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Jill Scott, Mi Casa set CT Jazz Fest alight

2013-04-07 12:33
Jill Scott Mi Casa Cape Town International Jazz Fe
Cape Town - The sold-out 14th Cape Town International Jazz Festival came to a close on Saturday night after staging an epic two-day party celebrating the best in local and international talent.

The annual event, arguably the biggest music festival in South Africa, closed with a rousing performance by SAMA-nominated rapper Kuli Chana with AKA.

The high points of Saturday's event came on the main Kippies Stage which saw US soul star and actress Jill Scott take to the stage to serenade the jam-packed Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) with a performance some fans called a religious experience.

The slimmed-down Scott's stories of heartbreak resonated deeply with the audience as she worked her smooth vocals around her inspirational love songs.

Earlier in the evening SA's own Thandiswa Mazwai also sent the CTICC into the heavens with her earthy set.

Later jazz guitarist Jimmy Dludlu surprised the Kippies crowd by introducing Judith Sephuma to the stage.

Suggestive stage moves

The Jazz Festival opened on Friday night with a performance by SA Afro-pop darlings Mafikizolo on the Kippies stage, before giving way for the Cuban grooves of Orquestra Buena Vista Social Club plus special guest, 82-year-old Omara Portuondo. The band's sharp, energetic performance belied the advanced average age of the sprawling 13-piece band.

But the highlight of the evening undoubtedly came on the outdoor Bassline stage where local house trio Mi Casa threw a heaving party that was equal parts sultry, soulful and euphoric.

The Bassline tent could barely contain the throngs that had flocked to the more chilled grassy area for Mi Casa, a stage that was geared towards a more youthful audience whose idea of jazz incorporated dance, reggae, hip-hop and kwaito influences.

Mi Casa's set included hits such as These Streets, La Vida and Heavenly Sent while lead singer JSomething's suggestive stage moves sent female fans into hysterics.

JSomething later said their "crazy" Jazz Festival concert was the best show they'd ever played together, an experience that seemed to solidify the SAMA-winners' meteoric rise to the top of SA's pop landscape.

Other acts who performed at the festival were US jazz greats Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum and Rick Braun, and Errol Dyers on the Basil 'Manenberg' Coetzee stage, Auriol Hays on the outdoor Moses Molelekwa stage, as well as Senegalese musician Cheikh Lô, Robert Glasper Experiment feat. MF DOOM and SA soulstress Zonke.

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