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8th Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Cape Town, South Africa

Jack DeJohnette

Strolling the teeming corridors of the spiffy Convention Center, home to the Cape Town International Jazz Festival’s 8th running, one is heartened by South Africa’s democracy-era mosaic of humanity-and the fact there are arguably more black enthusiasts here than you’ll find at any jazz festival on the planet. The successful lineup of South African artists leavened with other Motherland artists and samplings from Europe and the U.S. lends to the rainbow from an onstage perspective as well.

Good navigational skills are in order as one surfs the venues of “Africa’s Grandest Gathering” in search of sound rewards. With the exception of the Rosie’s stage, a spacious concert hall that requires an additional admission (more on that later), the remaining four stages are general admission. In some cases if your arrival timing is a bit off, your consolation vantage point will be the big video screens that accommodated the three larger spaces.

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