MASERU– Lesotho’s ‘Village Pope’ Tšepo Tshola will, again join a prestigious line-up of international artistes at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) over the weekend of March 31 to April 1, 2017.
This is not the first time that the award-winning jazz musician from the Mountain Kingdom he has featured at this ‘must-attend’ international event since its inception 18 years ago. He has performed at the festival with South African and international musicians on several occasions and last year he appeared with Mafikizolo for a spellbinding performance that left the audience clamoring for more.
This year he comes back by popular demand and will be hosting his own set that is certain to appeal to devoted followers and new fans alike, the organisers say.
Festival Director Billy Domingo said: “We are delighted to welcome Tšepo to celebrate the 18th edition of Africa’s Grandest Gathering with us. Tšepo’s musical narrative is a wonderful example of how an African artist has resonance across time, generations and geography and we look forward to sharing his expressive performance with all those who have been waiting to hear it.”
Born in Lesotho, Tšepo Tshola grew up in a musical family with both his parents involved in choirs. Joining the Lesotho Blue Diamonds as a vocalist in 1970, then touring with the band Sankomota and relocating to London in the 1980’s, Tshola’s instantly recognizable baritone has dominated the music scene and thrilled audiences across South Africa, Lesotho and Europe for more than 40 years.
Meanwhile, organisers of the most influential jazz events, not only in South Africa, but the world at large, say the ever anticipated free community concert, normally held in the mother city before the main event, will be held on Wednesday, 29th of March 2017.
This year, the festival has curated an outstanding line-up to entertain and unite Cape Town’s public, featuring the “real funky divas” RnB sensation En Vogue (USA), local afro-pop heroes Mango Groove (SA), SAMA-winning reedman Moreira Chonguiça (MOZ), 2017 espYoungLegends winner VuDu (SA), SACTWU talent winner Danielle Jacobs (SA) and the CTIJF Sustainable Training & Development All Star Band.
Crowds will gather to dance, sing and reminisce to the headline performance by RnB group En Vogue, who will transport fans back to the 90’s with their soulful, up-tempo hits, and give them a taste of what the group have been working on with their upcoming album Electric Café.
Fan favourites Mango Groove, with the soaring vocals of Claire Johnston, and the classic African pennywhistle that forms their big band ‘Marabi-Pop’ sound, will get the Greenmarket Square audience moving to their uniquely infectious groove, with their classic hits and exciting on-stage presence.
For real jazz fans, the adventurous musical identity of Matol-born, SAMA-winning reedman, composer, producer and ethnomusicologist Moreira Chonguiça will captivate Cape Town. Playing many styles from places such as Mozambique, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Congo in a mixture of different genres with a bit of hip hop, funk, and contemporary, Moreira lets his ancestors talk through him to connect with everyone willing to hear.
“Because the CTIJF is firmly rooted in sustaining the future of the music industry in South Africa, and promoting the arts and culture movement, we have included the brilliantly talented VuDu, winner of the second annual Young Legends competition, in the line-up for this year’s Free Community Concert, as well as a young band and a fledgling solo performer, all of whom will entertain and give us a glimpse as to what audiences can expect in the future of South African music,” said Domingo.
VuDu will certainly live up to Domingo’s expectations and that of the crowds. The nu-jazz collective from Port Elizabeth, was formed to play straight-ahead jazz standards but has evolved into an outfit specialising in the fusion of traditional and African jazz with urban contemporary genres.
-Additional reporting CTIJF