-Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club feat. Omara Portuondo (Cuba) visit artist website
The Buena Vista Social Club in Havana, Cuba was a thriving club where musicians, dancers and revelers used to gather in the 1940s. Fifty years after the Cuban Revolution of 1959 when the club was closed, a collaboration between traditional Cuban musicians, including those who had performed at the club, resulted in an album called the Buena Vista Social Club. A documentary was made during a performance in New York triggering huge international interest in traditional Cuban music. The Buena Vista Social Club became a brand encapsulating Cuba's ‘musical golden age’ between the 1930s and 1950s. The most recognizable artists in the ensemble Compay Segundo, Rubén González, and Ibrahim Ferrer sadly died in the early 2000s. Surviving members, including trumpeter Manuel ‘Guajiro’ Mirabal, laúd player Barbarito Torres and trombonist-conductor Jesus ‘Aguaje’ Ramos, teamed up with singers Carlos Calunga and Omara Portuondo, virtuoso pianist Rolando Luna and others to form a 13-member band called Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club. The troupe currently tour worldwide.
-Zonke (South Africa) visit artist website
Singer-songwriter Zonke Dikana hails from the Eastern Cape and has established herself as a heavyweight on the music scene, internationally and locally. Well known for her hit Jik’ Izinto Dikana’s talent emanates from her drummer-father, whose marriage to Anneline Malebo from the group Joy also helped kick-start her career. After writing a track for the German band Jazz Cantina, a team of producers and engineers decided to record her music and released what became an award-winning album under the name Culture Clan. Zonke went on to record her first solo album entitled Solotary, which was released in Italy, Germany and Japan. Meanwhile, her popularity on the South African music scene escalated even further with the release of her album Life, Love and Music. Behind the scenes she continued writing and making hits for several local stars including Tshepo Tsholo and Theo Kgosinkwe. Dikana’s album Ina Ethe, which translates as Give and Take from isiXhosa, was released at the end of last year (2012).
-Jill Scott (USA) visit artist website
Three-time Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter, New York Times best-selling poet and critically acclaimed actress are only a few titles held by Jill Scott. Before having the #1 album in the US with her new album The Light Of The Sun, performing at The White House, being named People Magazine's Top TV Breakout Star of 2010 and appearing on VH1 Divas alongside Aretha Franklin, the triple threat began her career collaborating with musical icons such as The Roots, Will Smith and Common in the late 1990s. In 2000 she released her much anticipated debut record Who is Jill Scott? Words & Sounds Vol. 1, a double platinum album that earned Scott several Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist. Two more critically acclaimed albums followed, Beautifully Human: Words & Sounds, Vol. 2 and The Real Thing: Words & Sounds, Vol. 3 which garnered two more Grammy Awards and spawned multiple worldwide tours. Scott infuses jazz, R&B, spoken word and hip hop among other genres to create a distinct style that many refer to as neo-soul. Never limited to music, Jill Scott is a true multi-media brand across books, clothing, television and film. Most recently, she was cast as the lead character in the HBO/BBC mini-series filmed on location in Botswana The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency. Before that, Jill starred alongside Tyler Perry and Janet Jackson in the #1 national movie series Why Did I Get Married? as well as Lifetime Movie Network's Sins of the Mother which became the second-most watched premiere in the network's history.
-Thandiswa Mazwai (South Africa) visit artist website
Thandiswa Mazwai was recently described by the Guardian as South Africa's finest female contemporary singer. Born during the height of the apartheid struggle, she began her musical career in 1998 with Bongo Maffin before going solo. She has released two albums and won awards both within South Africa and internationally. Having performed all over the world, her music typically includes traditional Xhosa rhythms, mbaqanga, reggae, kwaito, funk and jazz. She says that through her music she can “have a meaningful conversation with my generation about Blackness, Africaness, about some of the social ills that plague us.”
-Jimmy Dludlu (South Africa) visit artist website
Jimmy Dludlu is a self-taught acclaimed guitarist, arranger, band leader and singer, known internationally for his original African Jazz and fusion music. In the 1980's he performed with various African musicians, including Anansi and Thomas Mapfumo. In the 1990’s, located mainly in Johannesburg, he started performing in earnest and also set up the group Loading Zone. The band backed several top South African stars like Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie and others resulting in further recognition of Dludlu’s talent. In 1994, Dludlu performed in Grahamstown with the international legend Herb Ellis. A year later, Dludlu began formal music studies at UCT. The same year, he performed with Hugh Masekela, Busi Mhlongo, Dolly Rathebe and Dorothy Masukain in Paris. Dludlu’s debut album Echoes from the Past was released in September 1997 which earned him several awards and recognition on the international stage. At the SAMA Awards in 2000, he won the Best Male Artist and his Essence of Rhythm album earned him Best Contemporary Jazz Album.
