Local is lekker at jazz festival

2015-03-29 15:00

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“You’ve inspired the world!” veteran crooner Al Jarreau told South Africa before he took to the Kippies stage to close out the 16th edition of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

Jarreau (75) said he had been so inspired by South Africa when he visited for the first time in the 1990s that he had written a song, Jacaranda Bougainvillea, about the country.

“Seeing the towering jacaranda intertwined with the humble bougainvillea ... It made me think about what you’ve given the world and that’s inspiration. You’ve inspired the world.”

He attributed his longevity to persistence.

“I won’t go away ... I make enough money so my record company won’t send me home ... And I keep coming back.”

Jarreau was not the only highlight at the event. This year’s edition featured the biggest line-up of local artists in the history of the festival.

Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Madala Kunene and the Mahotella Queens rocked on Friday night, while Hugh Masekela did the same last night.

The Mahotella Queens celebrate their 50th anniversary this year and their appearance marked the first time the trio had returned to the Mother City since the passing of Mahlathini.

Group leader Hilda Tloubatla said: “We are so excited to be in SA. We’re so busy abroad.”

The group performed an hour of their hits and guest artists included PJ Powers, Mabuse, HHP and Masekela.

President Jacob Zuma, a few members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthetwa joined them on stage for their last song, to wish them well on their golden jubilee.

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