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The North Sea Jazz Festival — Cape Town 2004

The North Sea Jazz Festival — Cape Town 2004, which is now known simply and affectionately as “Africa’s Grandest Gathering”, is about to celebrate its 5th anniversary in 2004, and it will be doing so in style in its new home at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on the Mother City’s Foreshore.

With this timely change of venue, and another star-studded artist line-up on the way, the members of the festival’s management team are confidently looking forward to another successful staging of the Jazz Festival in 2004. The completed line-up of artists will be, as always, the traditional, evenly split contingent of 32 international and African performers.

Artists who, to date, have been confirmed for performances at the festival include: South Africa’s world-famous jazz diva Miriam Makeba, who will be performing with Trio (Severieno Diaz de Oliveira, Leopoldo Fleming and William Salter); Grammy Award-winning jazz singer Cassandra Wilson; Cape Town’s renowned jazz vocalist and guitarist Jonathan Butler, SA jazz singer Gloria Bosman; saxophonist Toon Roos and the Toon Roos Group; trumpeter Basilio Márquez with his own septet, Eclipse; the Lou Donaldson Group featuring the legendary jazz keyboardist Dr Lonnie Smith; and Femi Kuti, the eldest son of Fela Anikulapo Kuti and an international star in his own right.

Other big names on the festival bill are SA saxophonist McCoy Mrubata; the Joe Lovano Trio; Feya Faku (on trumpet and flugelhorn) in collaboration with Dutch musicians Gully Gudmunsson and Mete Erker; the Ngcukana Brothers (Ezra Ngcukana, Cyril Ngcukana, Fitzroy Ngcukana, Claude Ngcukana, and Duke Ngcukana); the Jonny Cooper Big Band with vocalist Donald Tshomela; saxophonist Sadao Watanabe; Sakhile with Sipho Gumede, Mabi Thabejane, and Khaya Mahlangu; and the Sax African Summit — Let Freedom Ring, which features the talents of saxophonist Jackie McLean and altoist Rene McLean with special guest saxophonists James Moody and Gary Bartz, and also featuring Hotep Idris Galeta, Nat Reeves, Ronnie Burrage, and Okeyrema Asnate.

Rashid Lombard of esp-Afrika, who announced this initial group of performers, is again helming the dynamic management team for the 2004 festival, alongside his Dutch partners, Theo van den Hoek and Mojo Concerts. The North Sea Jazz Festival — Cape Town team won a prestigious award recently at a gala dinner at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in November when the festival scooped the 2003 Western Cape Tourism Award for “Best Tourism Event”.

The award was given in recognition of the festival’s quality, top-class service and efforts to encourage community participation. Basil Cupido, chairman of the Western Cape Tourism Board, explained the reasons for the award: “Judging by (their) quality, the industry is not only growing in tourist numbers and innovation of products, but it is making strides towards transformation on a broader scale.”

There will always be fond memories of the Good Hope Centre, home of the festival for the first four years, but the organisers have responded to the attendees’ needs and will be able to stage a far more comfortable and user-friendly jazz festival at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, which will be the festival’s home for the next 13 years. This move also raises the possibility that the festival’s traditional four venues — Manenbergs, Kippies, Baseline, and Rosies — could soon be increased to five.

Owing to temporary capacity constraints, the festival will be staged in April instead of the traditional last weekend in March as has been the case for the previous festivals. The 2004 event will take place on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th April, but will be reverting to its traditional March-end staging from 2005.

The festival will also happily coincide with the launch of South Africa’s “Ten Years into Democracy” anniversary celebrations. So the 2004 jazz festival will again be a wonderful party for music lovers from Cape Town and for all those fans who travel from the rest of South Africa and from all over the world for this essential date on the international jazz festival calendar.

The demand from both South African and international jazz fans for tickets, trains, flights, accommodation, and travel packages for the sell-out festival has already begun. The organisers have been working with SAA to make a wide range of travel packages available. Details of these are available from SAA at +27 11 978 1145 or on their website www.flysaa.com.