- Mafikizolo (South Africa) visit artist website
Male-female duo Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza are two of the original members of Mafikizolo, which started small as a kwaito group in the 1990s. Various sorrows saw them disband, but Theo and Nhlanhla recently re-grouped to produce an album combining blues and swing called Six Mabone. The album’s name is reminiscent of the classic car of the 1960’s and also features a remake of Miriam Makeba's classic Walila. Older and wiser, the duo is an astounding musical pair on stage. Theo Kgosinkwe, the male member of the duo, says: "Back in the 60s, Six Mabone had the same status as BMW today. We are taking our fans back and forth. We have been to hell and back. God has been there for us always."
-Brand New Heavies (UK) visit artist website
The Brand New Heavies started life in the 1980s as an instrumental acid jazz group called Brother International. As The Brand New Heavies, they gained a cult following in London and soon signed to Cooltempo. In 1990, the band issued a debut recording for Eddie Piller's Acid Jazz label. A single, Got to Give, came out on Cooltempo before the Heavies signed to Acid Jazz Records. A revamped version of the first album, with vocals by N'Dea Davenport, was then released, and the singles Dream Come True, Never Stop and Stay This Way became hits on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1994, the Heavies released Brother Sister. Then, in 2000, the group released its greatest hits album, Trunk Funk - The Best of The Brand New Heavies with Carleen Anderson on vocals. In April 2006, the Heavies reunited with Davenport and former label Delicious Vinyl and released, Get Used to It. In October 2009, the Heavies released a 2-CD album Live In London and worked with Lancôme on an ad campaign, resulting in the 2009 single C'est Magnifique. The Heavies released a free download album called Dunk Your Trunk in November 2011. For 2013, the band is planning to release its yet-to-be-named new studio album featuring Davenport on vocals.
Maria do Céu Whitaker Poças hails from Brazil and calls herself CéU. It means either "sky" or "heaven" in Portuguese, a name which speaks to her warm and tantalising voice. Born into a musical family in São Paulo, CéU studied music and launched her debut album in the US in 2005, when she was already making waves in Europe. Influenced by the sound of jazz singers like Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Lauren Hill and Erykah Badu, she fronted a samba funk outfit and then an electro-dance group in São Paulo, capturing the attention of several major record labels. She joined forces with an indie label, a partnership which has seen her thrive in a combination of samba, reggae, dub, electronica and amazing tunefulness.
-Cheikh Lô (Senegal)
The Senegalese maverick Cheikh Lô is a free spirit whose musical journey has nurtured styles and cultures from all over the globe. Lô dedicates both his music and his life to Baye Fall, a specifically Senegalese form of Islam. In 1997 he was awarded Best Newcomer at the Kora All-African Awards in SA. Lô has played at various festivals across America, Europe and the UK. He appeared at WOMAD in Australia and New Zealand to much acclaim. His first album in 1990 tells of his experience as a Senegalese abroad. The Guardian described him as a compelling performer with energy and personality to match that of the early Bob Marley. Lamp Fall is perhaps the release most reflective of Cheikh’s personality: it is deeply spiritual, incorporates Brazilian rhythms and a Senegalese groove while generating warmth and fun.
-Errol Dyers presents The Cape Jazz Ensemble (South Africa)
Acclaimed guitar maestro Errol Dyers is highly respected as a pioneer of what has today become known as Cape Jazz-Ghoema, which Dyers says emerged during apartheid as a cross between traditional ‘lang arm’ and Cape Town carnival sounds. Dyers has performed, recorded and toured locally and internationally with many great artists including the late Basil Coetzee, Winston Mankunku, Abdullah Ibrahim, Robbie Jansen and McCoy Mrubata. With no formal music training, he learnt his music on the streets of Cape Town, drawing inspiration from the rhythms of the city. His debut album Sonesta stems from the earliest strummings of the Cape people. The title of his more recent album Kou Kou Wa comes from the colloquial name given to small mobiles that were set up while townships were being built. Dyers’ most recent project is a collaboration with well-known maestros Hilton Schilder and Steve Newman.
