Leading musicians to feature in Cape Town International Jazz Festival masterclasses

Renowned South African pianist and composer, Nduduzo Makhathini. Picture: X.

Renowned South African pianist and composer, Nduduzo Makhathini. Picture: X.

Published Apr 26, 2024


Music enthusiasts and aspiring musicians are gearing up for a day of inspiration and learning as the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) prepares to host a series of free-to-attend masterclasses at the prestigious Artscape Theatre Centre (Artscape) on Saturday, May 4.

Sponsored by the global streaming platform Spotify, with support from Artscape and Ozow, these masterclasses promise to be an enriching experience for attendees. They are also set to provide unique insights into the world of jazz music from renowned industry professionals.

Admission to these masterclasses are free, offering a rare opportunity for individuals to engage with experts in the field.

The line-up of masterclass instructors features a diverse array of talent. They include Nduduzo Makhathini, a renowned South African pianist and composer known for his innovative approach to jazz music.

The KwaZulu-Natal-born artist’s masterclass is set to offer invaluable guidance to aspiring musicians who are looking to hone their skills.

Meanwhile, India’s Darshan Doshi, as well as the US’s Mark Hartsuch and Tony Grey, will also host masterclasses at CTIJF. The trio are known for their dynamic fusion of jazz, Indian classical music and contemporary sounds.

“The masterclass is expected to offer a unique perspective on musical fusion and collaboration,” organisers said.

Drummer and producer, Yussef Dayes. Picture: Instagram.

In addition, the UK’s Yussef Dayes, who has earned widespread acclaim as a drummer and producer, is also set to share his expertise with attendees.

“His masterclass promises to be an engaging exploration of rhythm and improvisation,” organisers added.

Grammy-nominated vocalist Gretchen Parlato and acclaimed guitarist Lionel Loueke will also host a masterclass on connection, interaction and composition for vocalists and instrumentalists.

Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke are set to perform and feature at a masterclass at the 21st edition of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Picture: Supplied.

CTIJF attendees are in for a further treat as they will be performing their hit single, “Lean In”, at the musician extravaganza.

This is their first duo recording in 20 years and it earned Parlato a Grammy nominee for the Best Jazz Vocal Album at the prestigious music awards show in February.

Also hosting a special masterclass, is the series’ sponsor, Spotify, whose head of music in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), Phiona Okuma, will lead a session on “Spotify for Artists.”

Okuma will be joined by Warren Bokwe, the SSA lead of music strategy and operations as well as Jodie Tabisher, the music streaming platform’s artist and label partnership manager in South Africa.

Together, they will provide attendees with valuable insights into the digital landscape of music distribution and promotion.

"Spotify is excited to partner with the Cape Town International Jazz Festival for this masterclass programme, celebrating jazz while helping to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the genre's rich history and vibrant future,” Tabisher said.

Meanwhile, South African jazz vocalist and businesswoman, Bev Scott-Brown, will guide the sessions on the day.

The educational music sessions will be hosted by Artscape CEO, Marlene Le Roux.

She explained that this role aligns with Artscape’s mission to instil a love for the performing arts and to emphasise sustainable theatre practice, education and development in the space.

“Jazz has become an integral artform presented at Artscape, with a special focus on developing young jazz musicians through our Youth Jazz Programme,” she said.

“We are delighted to partner with the Cape Town International Jazz Festival as host for a series of Jazz Workshops.”

She added: “It remains imperative that we continue to provide skills development within the jazz genre to foster the investment of cultural democratisation of our country.”

“Opportunities such as these remain a crucial stepping-stone that provides access to significant role players in the industry while providing skills development within the jazz genre.”

“This enables young Jazz musicians to take the experience forward into their careers and educate others in the process.”

Scott-Brown also noted the festival’s gratitude to Spotify, Artscape and Ozow for their support in making these masterclasses possible and for their commitment to fostering musical talent around the world.

The masterclasses will take place at The Arena, Artscape on Saturday, May 4, starting at 9am, with the doors opening from 8am.

Attendees are encouraged to register online to secure their spot, as seating is limited.

“Don't miss this chance to learn from the best in the business and take your musical skills to the next level,” organisers said.

To book for the free masterclasses, please register here: https://www.capetownjazzfest.com/ctijf-2024-masterclass-registration-form/

For more information about the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and to view the full schedule of events, visit www.capetownjazzfest.com or book your tickets to see the show on Ticketmaster.co.za.

The 21st edition of CTIJF is set to take place on May 3 and 4 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

There will also be a free concert which will be held in Greenmarket Square on May 2 from 4pm.