Countdown to Africa’s Grandest Gathering, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival

JIMMY Dludlu Performing at Jazz on the Lake in Johannesburg during the Arts Alive Festival

JIMMY Dludlu Performing at Jazz on the Lake in Johannesburg during the Arts Alive Festival

Published Apr 27, 2024


Cape Town - For the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF), the true beauty of music lies in its ability to connect people on a deeper level, beyond words and borders, which its 21st milestone will do when festinos gather in Cape Town next week for a celebration of all things jazz.

With less than a week to go before the welcome return of the CTIJF, festival organisers have released the names of yet more stellar artists who will be heading to the city for this musical celebration – Jimmy Dludlu, Grammy-nominated Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke.

The CTIJF, fondly known as “Africa's Grandest Gathering”, has long been hailed for its promotion of artistic expression and cultural exchange, drawing audiences from far and wide to appreciate its dynamic atmosphere and broad representation of the jazz genre. This year's instalment is no exception, as it continues to push the boundaries of jazz and showcase the genre's evolving landscape.

Singer and songwriter Parlato and guitarist Loueke from Benin are one such example.

THE 2024 Grammy-nominated Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke are set to perform at the 21st Cape Town Jazz Festival.

They have performed together over a period of 20 years, but the album, Lean In, which earned Parlato a Grammy nomination this year for Best Jazz Album, is the first time they have recorded together.

It is also the first time they will be sharing the musical stories which blend jazz, soul and world music influences to audiences in South Africa when they take to the stage next weekend.

Much to the delight of fans everywhere, the ever-energetic guitarist Jimmy Dludlu, whose mastery of the instrument is matched only by his ability to infuse his music with soul and passion, was also announced this past week as joining the billing.

Dludlu's unique style blends traditional and modern elements of jazz. He is particularly drawn to the sounds of West and Central Africa, as well as Latin America, but says jazz remains his first love.

His performances are a testament to the power of music to transcend language (he speaks 11) and culture, uniting audiences in a shared experience of joy and celebration.

In addition to the performances on the four main stages on May 3 and 4, the festival will also field a stellar cast for its free concert, taking place in the city's Greenmarket Square on May 2.

The festivities start at 4pm, with an opening set by the youngest performer to hit the CTIJF's stages – DJ Sophia, 11, who will set the scene for the likes of Micaela Kleinsmith, Jerome Rex, Kujenga, Queen of Afro-jazz Judith Sephuma and the UK's Matt Bianco.

Beyond the music, the festival's free masterclasses, aimed at nurturing the next generation of jazz musicians and fostering a greater appreciation for the art form, will be on at The Arena at Artscape.

Don't miss Parlato and Loueke, as well as the UK's Yussef Dayes, the Darshan Doshi Trio (India/US) and South Africa's Nduduzo Makhathini, as well as a special session for artists from Spotify.

This year's festival promises to be a celebration of creativity, innovation and the universal language of music. So, mark your calendars, grab your tickets and get ready to experience the magic of jazz in Cape Town.

Tickets on sale at official provider and masterclass registrations at

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