Dancing with the Diaspora
Cape Town International Jazz Festival ... the jewel in Cape Towns crown



The Cape Town International Festival is an ever growingevent with enormous economic impact, and a sustainable training and development platform.

Cape Town Visitors Economy :

As the largest Jazz Festival in Africa, the Cape Town Jazz Festival has evolved from its early 2-day format to week- long series of events with the Jazz Festival being the major crowd-drawer. The entire event is broadcast on radio and television and boasts a sold-out crowd each year over 34000 people, hosting 40 local and international artists. The festival, which demands extensive logistics, safety and security and spectator management contributed R425million directly to the GDP of the Western Cape in April 2014 and R685million to the national GDP.

Today, the festival is a cornerstone of the Cape Town visitor economy, combining the existing hospitality services and natural beauty of the city with the skills transfer and social cohesion of the festival.

Current CTIJF Festival Director, and espAfrika COO Billy Domingo explains, “Cape Town International Jazz Festival is a destination like the New Orleans Jazz Festival and Montreux Jazz Festival. People come to Cape Town to see the festival, but they also come to see the rest of the facilities, so it's a win-win.”

The host city works together closely with the festival to implement changes that make the city more event-friendly, thereby growing its' international reputation as a “creative city.”

The water crisis in Cape Town will add a unique challenge to the festival's upcoming 19 th edition . “This has changed the base of the festival,” explained Domingo. “ We have now adapted and developed a strategy that speaks to not only saving water but changing the landscape of future events.”

The event is internationally recognised and aims to provide a luxurious experience for a diverse audience. Excellent sound and lighting in the venues, together with a world-class approach to programming has given the festival its affectionate title:“Africa's Grandest Gathering.”

Domingo explains: “We embrace the different genres of music from the African continent. From Morocco to Ethiopia to Mozambique – the whole of the African continent has become our playground in the sense that we have so much to choose from. We all sing from the same hymn sheet and play from the same drum.” 

The festival has grown from 5000 music lovers in the opening year to 37 000 in 2017. The quantifiable benefits of the festival extend beyond the city's metropolitan and provincial boundaries to the country as a whole. The economic impact of the festival is overR500 Million and this economic impact trickles all the way to the street, with 3000 new jobs created annually .

“Every year people depend on us for their livelihood. We have a moral obligation to maintain this event, if not expand,” said Domingo.

CTIJF Training and Development

"The role of the festival is very important because they have other programs linked to the festival. Camillo has a music school and they have been looking after his vision for development. Some of his students are always performing at the festival. More than festival on a tool of income generation it has got an educational and development mandate. Also the musicians that come from the US and Europe, they give a workshop. It is very important in giving to the Cape Town community and South Africa at large," Nduduzo Makhatini.

Since its inception, the CTIJF has provided support and resources and a rich learning context for students, audience and young musicians alike. Throughtraining, development and schools programmes, a diversity of skills and career possibilities for young people across all aspects of the creative industries have been nurtured.

“The festival provides the Pan-African creative industry with an opportunity to come together, acquire improved skills and knowledge about South African jazz and event production, and build professional links,” explained founder of the Arts Journalism course Gwen Ansel.

Music and Careers workshops empower high school students with event production, artist management, lighting and sound expertise. Students are mentored by the professional events crew, with the most talented students, shadowing professionals over the course of the event. The success of the programme has resulted in graduates joining the festival team.

A week-long workshop programme provides Master Classes, mentorship and upliftment for musicians and performers. uMculoWamis a new CSI (Corporate Social Investment) initiative bringing m usic education to Athlone and Langa.

The SekunjaloEdujazz Band plays a key role in inspiring music development on the Cape Flats andwill open the festival on Friday. The espYoungLegends online competition was won by pop-style singer and songwriter, Jarrad Ricketts. He and the Settlers High-school big bandfrom Bellville are afforded slots on the programme.

Domingo said, “We are looking to the future of the entertainment industry in South Africa.”

