Summarised Artist biographies.
AL JARREAU (USA)
Seven times Grammy winner, Al Jarreau is a verifiable legend. His unique vocal styles and innovative musical expressions have earned him international accolades and a fan base that began back when he was four years old.
A fine scholar and athlete, Jarreau went onto graduate with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and a Masters in vocational rehabilitation. Moving to San Francisco to work as a counselor, Al began singing at a small jazz club in a trio with George Duke (for whom he has also launched a tribute album). The call to music was so strong, he moved back to LA and then to New York City, catching the attention of the national television networks, signing to Warner Bros (in LA). His launch album earned him notice and acclaim at home but also a German Grammy, which was followed by another when he released his follow-up album. His breakthrough came in 1977 and he has gone onto climb to even greater heights since, with a combination of jazz, R&B and Pop hits. He continues to tour the world and enthrall his audiences and will be coming to Cape Town to perform a set of Al Jarreau at his best, in which he may also include some of his tributes to his dear friend George Duke who passed in 2014.
ANDREA MOTIS AND JOAN CHAMARRO (Spain)
Andrea Motis and Joan Chamorro are considered a revelation in Catalan jazz. Andrea Motis (now 19 years), has the voice of an angel. Some of her videos have over 200,000 plays on YouTube. Not only does this young artist sing with a personality that hasn’t been seen in years, but she also plays the saxophone and the trumpet with poise and professionalism belying her years. Her first album Feeling Good was released with her mentor Joan Chamarro at the age of 16 years.
The work that this veteran of Catalan jazz (Chamarro) is doing with thSant Andreu Jazz Band, the youngest big band in Europe, is exceptional. His career as a saxophonist (among other instruments) is so illustrious and extensive that it would be useless to try and summarise it in these few lines. Tete Montoliu, Slide Hampton, Bebo Valdés, Randy Brecker, The Manhattan Transfer, Stevie Wonder... the list of musicians he has worked with is extensive. Excellently accompanied by Josep Tarver on guitar and other strings, Ignasi Terraza on piano and Esteve Pi on drums, audiences will enjoy thrilling sound of one of Europe’s best jazz outfits.
CANNIBAL OX (USA)
Vast Aire and Vordul Mega make up a dynamic underground Hip Hop duo from Harlem, New York City. They go by the name ‘Cannibal Ox’ (sometimes known as Can Ox). Getting together in 1998, they released their first album in 2001, called The Cold Vein. Their second studio album, Blade of the Ronin (the first in 14 years) is slated for release on 3 March – in time for the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. In between, they have released a number of singles, compilations and live album.
Since the cult success of The Cold Vein, Cannibal Ox has largely shied away from the mainstream public eye, preferring their underground lair. In 2013 they re-emerged, releasing the maxi-single Gotham with relatively unknown producer Bill Cosmiq. The sound reveals that they more than ‘still have it’, lending singularly youthful voice to the tracks, which will have the Mother City jumping.
DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER & IRVIN MAYFIELD WITH THE NEW ORLEANS JAZZ ORCHESTRA (USA)
Three-time Grammy and Tony Award-winning Jazz giant, Dee Dee Bridgewater has had an illustrious career spanning four decades. Known for bridging musical genres, Dee Dee is ever the fearless voyager, explorer, pioneer and keeper of tradition, putting her unique spin on standards, as well as taking intrepid leaps of faith in re-envisioning jazz classics. Producing al of her own CDs, she has successfully released a number of critically acclaimed titles. She has also pursued a parallel career in musical theatre, with a number of credits including winning a Tony for her role as ‘Glinda’ in the Wiz in 1975 and a Laurence Olivier nomination for Best Actress in a musical for her performance in the West End production of Lady Day. Bridgewater is also a tireless
Goodwill Ambassador to the United National Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), fighting world hunger.
Professor Irvin Mayfield - is a Grammy and Billboard Award-winning artist with 15 albums to his credit. Mayfield is the founding Artistic Director of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (its conductor and trumpeter) and currently serves on a multitude of illustrious boards. He has also numerous awards and credits to his name, among them, being nominated to the National Council on the Arts by President George W. Bush and was subsequently appointed to the post by President Barack Obama in 2010.
