By Chris Onuoha
One of the most exciting attractions at the just-concluded Cape Town Jazz Festival held at the coastal city of South Africa, Cape Town, is the thrills and frills coming from a global ensemble called The Soil.
The Soil, an ensemble for artists from different countries from Russia to South Africa to Ethiopia and to the USA, made an impressive outing that awed and mesmerised the audience.
As Africa’s grandest gathering of jazz lovers kicked off with a series of free concerts before it started to wet the expectation of the jazz lovers and tourists who thronged the arena earlier, nothing was left out in the preparation that made the event unique and innovatively new. Other formidable groups that put up fine performances were the UK Jazz Funk Collective Incognito who would be celebrating 40 years of togetherness soon.
Speaking to Vanguard’s Arts & Reviews from the festival ground in Cape Town, Bola Sonola, The Genie said: “The UK group as a collective didn’t disappoint as they wowed the crowd with their infectious vibes. That was tagged the Free Community Concert.”
According to Bola, “Day one of the concert proper had mixture of both South African and International artists. There were also workshops, arts and journalism debates for the public and a seminar on the music business.”
Other acts that made the festival worthwhile include Amanda Black, a jazz singer who impressed the audience with her exciting voice, and Mabuta, another electrifying and marvelous artist. Perhaps the maverick highlights were Trombone Shorty whose stage presence was electric; Nicholas Payton, Incognito and Mi Casa, a trio that set Lagos into a frenzy during the last Night at the Kazbah show. More acts like Robert Glasper, Corinne Bailey Rae, Simphiwe Dana, Miles Mosley and others featured.