-Pu2ma (South Africa)
Few words describe Pu2ma’s vocal prowess. During a performance in South Africa by Shirley Caesar, she could not believe her ears when she heard Pu2ma singing in the audience and summoned her onto stage. Since appearing on Joburg’s performance circuit, Pu2ma has made an indelible mark on SA’s music industry. She soon captured the attention of leading festival promoters in South Africa and beyond. Pu2ma has performed at the infamous jazz club in Shanghai, China (the JZ Club). She performed at the 2010 Standard Bank Joy of Jazz and the following year was hand- picked by Hugh Masekela to perform with him at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz 2011.
-Claire Phillips (South Africa) visit artist website
SAMA winner, singer, songwriter and musician Claire Phillips is recognized and respected as one of South Africa’s most talented artists. She set out as a cover artist, but soon developed her own repertoire producing her debut album in 2006. Her instantly recognizable voice and unique style saw the album Say My Name hit the top of the music charts in South Africa. Since then she has performed extensively in South Africa alongside Sasha-Lee David’s, Brandon October, Jimmy Dludlu and internationally renowned Joe Mc Bride to name a few. She released her second album to great acclaim last year.
-Dainius Pulauskas Group (LIT)
Dainius Pulauskas Group is one of the most influential and active Lithuanian jazz units, and considered the ambassadors of Lithuanian jazz. They started in 1996 at the Birštonas Jazz Festival, and in 1997, released their debut album. The Group fast rose to the hall of fame in Lithuanian jazz and have participated in many prestigious European, Asian and American jazz festivals. The Lithuanian Musicians’ Union awarded Dainius Pulauskas Group with the Golden Disc in 2001 and three years later, received the LT Identity award for promoting Lithuanian jazz. The band is a unique sextet whose mixture of melody and muscle, lyricism and he unexpected, places it firmly at the forefront of progressive European jazz-fusion. They are now a well-established jazz outfit internationally. Jazz critic Jan Patterson described the group as a “unique sextet whose mixture of melody and muscle, lyricism and the unexpected, places it firmly at the forefront of progressive European jazz-fusion”.
-Jean Luc Ponty & his band (FRANCE) visit artist website
Jean-Luc Ponty is a pioneer and undisputed master of jazz and rock violin. Born into a family of classical musicians in Avranches, France, he attended the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris after which he joined a professional symphony orchestra. During this time, he also played clarinet for a jazz band. Ponty then begun to express his jazz voice through his main instrument, the violin. At the age of 22, he had released his debut solo album Jazz Long Playing. Through the late-60 and early 70’s, Ponty achieved mounting popularity across Europe. In 1984, following a revolutionary video featuring time lapse images, Ponty became one of the first jazz musicians to have a music video. In subsequent years, Ponty has performed the world to great acclaim.
-BWB feat. Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum and Rick Braun (USA)
Three acclaimed musicians join forces at this year’s CTIJF to produce a wonderful combination of innovative jazz sounds. Grammy Award winner Norman Brown is a multitalented guitarist, composer and singer. Born in Louisiana, US, Brown took inspiration from greats ranging from Jimi Hendrix to George Benson. He studied at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles where he also taught. While playing with his own group in local clubs, Brown signed to the MoJazz label, a division of Motown. In 2007, with much critical claim and sales behind him, he produced his smash CD Stay With Me. In a career spanning decades, saxophonist Kirk Whalm’s music is known to be soulful and passionate. Influenced by his gospel roots as well as the 1980’s nightclub scene, Whalm is known for his singular, big tenor sounds. Pianist Bob James spotted him in Houston, a partnership which lead to a Grammy nomination for their collaboration album Joined at the Hip. He has performed with top international stars like Barbara Streisand, Al Jarreau, Luther Vandross, Larry Carlton, Quincy Jones and Whitney Houston. It is Whalm’s sax on the mega-hit I Will Always Love You. Trumpeter Rick Braun is known for his richly melodic playing style. He released his first album Intimate Secrets in 1993 when his signature trumpet playing became widely acclaimed. He also has an incredible voice, and has backed the likes of Rod Stewart and Sade with both vocals and trumpet.
-DJ - DJ Azuhl (SA)
DJ Azuhl has fast become a household name on the South African hip hop and DJ scene. Ricardo Nunes - DJ Azuhl- started out as a dancer and MC before becoming a DJ and producer/remixer. He has been involved in the hip hop scene since the mid-1980s yet also moves across musical genres such as funk, soul, dub, house and rock. His club appearances and performances are too many to mention and he has also taken the limelight internationally. DJ Azuhl researched, co-produced and presented South Africa’s first Afrikaans hip hop television series and is actively involved in youth development. A seasoned traveller he has an impressive resume of international performances including in Belgium, France, Germany while he has also performed alongside international artists like Jay Z, Kanye West, Black Eyed Peas, Coolio, Twalib Kweli, Jeru the Damaja, DJ Kofi, Atrak, De La Soul, Coolio, Slipnot, Kellis, Cypress Hill, DJ Premier, Young Guru and many more.