Visiting international musiciansconduct master classes during the mornings of the festival weekend extending the development impact beyond the Cape Town community to South Africa at large. There are successful photography and business courses. Arts Journalism has trained 243 students in the last 16 years, many of whom have gone on to professional careers.

Ansel said, “We've democratised the skills and expertise and made them self-sustaining, and created an innovative training model where control can shift over time, reflecting the country's demographics and keeping up with changing technology trends in the industry.”

Brief History of the festival:

In 1998 Rashid Lombard established espAfrika as a leading event management company. A year later, espAfrika formed a partnership with Mojo Concerts BV, one of the world's largest integrated event companies and the producers of The North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland. Together with Clarence Frod, esp brought the North Sea Jazz Festival to Cape Town. In 2005 espAfrika broke away from Mojo Concerts and renamed the festival to The Cape Town International Jazz Festival and has been hosting it successfully ever since.

In 1999 esp hosted a South African stage at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland. By combining European expertise in presentation of a jazz festival and African expertise in networking, building on relations and creating community, a sister North Sea Jazz Festival was launched in Cape Town in 2000.

“With the isolation of South Africa during the 1970s and 1980s, there was always a hunger to see international musicians perform in a festival atmosphere that brings people of all persuasions together,” recalled Lombard.

Interview Theo Van den Hoek

I got involved in the entertainment industry in 1968 which is a long time ago. I started working for a Dutch promoter called Paul Acket. At first I started promoting rock concerts and in the late 70's we started organising the North Sea Jazz festival in The Hague in Netherlands. The first edition was in 1976. I was Paul's assistant and when he died '92 I became the CEO of the festival and in 1998 I met Rashid in The Hague and he started talking to me and he said I would love to organise a jazz festival in Cape Town. He asked me if I could help him. I said it would be a pleasure and I said it is important to know that to organise an event like the North Sea Jazz you need support from the government, you need support from sponsors. If you can make appointments within a week period with important potential sponsors and government people so we can see if there is a financial support for a festival in Cape Town, I am willing to come over to Cape Town to talk to potential sponsors and government people and explain what the festival would be for Cape Town, the impact it would have. Two months later Rashid sent me a fax with an itinerary of who we would be meeting that week. So I went to Cape Town. We had meetings with all these people. We went to look for a venue and he brought me to the Good Hope Centre. And walking through the Good Hope Centre I saw potential for a festival there. The first edition was in 2000 and in between I went up and down to Cape Town helping organise. And Rashid came to Cape Town and stayed a few weeks to see how our offices were run. What you needed to organise an event like that, sponsoring, security, sound systems, logistics, etc, etc. We had the first edition which in my opinion was quite successful for a first edition. We continued and made it better every time. The last time we organised it together was 2005 which was the first edition in the new venue. And then he could organise it with his team and he didn't need us anymore. We also had the Dutch government in the first few years helping financially to put the event up and I was very pleased that we were involved in bringing the jazz music back to South Africa. That was the theme. Even talking to artists, they felt the same. It is a long way from LA to NY to fly to CT for one festival. For instance in Europe they do 15 festivals. This CT event was do one performance and go back again. What we did to make it interesting for the artists is they arrive a day earlier and take a tour of Cape Town and then do the performance and then three days later you return. That worked very well. The festival is one of the biggest in SA which makes me proud and Rashid must be very proud. It has been almost 10 years since I was in CT for the last time.

Are you still involved with music festivals.

I was up until two years ago as an advisor. I did something in St Petersburg Russia in 2006 and 7. In 2008 we had this economic crash in Europe and US so it was very hard for people to start new events. I said I had had my time and I want to return and enjoy the nice things in life. The company is sleeping.

What are the impact of festivals?

