Discover Cape Town’s rhythm this April

Known as Africa’s Grandest Gathering, the 2013 Cape Town International Jazz Festival (5th-6th April 2013) looks set to be as foot-tappingly good as ever. Showcasing over 40 world-class acts from 12 countries, this year’s line-up features diverse live-music from traditional jazz, to funk, hip-hop, samba, dub step and electronica. Now in its 14th year, the Festival is the world’s fourth largest event of its kind, drawing-in over 30,000 visitors to watch some of the world’s most iconic artists across 16 stages.

Topping the bill are British soul funk pioneers The Brand New Heavies, whose new studio album, featuring N’Dea Davenport on vocals, is set to be released this year. The Festival will also see the great Louis Moholo return to Cape Town, his birth-town, from London, the city he has called home since the 60s. Renowned as one of the world’s leading jazz drummers, Moholo first made his mark on the jazz percussion scene with the band, The Blue Notes – latterly receiving a number of accolades for his contribution to the freedom of South Africa through music.

Home grown talent includes Cape Town’s top musicians Jonathan Rubain and Don Vino, regular performers with Lady Smith Black Mambazo, while international performers include award-winning American singer-songwriter and actress, Jill Scott.

Cape Town’s music scene

Home to the distinctive ‘Cape Jazz’ style, the Mother City has deep-rooted jazz and music traditions and is one of the best places in South Africa to experience an iconic element synonymous with Africa.

Other music experiences in Cape Town include a Jazz Safari, created by Coffee Beans Routes, which begins with a private informal performance and casual dinner at a musician’s home, followed by a visit to a local jazz club. Given the nature of jazz musicians and the music scene, each jazz safari is improvised and no two are the same.

Live music-lovers should also check-out The Assembly, the hottest venue to see the latest bands and DJs of the moment, Swingers Jazz Club – best for Monday nights – and the rooftop bar of the Grand Daddy hotel: ‘eclectic, fun’. Meanwhile other music festivals worth flying down to Cape Town include rock festival Rocking the Daisies (October) and Synergy Live (November), which sees more than 60 local bands, live acts and top DJs take to the stage in the beautiful Boschendal estate in Franschhoek.

Where to stay

The Grand Daddy Hotel, centrally located on Long Street, is a boutique hotel and home to the world’s first airstream rooftop trailer park with seven trailers each individually designed by local designers, while the rooftop bar is a great place to catch some good sounds on a summer’s evening.

Winchester Mansions, overlooking the V&A waterfront promenade, is an established family-run hotel that offers a classic Cape Town experience not to be missed with its weekly Sunday live jazz brunch. From the hotel’s renowned restaurant ‘Harveys at the Mansions’ colonnaded courtyard, an array of national and international jazz bands perform every week allowing guests to enjoy lazy Sundays, with vistas of the Atlantic.

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