Jazz news just in…. Africa’s Grandest Gathering and South Africa’s original and much-loved jazz fest – the Cape Town International Jazz Festival – will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th March 2023.    

Back after a three-year break thanks to successive COVID-19 lockdowns, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) will continue its 21st anniversary celebrations that were necessarily postponed in 2020, with a line-up, look and feel and several surprises, that celebrate its roots but with a nod to the future.

The announcement was made by Judith Sephuma, South Africa’s Queen of Afro-jazz, who is thrilled to be returning to Cape Town to entertain festival goers.

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In Judith’s words: “The Cape Town International Jazz Festival holds a special place in my heart. 

I performed at the very first one and am happy to be at this, the 21st event, to share my music with Festinos again. There has been a definite gap in the music festival calendar without the CT Jazz Fest these past couple of years, so I am delighted it is back, and it promises to be amazing – as usual. I hope to see you all there.”

But it’s not all business as usual. 

The 2023 CTIJF, known for its eclectic mix of jazz and jazz-related music, will take account of the fans’ desires to spend more time enjoying and appreciating the artists that are on offer and the music they love, as well as upping the ‘festival’ feeling with an expanded offering of ‘experiences’ .

In 2023, there will be three stages hosting more than 21 music performances:

  • Rosies, which jazz purists will appreciate for the exceptional audio quality of the acoustics complementing the performers’ sound.
  • Kippies retains its position in the main Hall on the Ground floor and will be the place to groove to more familiar names,
  • The open-air Downtown stage (formerly Manenberg) will be the place to discover new beats, names, and jams. 

Another change the festival announces, is that highly respected music impresario, Billy Domingo, and the Festival Director for many years, has retired from espAfrika, the organisers of CTIJF. 

In tribute, the programming of the 2023 event will pay homage to Billy’s love of promoting African artists, and the CTIJF’s reputation as a place to discover incredible talent.

Newly appointed CEO of espAfrika, Amit Makan, had this to say about the eagerly anticipated return of the CTIJF:

“The CTIJF has grown to embody the diverse talent and star power of South African artists, whilst also providing a platform for residents to experience international music performers they would not usually be able to see. Growing this brand and taking it forward into the next phase of its success is a challenge, one I relish, even with these interesting times we are living in.”

“It is music artists, like the sublime Judith Sephuma who has today lent her considerable support to this next event, whom I wish to thank, as they make what we do a pleasure and worthwhile. Without you, there would be no festival for the fans to enjoy, but together, we are a powerful match made for listening and experiential bliss.  Thank you, Judith, and to every artist who has ever performed here and to those yet to come.”

In keeping with the Afri-Futurism theme for the 21st anniversary and looking to the digital future, the CTIJF has partnered with Ticketmaster who will provide the ticketing solution, and the festival will also launch a brand-new audience engagement platform (AEP) and Festino experience app.

The app, like the balance of the line-up, will go live later this year, but will be a content rich platform from which to keep up to date with what’s happening and coming, navigate the festival on the day, set reminders and event planners, as well as enter a myriad of competitions and spot prizes in recognition of the celebration of life and music that is the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

More information and tickets are available from Ticketmaster.co.za

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Discover Jazz
Discover Jazz

The label ‘Discover Jazz’ is attached to articles which have been edited and published by Jazzfuel host Matt Fripp, but have been written in collaboration with various different jazz musicians and industry contributors. When appropriate, these musicians are quoted and name-checked inside the article itself!