Alfa Mist is a self-taught pianist and rapper who grew up in Newham, East London. He found himself drawn to jazz, world music and film soundtracks he discovered through sampling. His sound blends melancholy jazz harmony with alternative hip-hop and soul. His recently released second album ‘Antiphon’ has pushed him forward in the new jazz scene as one to watch.


Bickram Ghosh is one of India’s greatest masters of the tabla and is widely regarded as a pioneering force in the world of experimental fusion music. He has featured on four albums nominated for Grammy awards, including George Harrison’s Brainwashed. He also played on Full Circle with Ravi Shankar, which won a Grammy award.

Bickram’s subsequent successful solo albums include Beyond Rhythmscape, Folktail, Drum Invasion, Kingdom of Rhythm, Interface, Electro classical, and Transformation. He has composed music for 30 feature films and has at least 100 albums to his credit. Arun Kumar (drums), Abhishek Mallik (electric sitar) and Jonathan Kay (saxophone) will accompany him at this festival.


Organ virtuoso Cory Henry from Brooklyn, New York, is a singer and songwriter who heads up a band that plays a blend of blues, soul, R&B, Afrobeat, gospel and jazz music. Their album Chapter 1: The Art of Love shows how they blur genres and upend expectations at every turn.

Henry is known for his role in Snarky Puppy, the instrumental jazz-pop orchestra hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as “one of the more versatile groups on the planet”. He has won a pair of Grammy awards for his work with the band since 2012, but Henry’s deft keyboard skills have been blowing minds around the world for more than two decades now. He has toured or recorded with artists including Bruce Springsteen, The Roots and P. Diddy, in addition to cracking the Top 10 on Billboard’s Jazz charts with a pair of solo albums.


Keyon Harrold’s album The Mugician examines our troubled times through a far wider lens than any one tragedy. Sweeping and cinematic, the music draws on elements of jazz, classical, rock, blues, and hip hop to create something uniquely modern, unmistakably American.

In 2009 he released his solo debut, Introducing Keyon Harrold, and also won wide acclaim for his trumpet performances in Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead.

Harrold grew up one of 16 children in a family that prioritised music and community across generations. He has performed with stars like Snoop Dogg, Jay Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, Eminem, Maxwell, and Anthony Hamilton.


Knower is a Los Angeles-based musical duo featuring drummer-producer Louis Cole and singer Genevieve Artadi. They are currently touring with their fourth album Life in 2016 and opened for The Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2017.

The duo stretches the boundaries between jazz and funk, often collaborating with various independent musicians.


American born Mike Rossi is a professor of music at the University of Cape Town. He regularly performs at jazz clubs and jazz festivals in Africa, Europe and the United States.

As a composer and performer he has appeared on numerous jazz and classical recordings, and has written a series of method books on jazz improvisation, along with numerous compositions. Joining Rossi at this festival is two-time Grammy nominee John Fedchock, an established world-class trombone soloist.

Other musicians joining them on stage are Lorenzo Blignaut (trumpet and flugelhorn), William Haubrich (trombone), Andrew Ford (piano and organ), Wesley Rustin (acoustic bass) and Kevin Gibson (drums).


Flutist and composer Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble (BEE) is a musical celebration of the African American cultural legacy founded in 1998. BEE has performed in festivals and art venues throughout Europe, Canada and throughout the U.S. Its music embraces the ancient past and paints visions of a positive future. The music is the weaving of swing, blues, avante garde jazz, bebop, African rhythms, Eastern modes and Western classical sounds.

BEE’s purpose is to inspire the human spirit with thought-provoking beauty and to present a positive, healthy and culturally aware image of African Americans.


London-based saxophonist and composer Nubya Garcia is one of the leading forces behind the resurgence of jazz-influenced sounds in the UK. Her afro-tinged jazz has made her a key component in a string of new and established groups. Alongside her original music, Garcia has a burgeoning reputation as a DJ.


Reza Khota’s formal music training led him to a master’s degree in solo guitar performance from the University of the Witwatersrand in Joburg. He plays with saxophonist Buddy Wells who has earned significant recognition for projects across genres. Musicians Shane Cooper on contrabass and Jonno Sweetman on drums make up the rest of this prolific quarter. The conversation between these four artists is wide open, and as likely to manifest sparse restraint as it is to explore visceral excitement.


This South African/Swiss collaboration comes as a result of the Swiss Arts Council and the efforts of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival’s support for vibrant exchange between musicians. This multifaceted collaboration between Swiss and South African musicians is set to break new grounds in the pairing of two distinct and yet seemingly dissimilar worlds. The Mill is a mish-mash of horn arrangements, piano and razor-sharp guitar. Participating musicians include Marco Müller (double bass), Matthias Tschopp (alto and baritone saxophone), Fabian Willman (bass clarinet and tenor saxophone), Florian Egli (soprano and alto saxophones), Yonela Mnana (piano and vocals), Siya Makuzeni (trombone and vocals), Mandla Mlangeni (trumpet) and Vuma Levin (guitar).


The South Peninsula High School jazz band has performed at events including the Grahamstown Jazz Festival, which runs during the National Arts Festival. The band has also performed at venues such as the Baxter Theatre and Iziko Museum in Cape Town. The band comprises Matthew Mentor who alternates between guitar and trumpet, Sheldon Nedft on trumpet, Xavier Rhode the bass, Daniel Williams piano, Keenan Majiet on drums, Kirstin Klink on guitar, and vocals are covered by Asive Rasmen and Caleb Meyer. This group’s multi-talented young musicians combine their individuality to present a range of musical styles on stage.

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