There is also a festival hotline at +27 83-123-JAZZ (or 5299) and line-up updates and other festival info can be found at www.nsjfcapetown.com.

The confirmed Gold sponsors for the festival are once again MTN Group, SAA, SABC and Standard Bank. The Silver sponsors for the 2004 event are SAB and SA Tourism.

Other Sponsors and/or funding principals include the Department of Arts and Culture, MMINO, Western Cape Government, City of Cape Town, Shell, Telkom and Ambassade van het Nederlanden.

Speaking on behalf of Gold sponsor MTN Group, Yvonne Muthien, Group Executive: Corporate Affairs, said: “In keeping with its support of arts, culture and heritage, MTN is proud to sponsor the festival for the third year running. Jazz nurtures the spirit and soul of a nation, and in South Africa, the festival is a melting pot of diversity. Our support of the event is grounded in our passion to enhance the quality of life in all the communities where MTN operates. As a result, MTN has provided support for a number of other concert tours and performances for various local and international musicians.”

André Viljoen, president and CEO of Gold sponsor SAA, said: “As a Gold sponsor of the festival , SAA is confirming its status not only as a window and bridge to the world, but also as a major player in the country’s hospitality and travel industry. SAA is redefining the travel experience, setting new benchmarks for the industry to emulate, and continuing its traditions of excellence in service — in-flight as well as on the ground. With route networks covering major cities in Africa, Europe, Asia, the United States and South America, SAA is now, more than ever, a great way to fly to the festival.”

S’bu Manqele, GM: Corporate Marketing for the SABC, also a Gold sponsor and the official broadcast sponsor of the festival, said: “The SABC has identified reinvestment into Arts and Culture and human capital development as one of the key focus areas to our business. It also provides us with an opportunity to celebrate with all South Africans on achieving what has been quoted as a miracle. The festival , as part of its 5th anniversary, will also celebrate “10 Years into Democracy”, and as the National Broadcaster we are proud to be associated with the festival. After all, we are your SABC.”

For another Gold sponsor, Standard Bank, Khanyi Mlambo, Director Group Sponsorships — was pleased to announce that the bank has taken a unanimous decision to extend its sponsorship contract with the festival for a further two years. 2004 will be the third consecutive year of Standard Bank’s participation in the festival as one of five gold sponsors.

Khanyi said: “As a long-term supporter of jazz, Standard Bank is proud to be associated with this now world-class festival. The success of the South African leg of the festival has exceeded all expectations and it is now a well-established date in every jazz lover’s diary. Since Standard Bank’s first involvement in jazz in 1997, our Joy of Jazz sponsorship programme has grown to include an extensive jazz circuit with festivals in many of the provinces. It showcases the cream of South Africa’s talent together with some of the best international artists, while also giving our up-and-coming musicians a platform to perform.

“Adding the festival to our annual programme of jazz activities was a natural progression in order to reinforce our commitment to the promotion of jazz in South Africa. From humble beginnings, the bank’s jazz circuit has grown in leaps and bounds. The growth can be measured by the number of young artists who have been unearthed through the various jazz development programmes that we support; the employment that has been provided to established artists, and the opportunities to informal businesses in the areas where the festivals are held. At the same time the festivals provide the bank with ideal marketing opportunities to reinforce some of its business initiatives. We take pride in having contributed to a movement that has revived jazz appreciation in this country. When one talks jazz in South Africa, it is justifiable to claim that the name Standard Bank immediately comes to mind.”

In another unavoidable change, the 5th anniversary of the festival will see the first increase in the price of tickets for the two-day event.

The new ticket prices will be R260 (single day) and R399 (weekend).

Tickets are available at Computicket.

For more information contact Thompson ’n Team (TNT), tel (021) 465 3314; fax (021) 461 3669; or thompsonnt@xsinet.co.za.

12 January 2004


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