The 16-piece New Orleans Jazz Orchestra creates jazz to enhance life, transform place, and elevate spirit. Combined, Bridgewater, Mayfield and the orchestra, are passionate advocates for painting a vision of New Orleans place through the weaving of New Orleans jazz history and its people with song. The collaboration which has resulted in the ‘Dee Dee’s Feathers Project’ allows audiences to feel as if they are hanging out on the front porch of a local New Orleans neighborhood, embracing its activities and sounds.
Donald is a young but prolific, singer, songwriter, producer, businessman and hit-maker who’s unique Afro-Jazz sound is earning him mega awards and, downloads. Donald has come a long way from singing in the choir while studying computer science. In 2010 he signed a deal with DJ Cleo to launch his solo career also compiling a number of songs for the award winning show, Rhythm City. A year later, Donald formed his own record company where he continues to release great music. His business success has translated into Donald also regularly visiting schools, empowering students to dream, believe and do. His latest album, released in 2014, debuted at No: 3 on the iTunes chart. It features duets with Grammy nominated singer Kenny Latimore, Bucie and Big Nuz.
GAVIN MINTER (SA)
Gavin Minter is a singer, saxophonist, percussionist, writer, composer, producer, promoter and music agent. He was born in Pietermaritzburg in South Africa, son of a trumpet player father and a jazz singer mother. Minter started playing guitar at the age of 12 years old and at 16, he started playing the solo pub circuit in the Kwa-Zulu Natal region, later moving to Johannesburg. In the 80's he started playing the saxophone and made the transition into the jazz arena. He met the legendary Johnny Fourie joining the band as a singer. For the past three decades Minter has toured the world and graced many jazz stages, releasing seven albums to date. These span jazz standards to acid jazz and funk rock.
Some of his highlights include performances with artists like:
Judith Sephuma, Stevie Wonder, Winston Mankunku, Johnny Fourie, Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, Errol Dyers, Robbie Jansen, Marcus Wyatt, Andrew Lilley, Mark Fransman, Melanie Scholtz,
Cape Town Jazz Orchestra, Allou April, Dave O' Higgins, Martin Sjostedt, Arno Carstens, Cape Heritage Big Band, Prime Circle, Strait and Narro, Tina Schouw and Steve Newman to name a few.
HEATHFIELD HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ BAND (SA)
The Heathfield High School Jazz Band has been together under the directorship and guidance of Lynn Hannibal since 2004. They are well-put together and organized ensemble of highly talented youth whose futures and careers in music are something to look forward to. The Band has been invited to perform around the world, one of the highlights being the Tutti World Youth Festival in Beijing, China and of course at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. The current band has been together for two years and continues to grow and develop not only as a band, but as a family of musicians.
HUGH MASEKELA AND OLIVER MTUKUDZI (SA/Zim)
Hugh Masekela and Oliver Mtukudzi, two giants of African music, join forces on stage for a rare collaboration that will see them perform and re-interpret some of their best-known songs. Bra Hugh and Bra Oliver are long time friends who are bonded by their passion for heritage restoration in Africa and their love for traditional Southern African music. They performed together for the first time in an intimate setting at the Soweto Theatre as part of the Hugh Masekela Inaugural Lecture in September 2014.
Bra Hugh and Bra Oliver are a unique African combination with the moves to prove it. Don’t miss out on this dynamic combination of “Uptownship Pop n Roll” and “Tuku Music”.
JASON MILES PRESENTS: TO GROVER WITH LOVE (USA)
Grammy winning producer, keyboardist, Jason Miles will be joined on stage by legendary horn-blower Marion Meadows, saxophonist and pianist Elan Trotman, vocalist Maya Azucema, and featuring, Gerald Veasley on bass, to celebrate the music of Grover Washington JR.
Miles has made it his musical mission to preserve and honour the legacy of Grover and has to date, released three tribute albums. He has also produced a number of Grammy nominated albums for a host of stellar artists including Sting who won Bets Male Pop Vocal in 2000 for She Walks the Earth. A regular performer at international music festivals, he is equally at home in the studio with a new CD expected out in April 2015 influenced by Miles Davis. Roberta Flack has accredited him with raising “the level of excellence for the musicians who have had the good fortune of working with him”.
Full Biogs on request.