ARTISTS 2016 (PG4)

(First Artists Announced)      (Second Artists Announced)

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Second Artists Announced


Sheila E. (Sheila Escovedo) is a Grammy award nominated, drummer, percussionist, singer and songwriter, who has spent over 40 years in the industry making her innate rhythms heard and followed around the world.  She is also an actress, mentor and active philanthropist who is passionate about helping others realise their own potential.  These career checkpoints all converged in 2014 with the release of her first album in 13 years, Icon and her autobiography ‘The Beat Of My Own Drum.’  Icon is the convergence of Sheila Escovedo and Sheila E.  It is the musician at her consummate best and where she is most comfortable – making music from the heart. 


Drawn from her Latin roots and serious family musical pedigree, Sheila E.’s music fuses pop, R&B, funk, rock, Latin and jazz to create a unique signature that has been heard in solo and as support, and pulsating storytelling for industry luminaries like Prince, George Duke, Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie and Herbie Hancock, being molded by the sounds of the Bay area where she grew up.  She has also added an arsenal of other credits to her resume having played with Ringo Starr, Gloria Estefan, Pharrell Williams and Beyoncé and more.


Sheila E.’s fierce, dynamic verve onstage has made her a major concert draw since the ‘90s. Along the way, she has acted in several films and launched various music projects (E Train, The E Family).   She was the first female Music Director for a late night talk show (“The Magic Hour” with Magic Johnson) and received an Emmy nomination as Musical Director for “Fiesta Latina – A Performance at The White House.”  



Without a formal music department, Elsies River High School stands testament to what talent and determination can do in not letting social environments pigeonhole or define them.  This award-winning jazz band (it also boasts a choir that has racked up a series of impressive accolades) is a regular attendant at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival’s development programmes and it shows, in the professional arrangement and presentation of their entertaining performances. 


Eight years ago the Department of Arts and Culture provided the funding to start the band as a community project.  Local musical heroes, Camillo Lombard and Donveno Prins were the project’s founder mentors, but since then the band has expanded, not only in number and support but also in its repertoire and skill and is now exclusively the High School band.  It serves as a vital conduit for channelling creative energy from young people who are also faced with socio-economic challenges, affording them the opportunity to turn these disadvantages into beautiful music. 


Until recently, award winning South African pianist, Tete Mbambisa’s achievements have been hidden from jazz history. Born in East London’s Duncan Village in 1942, he learned to play the piano his mother had put in her modest shebeen. He credits the place’s pianist, “an old man called Langa”, with teaching him his first chords along with listening to his brother’s record collection, being influenced by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Louis Jordan and the Four Freshmen.


As the pianist with the Jazz Giants, he took a prize at the 1963 Cold Castle Jazz Festival and by 1969, was working with Winston Mankunku and playing, composing and arranging with tenor-player Duku Makasi’s band, the Soul Jazzmen, on the landmark album ‘Inhlupeko’. The composition Black Heroes, which first appeared on his only big-band album, ‘Tete’s Big Sound’ is one if the biggest hits to happen to the South African jazz scene on the 1970s.  Now Mbambisa has ended a 20-year recording drought with a solo piano album bearing the same title and carrying two versions of the melody, which he will share with delighted audiences at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in 2016.


Christian Tiger School (Luc Veermeer & Sebastiano Zanasi) is an electronic duo hailing from Cape Town, South Africa. Coming together through their shared love for electronic music and hip hop, the pair found themselves experimenting in early 2011, leading to their debut album ‘Third Floor’ (2012). At the age of 22, the pair has grown to dominate the South African electronic music circuit, frequenting the festival and club scenes, as well as opening for a host of touring acts including the Pet Shop Boys, Little Dragon & Hudson Mohawke. 2013 saw them take on their first U.S. visit where they collaborated with Neo Soul singer Bilal & Queens Rap outfit - Worlds Fair.


2014 saw them perform at SXSW (USA), Primavera Sound (Spain) and CMJ (USA) and the release of ‘Chrome Tapes’, their sophomore release. It sees them taking a new sonic direction. While the hip-hop foundation remains, house and techno have been integrated moving them into the more experimental electronica field.  Christian Tiger School are known for their live shows, where they bring about a refreshing production filled with swirling synthesizers and a laidback groove that resonates with their audiences. 