First of all an economic impact. Hotels are fully booked, restaurants are fully booked. 70 000 people come to eth festival over 3 days. People are traveling and spending money. There was a survey which proved that a lot of money was spent in the three days of the festival. A lot of tourists from US, all over Europe and Japan come for the festival. The North Sea in Rotterdam now has a big impact for the city , putting the city on the map, which I assume is the same for Cape Town. People asked me why you didn't go to JHB, why did you go to CT. Because CT is a touristic city, a beautiful city on the sea, lots of nice hotels, good restaurants. It has a big impact on tourists. I am sure a lot of people from several countries go to the CT event.

Festival circuit in Europe, but what about SA?

For me it is a little bit hard to answer. I was hoping that there would be other countries in Africa who would pick up the possibilities of organising the festival as the artists are in Africa for the CT jazz fest. So far nobody in Africa has stood up to say in our city or country we would also like to organise a festival in the same period CT is doing. I know he was trying in Angola but I don't know if it ever happened. So far, it is just CT. Maybe the organisers should look at another city in SA like Durban which is far away enough not to hurt the festival in CT. In Europe if you take for instance, festivals in France and Belgium are only a few hundred kilometres from the North Sea. There must be a group of potential jazz lovers in places like Durban or wherever in SA.

It is very important you take your visitor very seriously. And make sure the sound is good at the venues, that you have excellent food. The people in Europe and CT as well don't mind paying a certain entrance fee but they do expect to have a certain luxury at the festival. Take the visitors at the festival very seriously and treat them as your guest.

I left the North Sea Jazz festival in 2006, it has been a while. I don't know what they have done in the last couple of years. The thing for me that is very important is that you take the visitor very seriously. I am also assuming that they are getting electricity via other means, sun and wind and that kind of new ways of getting your energy which you need for a festival.

What makes a person to become a festival director?

I always say first of all you must have a passion for music, but in my opinion do not be a musician because you need next to a passion for music you should have a good business view and you should programme not music you just like but music that is good for the festival. If you are into a certain type of music and you are a musician you might make the mistake of only booking that type of artist and not thinking of your guest that is coming to the festival. You need sponsors to organise a festival. If a sponsor gives you money you must make sure that the sponsor is happy and he wants to continue sponsoring your event. You must have a network in government, like the North Sea in Holland still gets money from the city of Rotterdam, just because of the fact that so many people come to Rotterdam spending their money. That is the combination that is important you must have a good heart for music and a good head for business.

Interview Rashid Lombard CEO Rashid Lombard Inc.

What inspired you to start the festival?

With isolation of South Africa during the 1970' and 1980's there was this hunger to see international musicians perform in South Africa in a festival atmosphere that bring people of all persuasions  together. The vision was simply to create a festival of international standard where the best of the rest of the world are combined with the best of South Africa and Africa.  Combining European expertise in presentation of a jazz festival of this nature and the African expertise in networking, building on relations and creating community.  The vision of the festival was articulated in the way that it was clear that the festival was intended to bring together music lovers from all over the country and indeed all over the world to participate communally in their love of the art form in the humbling province of the Western Cape.  In a sense the vision of the festival was used as a metaphor for what South Africa and the Western Cape could be:  in harmony with itself and in harmony with the world. 

How have the music festivals become part of the tourism industry?

Music festivals are a cornerstone of the visitor economy and make the host City a highly desirable place to live and work. So a festival creates and sees repeat visitors who don't have to be “sold” on visiting a city they already have a good reason to visit and do so each year. Destinations offer promises of experiences, emotions and endless possibilities for pleasure abound. Some destinations sparkle, some are magical, some are breath-taking and some are simply incredible. Festivals extend a unique and unmatched invitation to the world's travelers to bring to life the energy, engagement and emotion of a destination. And encouragingly, the economic research also indicates that the quantifiable benefits of a festival extend beyond the city's metropolitan and provincial boundaries to the country as a whole. Festivals offer a destination the opportunity to achieve a number of strategic imperatives central to tourism and economic growth and development.  Technically, these exist within most Economic Development plans worldwide.

How have the music festivals become a business?

