ARTISTS 2016 (PG3)
(First Artists Announced) (Second Artists Announced)
JAV (Réunion Island, South Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar)
JAV (Jozéfinn’ Austral View) is the first pan-austral project of the Indo-Oceanic Southwest area between four countries: Réunion Island, South Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar. Imagined in 2008 by Jean-Pierre Jozéfinn (Réunion Island), guitarist, composer, leader and artistic director of JAV, the project took off in 2013 with the support of Réunion cultural association F.A.T.A.K. JAV is the melding of diverse musical cultures and creative energies that drives curiosity, transcending previous cultural divides. JAV stimulates the desire to discover and goes beyond cultural patchworks to form its own sublime musical identity beyond the human dimension in the interaction between various musical traditions articulated by jazz. JAV has just released their first album in September 2015, entitled: ‘Trapdanza’. The band consists of Jean Pierre Jozéfinn’ (guitar, vocal), Jacky BOYER (double bass), Bongani Sotshononda (Marimba, vocal), Frank Paco (drums, vocal) and Andry Michael Randriantseva (keyboards, trombone, vocal).
SEKUNJALO EDUJAZZ BIG BAND (SA)
Over the past fifteen years, The Sekunjalo Development Foundation has hosted the annual Sekunjalo Edujazz Concert where music students share a stage with established jazz artists from Cape Town. The initiative promotes the development of jazz music in township schools on the Cape Flats. Musicians who were showcased in their early years at the annual Sekunjalo Edujazz Concert include Kyle Shepherd, Darren English, Claude Cozens, Dylan Tabishar, Leanne Fortuin, Don Vino Prins, Lana Crowster, Jamie Faull and S’pha Mdlalose, who have all gone on to become established musicians. The Edujazz Big Band for 2016 will be under the direction of Terence Scarr, the head of music at Rondebosch Boys High School. He is a renowned jazz educator in South Africa, mainly working with high school musicians. This year’s band represents some of the best music students studying at the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University and Rondebosch Boys High School.
Dr. VICTOR & THE RASTA REBELS (SA)
For more than 20 years, multiple award-winning Dr. Victor, (Victor Khojane), has been crafting and creating elevating, up tempo sounds that have garnered this singer, musician, songwriter and producer, many devoted fans all over the world. Starting out his music career in school with a band called CC Beat - that was heavily influenced by the likes of Afro pop and American pop - secured a recording contract to release an album in 1984. This first album was not well received but this did not deter Dr. Victor as later they were signed to another label, which saw them working with the likes of Yvonne Chaka Chaka, progressing to recording their first pop reggae album in 1991 featuring the hit maker: “Gimme Hope Jo’Anna”, tribute to Eddie Grant. It was with this album that the group changed their name to the iconic Dr. Victor & the Rasta Rebels, by which they are now universally known.
Aside from the band’s music prowess, Dr. Victor has also released a number of solo projects, earning him a number of awards and the opportunity to open for international stars such as: Paul Simon, Gloria Estefan and Janet Jackson. His latest project (issued in 2014), is the album “I Believe In Love.”
RAMON ALEXANDER QUARTET (SA)
Pianist, composer and arranger Ramon Alexander is one of the brightest young stars in the Cape Jazz genre. Since having qualified as a winemaker in 2004 from the University of Stellenbosch, he has gone on to perform and record with some of the biggest names on the Cape Town music scene. Alexander has two albums to his credit and has contributed prolifically as pianist and composer on Mountain Records' 2013 release, The Cape Jazz Band: Musical Democracy. He has also produced numerous albums across various musical genres and is also a sought-after performer around South Africa. Alexander’s group for the CTIJF 2016 will consist of Zeke Le Grange (Saxes), Chadleigh Gowar (bass), Annemie Nel (Drums) and vocalist, Sima Mashazi.
CAMERON WARD (SA)
The greatness of a jazz guitarist lies hidden in the flamboyance of the stringing of the melody and chord progression, the individuals’ technique and the elusive magic that separates the boys from the men. Cameron Ward is counted amongst the ‘men’ when it comes to jazz. His meteoric rise from the backstreets of the disadvantaged community of Lotus River on the Cape Flats to the stages of some of the world’s biggest and most prestigious music festivals, testifies to the musical prowess and genius of this artist. Four times SAMA award winning artist, Jimmy Dlu is credited as the progenitor of this great South African talent, buying him his first ever guitar. Since then, Ward has gone on to make a name for himself as one of the most versatile guitarists of his generation.
He has a beautiful tone, great improvisational ideas, and superb speed and knows how to make a person dance to the African beat that's equal to none. His creativity has seen him work with the likes of Hugh Masekela, Jimmy DluDlu, Judith Sephuma, Sipho "Hotstix"Mabuse, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, PJ Powers, Vusi Mashlasela, as well as Paul Simon, Ziggy Marley, Sibongile Khumalo, and David Kramer and many more.