Laëtitia Dana, packs a powerful musical punch from her petite Parisienne frame.   Effortlessly merging jazz, hip hop and neo-soul music styles to create her own unique style, she entertains audiences with charismatic performances and unexpected but ‘sparkling’ sounds. Influenced by the likes of Tribe Called Quest to Jill Scott, and the likes of Mos Def, Angie Stone, stopping by Robert Glasper and The Pharcyde, who have trusted her to open their concerts, she has won critical acclaim and adoring fans the world over.    Offering to her audience surprising covers of hip hop classics such as Busta Rhymes’s ‘Woo Hah!!’ and the Notorious BIG‘s ’Juicy’, Laëtitia Dana leaves no room to doubt her audacious talent and creative abilities. 



Dorothy Masuka and Abigail Kubeka are currently touring South Africa, but this special rendition ft. Mabaso, has been especially created for the CTIJF in 2016 and entitled ‘Legendary Ladies in Song’.


Masuka was born in Rhodesia but received her schooling in South Africa and chose to stay there after graduating in order to pursue a musical career. She started out in a show called African Jazz and Variety, imitating American jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald, before moving to London, returning only at the beginning of the 1980s.  Her musical style is known as mabira - a fusion of swing and Zulu melodies.  Her earlier songs, and most notably "Kutheni Zulu," were hard-edged and political, but she has since chosen to de-emphasize polemics in favor of poetics. With more than 40 years of performing and touring under her belt, she is finally enjoying celebrity status in the music world. 


Multi-award winning Abigail Kubeka is an adored singer, songwriter, musical arranger and actress known primarily for her musical performances, especially in cabaret. Sophiatown in the 1950s, where Kubeka spent her teens, formed the cultural ethos from which Kubeka was to emerge as one of the youngest of the legendary artists who helped define the contours of South African musical and cultural identity in the 1950s. A prolific and versatile entertainer, Kubeka has performed to critical acclaim across venues in Africa, Europe and Asia, appearing alongside such stars as Eartha Kitt, Percy Sledge and Monk Montgomery and a slew of local legends.


Kubeka also developed a career as an acclaimed actress in film, television and on stage. She writes and arranges many of her own songs, singing in many languages including Afrikaans. She has performed for huge audiences as well as more intimate ones, including former president Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth II.


Lemmy ‘Special’ Mabaso was discovered at the age of 10, starring in the musical ‘King Kong’ and travelling to London to perform before Princess Margaret playing his pennywhistle. By 12 years old, was earning a living playing kwela music on street corners in Johannesburg (having been born in Alexander township).  The legendary jazz saxophonist is acknowledged as the uncrowned king of the early jazz/jive pennywhistlers in South Africa in the late 50s and early 60s.



Themba Mokoena is one of the country’s finest guitarists.  Taught to play by an elder brother, he started performing professionally in the sixties with marabi and jazz bands, later joining the Durban Expressions, a jazz combo that toured extensively and relocated to Johannesburg in 1972.  On his arrival in the city of gold, Mokoena’s guitar playing skills caught the attention of the father of township theatre, Gibson Kente, performing in most of his plays and at Soweto’s famous cabaret club.


With the demise of township soul and jazz in the late seventies, Mokoena performed mainly as a session artist. In recent times he has toured and performed with Sibongile Khumalo in overseas gigs in countries such as Israel and Switzerland. He is revered by young musicians as a great guitarist and has mentored a younger generation of jazz artists such as Jimmy Dludlu and Selaelo Selota.



Born in 1973,  Hicham TELMOUDI is a confirmed musician, composer, arranger and conductor from the city of Marrakech. Since a very young age, he felt attracted by art and thus began to covet several theater groups where he discovered the magic of the stage featuring the world of music. As an incredibly determined and passionate young man, he followed an academic curriculum in the conservatories of Marrakech, Agadir and Rabat until obtaining the highest diplomas in both Oriental and Classical violin. As far as his professional career is concerned, the latter is indeed very diverse, acquiring an international dimension during his long stays in the Middle East and Europe, where he actually robbed shoulders with very famous musicians. These very rewarding experiences allowed him to craft his musical identity, specific for sure as well as very open. Hicham TELMOUDI is currently professor of violin at the Conservatory of Marrakech, Head of the Regional Orchestra of Marrakech, soloist as well as a very brilliant composer and arranger. Also, the year 2015 was decisive for the artist who produced two musical albums: “TAJ MAROC” as well as “AJI NWERIK BLADI”, literally traduced as “Come, let me show you my country”. In this very album, he actually takes some key elements of the Moroccan musical varieties, from the north to the south of the country, which he revisits and to which he gives a new lease of life and modernity, including a new perception of the 5/4 rhythm in some tracks. Moreover, he is preparing a big show for December, highlighting his brand new creations on stage.