-DJ - Mr Mo (SA)
MrMo - aka Andre Swanepoel - started his career in the music industry as a radio presenter on Peace Radio 2000 and CTFM 101.4 fm in 1994. After a stint in voice-overs for the state public broadcaster, he established a music distribution company Solid Records, which ultimately became African Dope Records. He later set up Mofunk Productions, a production company specialising in live music events, festivals and corporate events. He now runs Noisemaker music events specializing in live music events and corporate launches. MrMo has produced three albums and released 26 singles to date.Known for his R&B and hip hop ‘combos’, he plays a diverse mix of music with a keen focus on funky disco and breaks. Mofunk was voted Best Urban Night by Time Out Magazine, Dubai 2012.
-Mi Casa (South Africa) visit artist website
“Mi Casa is one of the most exciting new live acts I’ve seen in all my time in this industry, their talent, personalities, hard work and determination are a perfect recipe for success,” said Harael Salkow of Soul Candi Records, when Mi Casa or My House released their first album of the same name. The band was established when three young musicians ‘free styled’ an unrehearsed piece, blew the crowd away and decided to form a band. The musical talent of Dr Duda (producer and club DJ), J-Something (vocalist and guitarist) and Mo-T (trumpeter) combine to create an original soulful combination of vocals, guitar, keyboard and trumpet. Dr. Duda is an experienced and well-known DJ, while the band’s singer-songwriter J'Something started playing guitar when he was eleven and has played the instrument passionately since then. Trumpeter Mo-T learned the instrument from his father, Kgleaasoane Banza, who played for Mango Groove.
-Khuli Chana& AKA (South Africa) visit artist website
Two of South Africa’s hip-hop young guns will collaborate on stage at the CTIJF. AKA and Khuli Chana are currently burning up the local charts with their slick urban and local sound.
AKA is more commonly known as Kieran Forbes and started his music career as part of the group Entity which he formed along with his schoolmates. He has enjoyed success as a solo artist with songs such as Mistakes and Do It (which reached number one on 5FM’s Top 40).
Visit AKA’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/akaworldwide
Khuli Chana is practiced in vernacular rap, Motswako. In the 90s Chana was a member of duet Jazzadaz with Kay-G. As a solo artists he has received high praise including taking home the Newcomer of the Year award at the 2009 Channel O Awards and Song of the Year for his hit song Tswak Sticke'm at the 2010 Hype Music Awards.
- Dubmarine (Australia) visit artist website
You could call Brisbane outfit Dubmarine many things, but unforgettable is probably top of the list. High-power and high-energy, this nine-piece band brings together dub, dancehall, reggae, drum ‘n bass, rock and more to produce a distinctive heavy sound. Backed by a powerful brass section and led by the vocal gymnastics of D-Kazman, Dubmarine fuses elements of music from all around the world. They have released five albums, and toured extensively internationally. In Australia, they have earned local awards, enjoy strong support from the Australian media and perform in many different festivals across the country.
- Trenton and Free Radical (South Africa) visit artist website
With his feet firmly planted in African soil, Trenton Birch has a global musical sensibility. Having spent time in London developing his reggae-infused Afro-beat band, Trenton and Free Radical is now a prominent feature of the Cape Town live music scene. Birch believes there’s a revolution afoot around the way people think about their world and the type of music that’s being churned out. Trenton and Free Radical, a musical partnership between Birch and writing collaborator Marco Wielander, is evidence of this revolution. Ibiza-raised Marco, having played with the likes of Roots Manuva and Killa Kella, has developed unique techniques for laying down tracks, sampling, and layering, giving their music a distinctively individual character. Trenton and Free Radical's sound—seductive, acoustic, urban—elegantly marries catchy tunes with meaningful lyrics. Theirs is a contemporary African sound with universal appeal. Birch is a poet with something to say, and he’s not afraid to speak his mind.
-Brother Ali (USA) visit artist website
Brother Ali lived and loved the culture of Hip Hop since 1985 when he was at junior school – an era during which he studied and memorised greats like Melle Mell, Slick Rick and Whoodini. At high school he wrote and recorded his own songs. In the late 1990s he met the Rhymesayers crew which taught him the next level of DIY music. During the subsequent years he toured with Atmosphere. His latest major release in 2007 was The Undisputed Truth which served as the springboard for Brother Ali’s first headlining tours in the US, Canada and Australia. He was featured in The Source Magazine's "Hip Hop Quotable" and Rolling Stones "Artist To Watch" columns. Whereas most Brother Ali projects have been autobiographical his most recent album US refers to his friends and loved-ones. “Society makes us think we're in different worlds because of our race, religion, class, sex etc. I tried to make something that shows how alike we really are.”