BOKANI DYER (SA)
The multi-talented and award winner Bokani Dyer is a pianist, composer and music producer whose dynamic compositions and mesmerising performances, have given African jazz a new home on the world stage. Graduating with an Honours degree in Performance and Composition from the University of Cape Town in 2008, Dyer went on to further his studies, working with Jason Moran in New York City in 2009. Winning several awards since then, he has released two critically acclaimed albums to date, and is currently in the recording studio producing two further works, which will be released in 2015. Having performed to sold-out concert halls across Europe, Bokani Dyer will once again perform before a home crowd at the 2016 Cape Town International Jazz Festival, where his rich, Afrocentric yet contemporary jazz sound will thrill all ears privileged to hear.
CASSANDRA WILSON (USA)
Cassandra Wilson is a Grammy Award winning jazz musician, vocalist, songwriter and producer. She has been described by critic Gary Giddins as “a singer blessed with an unmistakable timbre and attack, who has expanded the playing field” by incorporating blues, country and folk music into repertoire. She has also been referred to as the ‘pre-eminent’ jazz singer of our times (Time magazine).
After moving from Mississippi to New York City and completing her stint with the M-Base Collective, Cassandra sought a more acoustic context for her vocal expression. She signed with Blue Note Records in 1992 and released a landmark album titled “Blue Light ‘Til Dawn” which would pave the way for a new generation of jazz singers seeking an approach and range that challenged the supremacy of the American Standard songbook. Wilson has continued interpreting in fresh and creative ways jazz, vintage blues, country and folk music up until the present day.
Wilson’s awards include: two Grammys, the Django D’Or, The Edison Music Award, and a marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail. She also performed one of the leading roles in Wynton Marsalis’ “blood on the Fields’ – the first jazz work to receive a Pulitzer Prize. In 2015, Cassandra Wilson joined forces with the prestigious label, Legacy, a subsidiary of Sony Music. Her latest project, Coming Forth By Day, was released on the 100th anniversary of Billie Holiday's birth - April 7, 2015. She will be performing her tribute to Billie at the upcoming 17th Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
FELIX LABAND ft DEREK GRIPPER (SA)
Felix Laband is widely regarded as one of the most innovative and gifted electronic artists to emerge from South Africa. His music has been described as 'indietronica', creating light, emotional, minimalist soundscapes by combining several styles, and samples from classical, jazz and old television recordings overlaid with instrumental performances. Since the 2001 release of his first full-length album, ‘Thin Shoes’ he has toured extensively around the country and abroad, garnering international attention for his evocative electronic music. 2002 saw the release of ‘4/4 Down The Stairs,’ and in 2005 he released the acclaimed ‘Dark Days Exit’.
Now ten years later there is the release of ‘Deaf Safari,’ which has been met with critical acclaim. In an artist statement released with the album Laband says, “I am truly excited to release this album and to start performing in the music world again. It has been ten years sinc v ve I released ‘Dark Days Exit,’ and although I have been purposefully absent from the music world, I have nonetheless never stopped making music. I feel that I have finally arrived at a mature and challenging stage in my pursuit of making emotional music of relevance.”
Fellow South African, guitar virtuoso, Derek Gripper, will join Laband on stage during the CTIJF in 2016.
Formed in 2001, Driemanskap hails from the Gugulethu Township on what is known as the Cape Flats. The four-man crew is made up of El Nino, Ma-B, Redondo and Dla and are considered by many in South Africa, to be the vanguard of a new generation of hip hop artists, addressing important social issues though thie musical activism. They are one of the pioneers of the Spaza movement, representing Cape Town with a rhyme style that combines their mother tongue, isiXhosa, with English and Cape Flats slang.
Regular performers at local and international music festivals, the hard-working and highly popular group have also made appearances in a number of television shows as well as being brand ambassadors for a local clothing label. After releasing two mixtapes, ‘Battle of Gugulethu Vol 1’ and ‘Battle of Gugulethu Vol 2’, the crew dropped their EP: ‘Journey of a Soldier’ in September 2015.
DEREK GRIPPER (SA)
Derek began his formal musical training at the age of six on the violin. After studying classical music for the next thirteen years he began to look further afield for musical inspiration. On his return he began to focus on the guitar, incorporating various influences into his playing, but it was when he met up with Cape jazz trumpeter Alex van Heerden that he started to see that his previous studies could be used to find new directions for the music of South Africa.
After a host of ground-breaking albums, which redefined the landscape of South African music, most notable being the visionary Sagtevlei with Alex van Heerden, Derek began to incorporate the music of other composers in his performances. In 2009 Derek began studying the playing techniques of the kora instrument by learning traditional Malian compositions and two years later had a breakthrough: by using the simple textural language of the Spanish renaissance lute (called vihuela), it was possible to play highly complex kora compositions on the six string guitar, without omitting a note of original performances. Derek Gripper’s project to create an African repertoire for the classical guitar, based on transcriptions of works by some of Africa’s greatest musicians, has resulted in a growing collection of outstanding African Guitar arrangements, bringing the guitar and the music of African to life in new and exciting ways.