Ndlovu Youth Choir, Lady Zamar and more: This is who you'll see at The Cape Town Jazz Festival 2020

Lady Zamar (Photo: Gallo)
Lady Zamar (Photo: Gallo)

Cape Town – The Cape Town International Jazz Festival has announced the first wave of artists on its line-up including PJ Morton from the USA, Jacob Collier from the UK, Abdullah Ibrahim, Jonathan Butler – with special guest Candy Dulfer from the Netherlands, Kwetu Trio (featuring Aaron Rimbui, Herbie Tsoaeli and Ayanda Sikade), Lira and many more. 

More artists will be announced ahead of the CTIJF, which will take place on 27 and 28 March 2020 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). 

Over the last two decades, the CTIJF has brought some of the greatest names in jazz and jazz-related music to the Mother City, with 2 649 musicians taking to the festival stage.



Joining South African jazz legend Jonathan Butler on stage is Dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer. The Grammy-nominated Butler draws on a vast repertoire, while continually exploring new genres. Dulfer has performed with musicians such as Dave Stewart, Prince, Van Morrison, Lionel Richie, Chaka Khan, among others. 


Kenyan-born Aaron Rimbui is a self-taught pianist, keyboardist, drummer, bandleader, producer, and composer. In 2017, Rimbui joined South African jazz icons Herbie Tsoaeli on bass and Ayanda Sikade on drums to create the Kwetu Trio.


Jacob Collier has been dubbed as one of the most innovative musicians of his generation. A self-described autodidact, Jacob taught himself to play over a dozen instruments in his music room in London. In 2012, he began making YouTube videos which have achieved legendary status in the music world, attracting the praise of such luminaries as Herbie Hancock, David Crosby, Steve Vai, and Quincy Jones, who manages Jacob to this day. Jacob produced, performed and recorded his debut album In My Room entirely by himself. This went on to win two Grammys. In January 2018, Jacob began creating a quadruple album called DJESSE.


MF Robots (Music For Robots) is a soulful project by the Brand New Heavies founder Jan Kincaid. The drummer, songwriter and producer has teamed up with vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Dawn Joseph. 


Grammy Award winner PJ Morton is the busiest man in R&B. Alongside performing with pop powerhouse Maroon 5 and collaborating with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Solange, and Erykah Badu. His solo career has taken off as 2017's "Gumbo" garnered two Grammy nominations, and 2018's Gumbo Unplugged received three Grammy nominations. 2018 saw Morton play NPR's Tiny Desk and he released his orchestral live album Gumbo Unplugged. 


Abdullah Ibrahim, South Africa's most distinguished pianist and a world-respected master musician, has toured the world extensively for more than a quarter-century. An icon of the South African resistance movement, his song Mannenberg – Is where it's happening became an unofficial national anthem for black South Africans under apartheid. 


Songstress Lira, whose music career spans 15 years and includes six studio albums and three live DVDs, has established herself as one of South Africa's foremost female artists and a formidable presence on the global music scene.


Port Elizabeth trumpeter and vocalist Mandisi Dyantyis blends traditional gospel with new-age Afro-pop to create an award-winning sound for jazz lovers. His album Somandla was nominated for Jazz Album of 2019 at the Samas. 


The Ndlovu Youth Choir, who won hearts across the globe when they appeared on America's Got Talent, have been performing to sold-out shows on their first international tour. Their infectious energy and toe-tapping, uniquely South African musical performance, combined with mesmerizing choreography, have made this Limpopo choir a household name. From their rendition of Toto's Africa to more traditional melodies, the Ndlovu Youth Choir infuses the beauty and energy of Africa into every performance. The choir recently won at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards for their video collaboration with Wouter Kellerman on a Zulu version of Ed Sheeran's Shape of You.


KwaZulu-Natal jazz musician Nduduzo Makhathini was raised in a musical family, where his love for music began at an early age. He completed his Diploma in Jazz Piano in 2005, and a decade later was awarded the 2015 Standard Bank Young Artist Award. His music brings an invigorating sound that merges the notes from his childhood – from traditional Zulu music to Indian, choral and gospel. He is known for tracks such as Echoes of you, Shwele and King Fela. Makhathini has toured extensively and recorded with jazz icons such as Zim Ngqawana, Busi Mhlongo, Feya Faku, Carlo Mombelli, Salim Washington and Herbie Tsaoeli, among others.


Come and experience this once-in-a-lifetime jazz spectacular. General access tickets for the 2020 festival are available at Computicket at R999 for a Weekend Pass and R649 for a Day Pass.

Compiled by Alex Isaacs

Photo: Gallo

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