-Ben Sharpa and Pure Solid (South Africa)
Considered as one of the African Continent’s most accomplished lyricists, Ben Sharpa has dedicated his life to his art. Born in the rugged ghetto slums of Soweto, South Africa in 1979, Ben Sharpa (aka Oh Kaptin My Kaptin, or simply ‘Kap’ to his friends and fans) experienced the full force of the apartheid regime. While Ben was still a young child, his father relocated the family to Chicago where Ben was inspired by the radical new voice that Hip Hop was giving to the disenfranchised. He returned to South Africa in 1994 forming cult crews GroundWorks and Audio Visual. In 2003 he won a nation-wide freestyle battle competition sponsored by South African cellular network, MTN, which gave him country-wide - and international – exposure. In South Africa he has twice headlined the country’s biggest hip hop festival, Back to the City. Described by BBC Radio as “one of the most inspired and agile lyricists in the world today” he has performed at the Glastonbury Festival and other well-established festivals across Europe. He performs at the CTIJF with Cape Town-based audio-visual electro dub duo, Pure Solid.
-Chef'Special (Netherlands) visit artist website
After the release of their debut album One For The Mrs in March 2011 Chef'Special, the five-piece band from the Netherlands, became 3FM Serious Talent and house band for Holland’s most popular TV show. With their singles Birds, Scribblin’ and My Night Off, the band increasingly interested audiences in the Netherlands. In the space of three years Chef'Special has grown into a solid, ambitious band of funk, hip hop, rock, reggae (Bob Marley's influence) and orchestral excesses. They sing about male impotence, cheating and other difficult topics which perhaps explains the group’s declared mission of “conquering the world”.
-P.H.Fat (SA) visit artist website
Rapidly growing in popularity is PHFAT, a three-piece band from Cape Town that produces a unique blend of psychedelic, bass and rap music will perform on the Bassline stage. PHFAT cut their teeth at local gigs such as Splashy Fen and Oppikoppi, releasing their first album in 2011. Nominated for Best Dance Video at this year’s MK Awards, PHFAT were awarded a MK MVP for their hit single City Of Thieves which is currently number one on MK Top 10 and enjoying extensive coverage South African radio stations. PHFAT is currently hard at work in the studio writing their first full length album due for release in 2013.
-DJ - Das Kapital (SA)
Das Kapital may be the critical analysis of political economy by Karl Marx but it is also the name of a 22 year-old Cape Town-based electronic music producer and DJ, who started producing beats at the tender age of 13. At 17, he decided to take things a little more seriously. Having been influenced by many genres including metal, hard techno and rave music he has been cited as saying “there is nothing better than a raw break-beat and grimy bass-line ripping through some speakers”. Das Kapital is known to be versatile and likes to push out what feels best at the time. He has also been known to rely on a heavily electro-driven bass-line to get a dance floor jamming.
-DJ - Raiko (SA)
Raiko is considered one of the most hard-working DJs on the South African hip hop circuit. He first made a name for himself in Cape Town in the early 2000s and has come up through the golden era of hip hop. Known for smooth, technical sets, he has taken the DJ spotlight across South Africa and in Europe. He has also been DJ for two artists performing at this year’s festival - Ben Sharpa and Khuli Chana.
-Jack DeJohnette Trio ft.Joe Lovano and Matt Garrison (USA) visit artist website
Renowned artists Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Matt Garrison come together as a groundbreaking jazz trio in a reunion 20 years in the making and which is a celebration of an original event at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. In 1993 the trio celebrated the music of the great John Coltrane and today their collaboration explores open improvisation as well as their own compositions. In a career spanning five decades, Grammy winner Jack DeJohnette has established an unchallenged reputation as one of history’s greatest drummers. His prowess incorporates hard bop, R&B, world music, avant-garde, and just about every other style of music as well.
After the death of his father Jimmy Garrison (John Coltrane’s bassist), his family relocated to Rome, where he studied piano and bass guitar. In 1988 Garrison returned to the US, forming GarrisonJazz Productions through which he currently produces, promotes and markets his music.
