CAPE TOWN JAZZATHON DEVELOPING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ARTISTS

 

The Cape Town Jazzathon has helped launch the careers of musical greats like Jimmy Dludlu, Judith Sephuma and Jonathan Rubain over the last three decades.

Now a new generation of musicians is hoping the People’s Festival can propel them to stardom.

Cape Town Jazzathon is a multifaceted Cape Town initiative that promotes jazz in every form, including live performances and educational workshops.

Hosted annually at the V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre, its jam-packed programme features a multitude of established artists, emerging musicians and women in jazz.

The Bottelary Blokfluit Blasers is a group of young musicians hailing from farming communities in Macassar, Stanford and Stellenbosch. The 2024 edition of the Jazzathon is their second time performing at the festival after making their debut in 2023.

“The opportunity for the group to perform at Jazzathon 2024 is a testament to their talent and dedication. It provides a platform for them to showcase their skills on a larger stage, potentially opening doors to new opportunities in the music industry,” says the group’s manager Manuel Jardine.

“Events like Jazzathon are crucial for emerging artists and organizations like the Bottelary Blokfluit Blasers as they offer a unique combination of exposure, networking, skill development, and recognition that can significantly propel their careers in the music industry.”

The Bottelary Blokfluit Blasers programme is aimed at addressing the needs of children and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, particularly those with limited or no access to arts performance.

The group is hoping performing at Cape Town Jazzathon will be a stepping stone in their musical growth, provide more performance and spawn some recording opportunities.

AN EYE ON THE FUTURE

 

The West Coast Youth Orchestra Band has similar ambitions for the future, particularly growing artistically as a collective and sharing their talents with a wider audience.

The WYCO Band returned to the Cape Town Jazzathon stage for the first time since 2018 when they performed at the festival’s 21st anniversary show.

“The Jazzathon is a crucial platform for exposure, providing unparalleled opportunities for talent to be discovered and appreciated by a wider audience, industry professionals, and potential collaborators. For WCYO, it means establishing valuable connections with industry influencers and contributing to the vibrancy and diversity of the music landscape,” says WCYO marketing manager Marianne Blomerus.

“We are passionate about promoting music education, and the difference it makes in the lives of our students, on the West Coast, so this is a chance to showcase our commitment to fostering the next generation of musicians.”

Some of the group’s members took part in a developmental workshop in Langebaan hosted by Jazzathon in November 2023. They found the knowledge shared by industry experts to be insightful and a useful guide on navigating the music industry, says Blomerus.

In addition to the established summer showcase and developmental workshops programmes, a brand new project called the Jazzathon Easter Camp, will take the festival to Ladismith in The Klein Karoo.

The camp will feature local and national artists, as we celebrate four days of jazz, blues, RnB and gospel at the newly established Karoo 62 Game Farm, located on Route 62.

Jazzathon Easter Camp will take place from 29 March to 1 April 2024.

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