Saturday, March 31, 2007


CTIJF, the Artists & the SA Blog Awards

The 2007 Cape Town International Jazz Festival is sold out. If you snoozed, you loozed! Because last night was a stunning evening full of an amazing variety of musicians that set the night alight!

We were a little late in getting there as the traffic was pretty hectic, but once in the flow, the CTICC guys had full control and directed us perfectly! Sitting outside, still in the jam, we could hear Vivid Africa in full swing, and so they were our first stop of the festival.

Playing in Rosies, there was a disappointingly small audience; but then I am pretty biased about the line-up of the group, being a big fan of McCoy Mrubata, Greg Georgiades and Ashish Joshi. But I am so pleased that Siya Makuzeni sounds just as good live as she does on their demo DVD! Ashish blew me away with a solo on tabla; just the smallest movements from his fingers send out a stampede of sounds!

When you have so many choices, as you do every year on the two days of the CTIJF (hmm, why not stretch it out over three days with the same amount of artists? It’s sold out as is!) you have to jump around a little, and so we just caught the last half of the very, very funky Rudimentals! Man, was there an energy pumping on that stage?! Wonderful stuff – and a big audience too!

It’s got a ska, monkey-punk, reggae, Cape Town feel – but you don’t need the mountain to appreciate this! Zimbabwean lead vocalist, and Mr. Energy on stage, Teboho (Teboes) Maidza really got the crowd going – and I left pretty impressed!

After a doppie, and a bite to eat, Shannon Mowday was on the Basil “Mannenberg” Coetzee stage with an international backing of Karin Hammar on trombone, and Hildegunn Øiseth (both from Sweden) on trumpet. Shannon is such a feisty artist, and so Burn, as they are known, is an amazing show of talents, and awesome jazz! Those three ladies are tight!

Shannon has been making a name for herself all over the world, so its great to be able to watch one example of her creativity in the flesh. Yes, budgets are the ball and chain of free creativity, so it’s tough to get groups like this together!

Shannon had the audience in full appreciation and stomping for more at the end!

It’s a jazz festival, ok, but who would miss a chance to see Grammy Award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo?

Kippies was chocka-block and the audience was in absolute awe of Prof. Tshabalala. Their acapella is a very quiet, and subtle performance, almost soothing to the soul, so its easy to become mesmerized. But as soon as the group would start a little dance to accompany the song – especially a nice long version of that famous ‘hey baby hey, hey beautiful girl’, the ladies in the audience got vocal! Ululating and throwing their hands in the air, the whole crowd would come alive and vibrate, with every Zulu style kick, and flash of those little white tekkies they wear.
They’re stars, so it’s great to have had them back in Cape Town again – the last time I saw them was at the 46664…

Robert, from MELT, had said we had to watch out for Yehya Khalil & his Egyptian Jazz Fusion band – and I am glad I listen to him sometimes! It was awesome!

Yehya Khalil, who great American Jazz legend Dizzie Gillespie described as quite possibly "the greatest percussionist alive", has his drum kit slap bang in the middle of the stage, dominating. On his left he had sax & bass players, and the percussion section made up of three traditional drummers. On his right was the lead guitarist, a keyboard’er and two players of a type of Egyptian zither. And together they created real fusion, with jazz jumping all over the back of Arabian tabla.

Yehya Khalil, who started the first jazz band in Egypt in 1957, is this funny little man, wearing peachy corduroys, braces with a short Father Xmas beard – but he knows his stuff! He gave us a drum solo that just showed his class, and would’ve been a master lesson to any drummer there! And also our final set for the night. We headed for home, exhausted, because you can only smile for so long!

Last night was also the 2007 SA Blog Awards (all the top winners at the bottom of the link page), being held in Johannesburg, and so I was very impressed to see that there was already a video of the evening posted by Missing Link - that’s what you call sharp!

I am so chuffed to see that Peak People is second princess (that’s the ugly sister, but to the lovely Verity and gorgeous Muso got first shpot) in the Music category. If I am wanting to find info on what’s rocking in SA – I go to see what The Muso suggests. I am also so chuffed for Verity, who I’ve known since her Chaos Casting days, because she has just gone out and taken her destiny by the short-and-curlies with her Lucky Packet Project.

Thanks has to go out to Jon Cherry for putting and holding the whole process together – it was an honour to be included, and to be on the same page as some top notch bloggers! But of course, I wouldn't have been there without the votes... humbled.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Thanks so much for the props dude. Nice one. Like the blog..

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