- Sonti (South Africa) visit artist website
Exiled in 1976 from her SA homeland, Sonti Mndebele lived as a refugee in Botswana and Germany. In the 1980s she met Hugh Masekela in London who invited her to join him on his tour of the US. While on tour she met Miriam Makeba and from that moment was blessed with the rare experience of working with two of South Africa’s great legends. Her incredible voice has seen her share the stage with international music icons like Peter Gabriel, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Ritchie, Elton John, Sade, Paul Simon and Donna Summer. Sonti toured with Paul Simon on the Graceland Tour, and in 2001 she coached the cast of Umoja in London. She has toured extensively with her band in Africa and Europe. Sonti believes “it is our responsibility as Africans to show the world that we are its rock solid cultural foundation.”
-Kirk Whalum; Romance Language feat. Kevin Whalum (USA) visit artist website
Kirk Whalum Romance Language is Whalum’s 19th solo record and his 29th album. His artistic muse has accomplished the rare feat of achieving commercial success and critical acclaim in contemporary and straight-ahead jazz, as well as in secular and non-secular music. There is a French connection to the album title. “French is the language of romance,” says the trilingual Whalum, who is fluent in English, French and Spanish.
The essence of Romance Language is Whalum’s modern day recreation of a collection of duets recorded in 1963 by iconic jazz saxophonist John Coltrane and the then underappreciated vocalist Johnny Hartman. The pair recorded six standards composed by the likes of Irving Berlin, Sammy Cahn, Billy Strayhorn, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. Whalum produced and arranged Romance Language with John Stoddart. The first six songs on the Romance Language album appear in the exact order as they appear on the Coltrane/Hartman collection. Whalum grew up in Memphis, the son of a pastor; thus he was enmeshed in regular sermons. He attended Texas Southern University in Houston where he was encouraged by a professor to apply for a scholarship to study abroad in Paris. He earned that scholarship and says the experience changed his life.
-Chano Dominguez “Flamenco Sketches” (Spain) visit artist website
Spanish born Chano Domínguez is a Latin jazz, post-bop and flamenco jazz pianist. He started playing flamenco guitar at eight-years-old, and then took to the piano. Domínguez’s initial interest was in jazz fusion groups like Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report, but he soon turned to the likes of Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk. In his twenties he formed the progressive Latin rock ensemble CAI, and when the group disbanded in 1981, Dominguez pursued a solo career. He soon clocked up several awards for his pioneering mix of flamenco and jazz music. After the release of his first solo album Chano, he relocated to New York where he continued to produce what was considered forward-thinking and completely cross-cultural music. His most recent album "Flamenco Sketches" was released by Blue Note Records in March 2012 and features his signature style re-interpretation of Miles Davis "Kind of Blue". The album earned him many accolades from the press with the New York Times calling the album “A cultural re-imagining of “Kind of Blue” and Wall Street Journal stating “Chano Dominguez is playing these melodies with more beauty and imagination than virtually anyone since Miles Davis & Bill Evans”.
- Louis Moholo presents 4 Blokes & 1 Doll (South Africa)
Cape Town-born Louis Moholo knew from an early age that he wanted to play the drums. After working with many groups, he was awarded the Best Drummer of the Jabulani Festival 1964 with the band The Blue Notes who were invited to the Antibes Jazz Festival, This lead to him playing in festivals and clubs around Europe, arriving in England in 1965 and later joining Chris McGregor’s newly-formed Brotherhood of Breath which stunned audiences around Europe with its own special SA big band sound. During the 1980’s Louis toured America with Peter Brotzmann’s trio and continued to work in Holland, Switzerland and Germany. In 1994 he was honoured by the magazine Straight No Chaser for his contribution to the freedom of South Africa through music. Then, in 1997 the Cape Town’s Cobert/Langa Organisation honoured him for “uplifting the community through outstanding achievement in music”. In 1990, when The Blue Notes disbanded, Louis formed the Dedication Orchestra as a tribute to those who were responsible for the Blue Notes’ fame. The musicians who contributed to this project gave their support freely. Two CDs were produced to raise funds for a trust for bursaries for young African musicians.
-Ibrahim Khalil Shihab (South Africa)
Ibrahim Khalil Shibab was born Christopher Schilder and converted to Islam in 1975. He is a jazz pianist, composer and singer, readily recognised in SA jazz circles. He started playing the piano at 14, later playing with jazz bands in Cape Town. He has worked and travelled extensively throughout southern Africa and shared the stage with both South African and international stars. In 1975 he joined Pacific Express, one of SA’s top bands, with which he recorded two albums, all the content being his original works. In 1976 he wrote the music and lyrics to his first hit song Give a little Love which was nominated as ‘The Most Played Commercial Song in the history of SA Music” in 1983. Since 2000 he has worked across the Middle and Far East.
