Jazzathon revived

2016-12-13 09:26
One of the young acts that have been confirmed for the Jazzathon in the waterfront are the talented kids from the Jazz Yard Academy in Bonteheuwel.

One of the young acts that have been confirmed for the Jazzathon in the waterfront are the talented kids from the Jazz Yard Academy in Bonteheuwel.

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A popular music festival in the V&A Waterfront is being resurrected to celebrate its 20th anniversary and add some spice to the start of the new year.

Twenty years ago three music-loving friends wanted to share their love for music in Cape Town with visitors and the Cape Town Jazzathon was born.

This event became a showcase of top talents in the city and South Africa. It became known as the people’s festival, because entrance was free.

Craig Parks is the last remaining member of JCQ Productions after John Esterhuizen and Quinton Raaff passed away in recent years.

Parks explains that with changes in sponsorship decisions and management at the venue the event has not been held for a few years. But with the 20th anniversary coming up something special had to be done.

“I can’t give up on the legacy that I shared with John and Quinton,” he says. “This event was special in so many ways because it was not only a showcase of the legends of the music in the city but it was also the place where many of our rising stars were born.

“This was the stage where young musicians like Cameron Ward, Jonathan Rubain, Donvino Prins, Mark Fransman and Darren English first sat in the front row ‘stealing chords’, as one MC used to joke with them.

“Cameron got his first guitar from Jimmy Dludlu at this event, Jonathan ended up playing with his hero Errol Dyers. They’ve all developed into some of the top talents in South Africa. Cameron now travels the world as part of Hugh Masekela’s band and Darren is a trumpeter of note on the international scene with his debut album featuring on the Grammy ballot list.

“With this anniversary celebration we are hoping that sponsors will once again realise the importance of this festival and help us showcase the new generation of rising stars.”

The action will be in the amphitheatre once again from Thursday 12 to Sunday 15 January.

Parks adds that while there is still a lack of financial sponsorship, it is not deterring the producers from going ahead.

“The people have missed it too much,” he says.

“Luckily the management of the Waterfront are supporting us for the event, providing the venue with a host of services, managerial support and production assistance to ensure that the event maintains the quality of its former glory years.

“When it comes to the talent that we will be featuring, I want to keep it a secret for a bit longer but some of those young stars that made it from this stage are very excited to give back to the event through their presence. All I can say to the music lovers who have been wanting this festival back in the Waterfront is that they won’t be disappointed.

“We will be paying tribute to some of our legends but we also want to give special attention to some of the wonderful women in jazz.”

For more information find jazzathon on Facebook.


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