As a collective and individually the Beatbangaz boasts with careers that spans more than two decades within the field of hip hop and DJ’ing. The pioneering African DJ collective was it’s roots within the Cape Town hip hop culture that emerged in the early 80’s and the group has officially formed in 1999 after Ready D’s successful career as a battle DJ competing in the prestigious Technics DMC’s locally and abroad in the US, London and France. The crew consist out of DJ E-20 - DJ Ready D & DJ Azuhl


The philosophy behind forming the crew was to make a statement against gang violence on The Cape Flats seeing that they are from those communities - instead of gang banging - they bang beats, hence the name - Cape Flatz Beatbangaz. 



Jayson Jenkins, better known as Mick Jenkins (his stage name), is an American hip-hop recording artist born in Huntsville, Alabama on April 16th, 1991. He was then raised on the south side of Chicago, Illinois. Jenkins is a member of Free Nation, a hip-hop group that promotes creative thought without accepting narrow views imposed by the powers that be.
In the spring of 2013 Mick released a mixtape entitled “Trees and Truths” that quickly became a local favorite, buoyed by acid jazz-influenced production, biblical allegory and lacerating lyricism. The project was by far his most lyrical body of work and caught the attention of Chicago’s incipient gatekeepers. A few months after its release, a collaboration with Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa came in the form of a single entitled “Crossroads”, which was a summer hit.

On August 12, 2014, Jenkins released “The Water[s]”, a project spearheaded by the release of "Martyrs”, a record that juxtaposes harsh truths about society with thought-provoking single with various underlying messages and subtle notions. Centered around the idea of comparing water to life's truths, “The Water[s]” has garnered national attention and serves as Jenkins' breakout project while receiving critical acclaim.

In November of 2014 Jenkins toured on The Smoker's Club Worldwide Rollers tour with Method Man, Redman, B-Real, and Berner. In February of 2015, he headlined his first national tour with Pro Era's Kirk Knight, selling out almost half the shows on tour. Jenkins later joined Joey Bada$$ for Phase 1 of his World Domination Tour in June 2015 while playing festivals like Bonnaroo & JMBLA.



Confusion is good sometimes. It’s a way to start thinking about whatever you are confused about. This is what Ilhan Ersahin’s Istanbul Sessions do since 2008. They managed to fire the stages all across the world: from New York to Istanbul, from Paris to Sao Paolo, from London to Skopje… Questions they spread all these years where like: are they really turkish? is this really jazz? doesn’t it sound like a rock band? how come a jazz ensemble can really be like a band? How can they be so able to jam with any musician they meet on stage? And so on…


It’s a simple fact Ilhan Ersahin, being one of the rare moguls of New York City underground scene via his club and record label (nublu), is traveling all around the world. It’s possible to see him jamming with Red Hot Chili Peppers in Sao Paolo, featuring Bugge Wesseltoft in Blue Note Tokyo and/or playing a beautiful oriental set with turkish gypsies in an elegant concert hall somewhere in Europe. His newyorker energy is with him all the time. How about Istanbul Sessions then? It’s a summary of all you read above. Master level musicianship meets a high eclecticism where the cliché of “east-to-west crossover” finds its true sense and power.

A session is a meeting of a deliberative body to conduct its business. In this case, the business is music, and the music is another heavyweight long player from Ilhan Ersahin & crew. Upon listening to the record for the first time, one word overrides every other emotion and devours the mind: Cinema.

More specifically, “cinematic.” Ersahin’s sax sounds like it was recorded in the fucking Alps. Or in the sweeping sand dunes and Oasis’s of the Middle East. It’s just that W I D E. On “Falling,” Ersahin’s sax is practically 3-dimensional. Double tracked and bathed in a healthy dose of reverb, the saxophone and rhythm of the band evoke a story-like narrative. From the mad-man trills strewn throughout the track, to the soaring, almost stadium anthem chorus. Clearly, it’s all about the (s)axe, and Ilhan Ersahin is YOUR axeman.

History has a tendency to repeat itself, and for the third time ‘round, East meets West once again. And the results are more satisfying than that mammoth inter-racial orgy you’re always fantasizing of. Through Ersahin’s playing, you can hear the ghostly echoes of dead, pre-war jazz greats behind his frenzy-inducing saxophone playing. You can also hear the Siren’s call, the brooding beauty of the shrouded mystery that is the Desert. Devilishly hot and bothered, the dry night air caresses your face, stirring a primal urge that excites as you step out into the glow of the Turkish metropolis. An Istanbul session, awaits.


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