-Steve Turre Quintet (USA) visit artist website
One of the world's preeminent jazz innovators, trombonist and seashellist, Steve Turre has consistently won both the Readers' and Critics' polls in JazzTimes, Downbeat, and Jazziz for Best Trombone and for Best Miscellaneous Instrumentalist (shells). Over the years he has worked with Ray Charles, Woody Shaw and Blakey, to name a few. In the 70’s Rahsaan Roland Kirk introduced Turre to the seashell as an instrument and since then he has incorporated seashells into his diverse musical style. In addition to performing as a member of the Saturday Night Live Band since 1984, Turre leads several different ensembles including Sanctified Shells, Sextet With Strings and Telarc. In 2000 Telarc released In The Spur of the Moment, a recording that features Steve with three different quartets, each with a different and distinct master pianist: Ray Charles, Chucho Valdes, and Stephen Scott. Turre's self-titled Verve release pioneers a unique artistic vision, drawing upon jazz, Afro-Cuban, and Brazilian sources.
-Victor Ntoni Tribute (South Africa)
Herbie Tsoaeli -Bass
Arthur Shabalala -Keyboards
Teffo T. Simon -Guitar
Mcebisi Ndamase -Drums
Percy Mbonani -Saxophone
Charlotte Hlahatse -Vocals
Nqobile Sibeko -Vocals
-Robert Glasper Experiment feat MF DOOM (USA) visit artist website
Pianist Robert Glasper continues to make waves throughout the music world as leader of both the acoustic Robert Glasper Trio (Chris Dave on drums and Vicente Archer on bass) and the Robert Glasper Experiment. In the Experiment, Glasper explores fusions of jazz and hip hop, blending funky jazz with electric hip-hop beats. The group is comprised of internationally acclaimed cross-genre masters, drummer Chris Dave, bassist Derrick Hodge and saxophonist/ vocalist Casey Benjamin. Special guests who have worked with the Experiment include Q-Tip, Mos Def, Terence Blanchard and neo-soul singer Bilal Oliver. Glasper’s first album Mood was released in 2004, followed by three more albums between 2005 and 2009. In 2012, Glasper released Black Radio, which featured performances by many neo-soul and hip hop artists including Lupe Fiasco.
-Gregory Porter (USA) visit artist website
Gregory Porter is an American jazz vocalist, songwriter and actor focusing on jazz, blues, soul and gospel. Porter’s musical career was launched in 1998 and a year later he was cast in the original It Ain’t Nothin’ But Blues Broadway. He was nominated for Best Jazz Vocal album for his debut album Water at the 2010 Grammy Awards. His sophomore album Be Good released last year was internationally acclaimed for its distinctive vocals and powerful composition. Porter has performed at festivals such as the North Sea Jazz Festival and the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. Recent performances include headlining the Wangaratta Jazz Festival with the John McAll quartet in Australia in November 2012. Porter currently resides in New York and is a resident performer at the popular Smoke Jazz & Supper Club.
-Auriol Hays (South Africa) visit artist website
A chance-meeting between Auriol Hays and producer Andre Scheepers kick-started Hays’ career. Soon afterwards, in 2009, she launched her debut album Behind Closed Doors which earned her a SAMA nomination and was selected by the Sunday Times as one of the Top 20 albums. Born and bred in the Western Cape, she has performed extensively within South Africa, and internationally, she took to the stage at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Her single A Better Man from her latest album has enjoyed high rotation on local radio stations.
-Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin (Switzerland)
Zen-funk quintet Ronin was founded in 2001 by Swiss composer and pianist from Zurich Nik Bärtsch. Together with Kaspar Rast on drums, Andi Pupato on percussion, Sha on bass/contrabass clarinet, alto sax, and Thomy Jordi on bass, Ronin perform what they call ritual groove music. Despite the multiplicity of the band’s influences, Ronin’s music always possesses a strong individuality. They incorporate a range of different elements in their music, be it funk, new classical or Japanese ritual music. The band has performed extensively internationally, and plays regularly in their home town of Zurich. In 2011, the Wall Street Journal chose Ronin’s live show as one of the six best live shows together with Björk, Radiohead, Patti Smith, Feist and Anna Calvi.