Research by The Tourism Research in Economic Environs and Society (TREES ) at North West University to date confirms that when it comes to “economic growth” this is something that stretches from the street hawker through to the spending patterns of the visitors. They found that festinos (as attendees are called) spend most of their money on flights, accommodation, followed by food and restaurants, and transport to the festival. There is sense that money is being spent and such trickles all the way to the street. The creative economy has the potential to be a leading sector in generating economic growth, employment and trade as is the case in many advanced economies.

How do you build festival numbers?

A visitor needs to feel and gain confidence that the ‘programmers' know what they are doing, that they know their audience and know their music and culture. There is no real way to ‘test' this other than doing it. Sensibility and sensitivity are required as the ‘programmers' also have to build the confidence amongst artists, managers and agents of a solid and trusted reputation. I have always regarded the talent and the presentation and programming of the talent, as cornerstones of a solid festival.

What role does the private and public sector play in growing the creative economy?

Economic growth really occurs when the private and public sectors take “ownership” of the opportunity provided by the producer and promoter…………and by doing so extend and sustain the music festival….for good and great reason. When developers and others start to invest in infrastructure partially or wholly motivated by a festival, real long term economic growth has been initiated.

What innovations are you offering festivals through your experience and consultations?

My plans which centre around a new family consulting business, Rashid Lombard Inc (PTY) Ltd, speaks to the deployment of the collective skill, network and experience we have in respect of integrating culture in society through sustainable arts and culture design, programming, government relations,   training and development. I will also do some motivational speaking here and there.

What do you think of the wisdom economy?

The wisdom economy arises and evolves from the knowledge economy, more perhaps as commentators almost a decade back observed is a “shift” from the knowledge economy.

There is compelling reason and need for growth and challenges particular to the wisdom economy to be considered on an urgent basis

According to Julian Dobson in “From A Knowledge Economy To A Wisdom Economy” in response to the question “So what might a wisdom economy feel like?” offers the following comparison “The knowledge economy is innovative. The wisdom economy is reflective....... The knowledge economy wants more. The wisdom economy understands 'enough'………. The knowledge economy demands qualifications. The wisdom economy insists on qualities first……….. The knowledge economy is competitive. The wisdom economy is collaborative…… The knowledge economy is grasping. The wisdom economy is gracious”. One can opine that these are where the potential for growth and challenge lie

Comments from the City of Cape Town Mayoral Commitee:

The City of Cape Town recognises the importance of the creative industries as a catalytic sector that  generates jobs, wealth and cultural engagement. 
One of the ways that the creative industries manifest is through events.  Below is an example of some of the events that the City of Cape Town is a proud supporter of: Cape Town Fringe Festival, Open Design Festival, Voice of the Cape Festival, Cape Town Carnival, CPT Electric Music Festival, Open Book Festival, Suidoosterfees, Maboneng Guguletu Arts Experience, Infecting The City, Cape Town World Music Festival and Cape Town International Jazz Festival ...

A number of smaller community based events also receive support from the City in the form of either a financial injection or City services, e.g. DSTV Mitchells Plain Festival, Winelands Music Festival and Durbanville Winter Festival.

The economic spin-offs from these events benefit the city and its residents.   Not only do these large events contribute to local coffers - the global media exposure for the Mother City is phenomenal.

Using the following events as an example:  the Cape Town International Jazz Festival's economic injection is estimated to be over R500 million and the media value for the CTIJF is the equivalent of R159 million.  The Design Indaba contributes upwards of R300 million to the economy.

The City also supports the Suidoosterfees that showcases a feast of music, culture, drama, comedy, song and dance. Most festivals serve as a launch-pad for up and coming artists by promoting local talent, cultural diversity and helps build cohesive communities.

But, it's not always about the economic injection.  Other benefits of hosting successful events/festivals include promoting the City's image as a tourism destination through events marketing and media coverage, providing business and cultural development benefits, and producing desirable social benefits. 

