Cape Town International Jazz Festival is the music festival to look out for

Deborah Dzifa Makafui September 27, 2022
Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2010. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/André-Pierre du Plessis

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is a must-attend event on everyone’s calendar if they are a jazz fan. It always takes place throughout the last weekend of March at the Cape Town International Convention Center. 

The Mother City entertains in flair and puts on a performance of sensual, soulful jazz, which is why they refer to it as “Africa’s Grandest Gathering.” The event has three purposes: to introduce tourists and visitors to jazz, to strengthen the neighborhood, and to boost the local economy.

The first festival was held in 2000, and over time, the number of attendees increased from 14,000 to well over 30,000. For music lovers, the event is a festival of significance, including live performances from more than 40 international and African performers over the course of 2 days on 5 stages with musicians playing to full houses. 

The festival was first held at the Good Hope Center from its debut until 2003, but as it grew, it moved to the Cape Town International Convention Center in 2004. 

Helen Zille, the mayor of Cape Town at the time, gave her support to the festival’s 2007 iteration. The festival’s 2010 edition increased the Western Cape’s GDP by R 740 million (now $41 million). Music lovers can visit the Rosies Stage, which plays more laid-back, acoustic Jazz Music, for an additional R25.00 ($1) per concert. An annual free outdoor concert with chosen artists is staged at Greenmarket Square right before the main event.

Numerous well-known performers, including Earth, Dan Brubeck, James Ingram, Wind & Fire, Dave Sanchez, and Lauryn Hill, have performed at the festival. In addition to seminars and performances highlighting new, young talent and securing the future of South African jazz, two local musical legends, Hugh Masekela and Jimmy Dludlu, have enthralled audiences.

Hotels in Cape Town are eager to offer special festival-goers packages, and those who want to visit Mother City can find great prices. Major sites like Table Mountain and Robben Island are visited during the pre-and post-tours, as well as the townships for a more authentic local experience (and more local jazz).

With the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland and the Montreux Festival in Switzerland, the Cape Town International Festival is today considered one of the best jazz festivals in the world. Economically speaking, occasions like this are helpful in giving a quantitative financial estimate of their value and, more precisely, of the influence of such occasions on a particular region.

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