-Jonathan Rubain and Don Veno – The Intimate Project (South Africa)
The skilled artistry of two Cape Town musicians comes to the fore in an original performance of bass and sax. Bass player Jonathan Rubain grew up in Hanover Park, one of Cape Town’s most crime-ridden suburbs. His love of music saw him surpass these circumstances, yet the rhythm and mood of the streets, as well as of the church where he first picked up a guitar as a young boy, has strongly influenced his music. Rubain has fast become a bass player of choice for legends such as Mac McKenzie, Errol Dyers, Robbie Jansen, David Kramer and other prominent South African musicians. He is well known in South Africa and has performed internationally with the Cape Jazz Band and the Goema Captains of Cape Town. Born in Elsies River in Cape Town. Don Donvino started his musical journey playing saxophone for gospel bands. He is now one of Cape Town’s leading saxophonists. This self-taught musician has performed with many well-known South African stars - Ernie Smith, Loyiso Bala, Jimmy Dludlu, Wanda Baloyi, Victor Masondo, Lady Smith Black Mambazo and many more, and has shared the stage with musicians from the US as well. Donvino is the resident saxophonist for The Glenn Robertson Jazz Band and is deeply committed to music education.
-Afrika Mkhize (South Africa)
Durban-born 2012 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Jazz Afrika Mkhize started playing the piano at the age of six. At age 15, he was accepted at the National School of the Arts to further his classical music studies. In 1999, he enrolled at Pretoria Technikon to further his interest in jazz, composition and arranging. He has worked as a producer for the likes of Themba Mkhize, Miriam Makeba, Sibongile Khumalo and Kabelo. Mkhize has also performed with renowned artists such as Dorothy Masuka, Judith Sephuma and Marcus Wyatt. He has spent the last couple of years in Paris soaking up the jazz scene. He has been described as the exciting new face of South African jazz, playing a range of African grooves on the piano from hip-hop to straight-ahead jazz.
-Portico Quartet (UK) visit artist website
London band, Portico Quartet, has a distinctive sound through their use of the Hang, a 21st century percussion instrument. The group is composed of Jack Wyllie (saxophones and electronics), Duncan Bellamy (drums and electronics), Milo Fitzpatrick (bass and electronics), and Keir Vine (Hang and keyboards). After nearly two years of playing mainly small gigs and busking regularly outside the National Theatre in London, they signed to Babel Label in 2007. Their first album was released in 2007 and they are now signed to Real World Records. Their third album was released in 2012. Portico Quartet is known for taking their audiences on an electro-acoustic-ambient music journey like never before. Their music is described as strange, beautiful, cinematic and futuristic. The name Portico comes from the Italian word portico, the roofing under which they played when one of their gigs in Italy was rained out.
-Reza Khota Quartet (South Africa) visit artist website
The Reza Khota Quartet navigate the modern music scene – at once fully conscious and respectfully subverting the traditions associated with jazz. The multi-award winning young protagonist certainly has the credentials to make these compositional and improvisational choices with full volition having submitted to the discipline of classical guitar performance and formal theoretical training and holding a Masters degree (in composition) from the University of the Witwatersrand. Equally comfortable following the score or allowing it to unfold from the silence, Reza’s respect for and knowledge of a wide range of musical traditions is the platform from which he adds his voice to the newCulture – significantly with Babu, a project that also features bassist Shane Cooper and whose first offering, Uproots, has been voted into the 20 most important South African albums of the decade by the Mail and Guardian. Saxophonist Buddy Wells has earned significant recognition from the industry as a contributor to SAMA–nominated projects across genres and as a member and contributing composer for Tribe: an important feature in the South African jazz landscape. Perhaps a more fitting accolade lies simply in the enraptured features of a listener fortunate enough to hear him in full flight. His exquisite tone, deep sensitivity and complete immersion have defined him as one of South Africa’s musical gems. Holding the basis of the rhythmical and tonal space are two of the most in-demand players in Cape Town, Shane Cooper on contrabass and Jonno Sweetman on drums. Shane is a player of great skill and diversity as displayed in his sensitive contribution to the Kyle Shepherd trio and his powerful groove playing in the context of Closet Snare. He is also a composer in his own right, unconstrained by genre – writing the music for the feature length documentary Forerunners by director Simon Wood as well as producing cutting-edge electronica under the name Card On Spokes. Jonno is a natural born drummer and a profound listener who provides apt and finely crafted percussive contexts for the musicians he works with – be it with Melanie Scholtz’ Love Apples, the Kyle Shepherd Trio or on tour in Europe with Jonathan Crossley’s acclaimed Electric Band. It is no coincidence that both these young musicians were noticed by and performed with the late great Zim Ngqawana. The conversation between these four artists is wide open – as likely to manifest sparse restraint as it is to explore density and visceral excitement. It will, however, always be aconversation with the culture of now – never an aesthetic monologue. Martin Wolfaardt