and Culture.

Marius Vorster, Director: Group Sponsorships, Communications and Events for Standard Bank said: "Standard Bank is excited and honoured to once again be a gold sponsor of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. It has been an exciting opportunity for us, a way for us to connect with our customers the Standard Bank way - through our values; centered on making a difference in the communities we serve. We understand the richness, diversity and value of the arts in building a society and have hence, stayed in the forefront through investment in various art disciplines."

Mr. Kaizer Kganyago Head: Group Communications SABC said: "The 8th Cape Town International jazz festival comes at a time when the SABC has just adopted a new strategy and a new vision of "Broadcasting for Total Citizen Empowerment". The vision is supported by three values. i.e.: Conversations and partnerships; Restoring human dignity and Building a common future". "SABC3 will broadcast a 90 minute documentary. Other channels and especially our radio channels will support the Cape Town International Jazz Festival as we build up to the actual event - live crossings and Outside Broadcasts will form part of our offering to the citizens of our country who will not be able to attend Africa's grandest gathering"

"Music has for decades, united individuals and cultures from different backgrounds and offered appreciation of one another. It is this unity and common appreciation and understanding for one another through music, which make us at South African Airways so proud to be part of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival," says Jacqui O'Sullivan, SAA Head Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Investment

The Mayor of Cape Town, Helen Zille said: "On behalf of the City of Cape Town I would like to encourage Cape Town's jazz lovers to come out in their numbers to this year's Cape Town International Jazz Festival. I would also like to thank the organisers and performers for all their hard work in putting together this wonderful event. We owe you a debt of gratitude for the colour and style that you bring to Cape Town's cultural scene. The City remains committed to doing all that we can to promote the heritage of jazz music, and I would like to encourage the leaders in the private sector to join the City and Province in providing financial and any other kind of assistance they can for the festival. If we work together, this annual event will be able to grow and provide a bigger platform for our local artists, while at the same time giving the people of Cape Town the chance to enjoy a range of international jazz talent."

The Silver sponsor is Pilsner Urquell, and other secondary sponsors and/or funding principals include Cape Town & Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sports, City of Cape Town, SA Tourism, South Atlantic Arts & Culture Trust, Swedish Jazz Foundation, Iziko, ZASE JAZZ, Telkom, Cape Town Partnership, The City of Cape Town and Cape Town Routes Unlimited

Kindest regards,

See it with your own ears

Yours in Music

Eric Alan

RADIO SHOW HOST of ERIC ALAN’S JAZZ RENDEZVOUS on Radio 2000 - 92 to 100 fm Sundays from 17h00 to 20h00

(Please note that if there is a sports event on the day then the show will start an hour later)

WEBSITE EDITOR, MUSIC JOURNALIST, BROADCASTER, Jazz, Music & Cultural Consultant

Editor: JAZZ RENDEZVOUS website: www.jazzrendezvous.co.za

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