Artscape honours Western Cape jazz masters


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Artscape Jazz Masters Concert Series 2018Artscape Theatre Centre has meticulously chosen a combination of bands and musicians for the 2018 Jazz Masters Series, directed by Craig Parks.

The aim is to bring jazz back to the theatre and honour some of the finest jazz musicians in the Western Cape. Each night from 27 to 29 September 2018 will be themed and includes original music by individual performers as well as the works of well-known South African composers. Performances are at 7.30pm in the Artscape Theatre.

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Representing multicultural styles of Jazz, ranging from Big Band, Straight-Ahead, African, and South African Contemporary to Mainstream Jazz, these groups of musicians have all received international acclaim. Each headline artist is a Master in his or her own right, winning over audiences around the world, continue to nurture, and inspire new generations of jazz musicians in the Western Cape.

The Lady Day Big Band
The Lady Day Big Band

Thursday, 27 September will be dedicated to Masterful Women in Jazz with Lana Crowster (Vocalist) and her Lady Day Big Band featuring, Kelly Bell (trombonist/composer), Amanda Tiffin as Music Director/Conductor and a guest vocalist. The Lady Day Big Band is South Africa’s first all-female big band, consisting entirely of professional female musicians. This 20-piece band incorporates contemporary styles with traditional sounds, to give audiences an exciting big band experience. The evening has two sets of 50 minutes each with an interval.

Buddy Wells - 28 Sept
Buddy Wells – 28 Sept

Friday 28 September gives a platform to the Young Masters of Jazz opening with Saxophonist Buddy Wells and his Quartet, which includes Reza Khota (Guitar), Nick Williams (Bass) and Clement Benny (Drums). Rooted mostly in the South African music traditions and modern jazz, they will perform original compositions. Based in Cape Town, Wells has performed and recorded with many well-known South African and international music legends.

Lana Crowster & Mandisi Dyantyis (Photo by Jeffrey Abrahams)
Lana Crowster & Mandisi Dyantyis (Photo by Jeffrey Abrahams)

The second half of the programme features Mandisi Dyantyis on Trumpet and Vocals together with an ensemble of five musicians. Mandisi is a composer, arranger and producer, not only Jazz but also Classical and African Indigenous Music. He is well known for performing original compositions and cleverly re-arranged African traditional Jazz songs. This ensemble includes Blake Hellaby on Piano and Buddy Wells joins the group. The evening includes a special dedication to Hugh Masekela.

John Ntshibilikwana – 29 Sept
John Ntshibilikwana – 29 Sept

On 29 September, The John Ntshibilikwana Legends of Jazz open the show. Bra John, as he is affectionately known, will perform well-known African Traditional Jazz Classics and Township Jazz Classics with his powerful 12-piece rhythm and brass ensemble. Many of the musicians are seasoned session players and veterans of Township Jazz

The Jazz Master Series this year takes the opportunity to highlight not only the musicians of Jazz, but also supporters of Jazz music. One such group is iKapa Jazz Movement who chose to celebrate their 10th Anniversary alongside their music heroes at this performance.

‘Jazz in Cape Town has always had a strong support,’ says Ntshibilikwana. ‘It’s an honour to perform in front of a truly appreciative audience like the members of iKapa.’

Alvin Dyers - 29 Sept (Photo by Jeffrey Abrahams)
Alvin Dyers – 29 Sept (Photo by Jeffrey Abrahams)

Alvin Dyers and Friends close the festival of Living Legends with a five-piece band performing some of Alvin’s original pieces as well as renowned Cape Jazz and Goema favourites. On stage with Dyers (Guitar) are Tina Europa (Bass) Roy Davids (Drums), Nick Williams (Keyboards) and Zeke Le Grange (Saxophone) and four guest vocalists, Emily Bruce, Erika Lundi, Danny Butler and Joe Schaffers.

The concerts each night are 120 minutes, including an interval.

Tickets cost R100 for each performance. Block bookings of 10 or more, Pensioners, Students and Scholars (5-18 years old) with proof of status cost R90.

Book through Artscape Dial-a Seat 021 421-7695, Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers outlets. Call Computicket on 0861 915 8000 or book online or

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