A study conducted by the National Department of Arts and Culture in 2015 shows that the Cultural and Creative Industries sector in the Western Cape contributes between R30 billion and  R35 billion in turnover per annum, and contributes between R14,7 billion and R17,4 billion to the economy per annum. The Creative Industries sector in the Western Cape employs between 38 000 and 45 000 individuals which accounts for between 1.70% and 2.01% of employment in the province. 

The first economic impact research of its kind, the DAC report provides solid evidence for the economic value of the cultural and creative industries in the Western Cape.

South African Department of Arts and Culture: Creative Economy Report 2015

2018 Nicholas Payton Workshop

New Orleans has shaped American music as a whole: It being one of the only places where enslaved Africans were allowed to practice their African traditions singing dancing and spirituals. That energy set the stage for musicians years later like Buddy Bolton, King Oliver and ultimately Louis Armstrong who was the world first pop star, he really changed the DNA for music all over the world. That has had an indelible imprint for everything to come after. He changed the way the horn feels to generations beyond.

Why does jazz sit apart from the music of African diaspora. No one argues with the routes of hip hop and blues? Garry Barts was playing with Mccoy Tyner. He argued about the marginalisation of this genre.

Fletcher Henderson wanted to call it negro music because he saw early on where it was headed. The original term Jazz came from “Jackass” music so in its infancy was always tied to minstrelsy and exploitation of black music.

2010 Press Conference with Charles Lloyd

Charles Lloyd is an old man of years (or revolutions around the sun) but a young man in enthusiasm, passion, spirit and soul. Charles Lloyd is an American jazz musician. Charles is a saxophone player that can use sound for transpersonal qualities, such as emotional alchemy. Sound is a way of telling the truth. A musician is versed in truth. We piece together the puzzle of our existence most easily through music.

Charles is a sound Brahman. He said at the press conference before his great show at the 2010 Cape Town International jazz festival:

You get up in the morning. You strip bare, you go fresh, with beginners mind, you rise above and make a contribution. The sound is available to all of us: it is a song of eternity, grace and forgiveness. You want to become better and suppler and go deep and the sound is there to verify your process and your truth. Music is a transforming power, it is a language universal. It goes direct. Sound transfers molecules.

As a Sound Brahman you are part of something bigger than the small self. You are in service. Billy Higgins (saxophonist and friend) was always praying and asking the creator for it and looking East. I am a dreamer. The creator has a carrot on the stick kind of dance and I am getting closer and so far away. You can't have a perfect score praise. What informs me is younger than spring. I am interested in the energy going up and not going down.

Musical vibrations have the potential to touch the spirit through soul vibrations. I live in the now. I am not comparing. Music transports us and lifts us up. Inspiration. Music is a nice way to matriculate on Earth, as if flying on the wings of a bird. Whatever you are looking for is looking for you. We are spirits passing through. This is not our home, we must care for one another.

2010 Press Conference with Rachelle Ferrell

Rachelle Ferrell is a singer with a startling range and technique. She has a striking sense of self confidence and authenticity. Her smile is magnetic. She moved mountains for the audience at her public workshop prior to her riveting performance at the 11th Cape Town Jazz Festival. She said,

Music is everything it begins with the rhythm of the heartbeat. Turn the attention inward to nurture ourselves in order to be able to nurture our voice. Through breath we translate energies, feelings, emotions into sound.

We tap into the primordial soup of creativity and we come back bearing gifts. Music is a metaphor for life. To be a great artist one must be in touch with everything, embrace everything so we can translate it. Like Yoga, music is a lifelong discipline. Through the pain, there is beauty, the power of the Divine, the power of Love, of will and of choice. It is a profound privilege to be a part of it. I am an artist I can't afford to be polite. I stay in the struggle of staying true to myself.

When asked why it took so long for Rachelle Ferrel to come to the attention of the public she answered,

When I did come to your attention, it was me and not a representation. Once I got into the music industry it was more about tacking than nurturing. When you have gifts, you must protect those gifts.



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