With less than three weeks to go until the annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF), festival organisers espAfrika have announced the final additions to the 2019 line up, who include Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes, Tonino Baliardo and Jonathan Butler.

There will also be a tribute to the late Zimbabwean guitarist Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi, who died suddenly earlier this year.

The festival, taking place on 29 and 30 March 2019 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, will celebrate 20 years of successful local and international jazz, with over 40 performers from around the globe entertaining the masses over the two-day annual event.

“After twenty years of Africa’s Grandest Gathering, I’m happy to conclude this year’s line up with two of South Africa’s all-time beloved favourites. We will also pay tribute to the late, great Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi by celebrating his life through music as we say goodbye to an artist who can only be remembered as a true African legend,” CTIJF Festival Director Billy Domingo said.

According to Domingo, it’s high time the Gipsy Kings performed at the festival. “It has been almost three decades since the Grammy Award-winning Gipsy Kings first burst onto the world music stage with their self-titled album and since then the band has toured the world, selling more than 20 million albums. Their most recent album, Savor Flamenco, wholly produced by the band, who wrote all the original material, won a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album.”

While the band has incorporated diverse influences into its sound over the years, such as Latin and Cuban styles, Arabic music, reggae music and jazz guitar, they are held together by the melding of frontmen Tonino Baliardo’s fluid guitar work and Nicolas Reyes’ powerful vocals.

Soulful crooner Jonathan Butler has remained current by constantly exploring new musical genres. No stranger to the urban contemporary or gospel scene, Butler is just as comfortable singing an R&B song as he is showing off his jazz skills onstage. In concert, the Grammy-nominated Butler draws on his vast repertoire, which went down well the last time he played at the CTIJF in 2009.

Jazz fans were devastated to hear of 66-year-old Mtukudzi’s passing earlier this year, knowing full well the guitarist, philanthropist and music legend was due to perform at this year’s CTIJF with singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela. CTIJF management can now confirm the line-up for the commemorative tribute, billed as Tuku Music – A Celebration of Oliver Mtukudzi’s Life through his Music, which will replace Mtukudzi’s original slot on Saturday 30 March.

Mahlasela will be joined on stage by Mbeu, Maduvha and Berita. Sotho singer Mahlasela played a large role in mobilising people against apartheid through his music and is often simply referred to as “The Voice”.

Zimbabwean-born, South Africa-based Gugulethu Khumalo is an award-winning singer-songwriter who goes by the stage name Berita. The Afro-soul singer shared the stage with Mtukudzi on occasion and collaborated with him and Hugh Masekela on the single Mwana Wa Mai.

The Afro-fusion artist known as Mbeu also collaborated with Mtukudzi on the single My Better Half. Born Ashton Nyahora, Mbeu was a product of Mtukudzi’s Pakare Arts Centre in Chivero in Mashonaland West, Zimbabwe.

Maduvha (Madima) started singing professionally when she toured around Africa with her uncle, gospel legend Itani Madima at the age of 13 and has since made a name for herself as a SAMA nominated artist in her own right. Known to the general public as Queen Vele on SABC2’s Muvhango, she worked with Mtukudzi on the track Ndimecha on his album Eheka! Nhai Yahwe.

While the Limited Early Bird Weekend Passes are sold out, festinos can still buy CTIJF 2019 Weekend Passes or Day Passes through Computicket. Tickets for the Rosies Stage must be bought separately and are also now available at Computicket. Ticket prices as follows:

Weekend Pass: R1 290

Day Pass: R850

Rosies Stage tickets: R20 per performance

Visit the website for more information: www.capetownjazzfest.com

Picture: Pixabay

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