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'Sweet Sixteen' is what the CTIJF is celebrating this year!

Entering its sixteenth edition, the CTIJF artists selection at a festival can either create — presenting the new, the challenging and the unexpected; or curate — gathering a selection of largely known and predictable elements.

In jazz terms, it’s the latter that sounds loudest in 2015, according to celebrated writer, author and my former mentor sis Gwen Ansell.

It goes down at the Cape Town International Convention Center for two-days.

Be serenaded by the likes of trumpeter Hugh Masekela, double-heading with Oliver Mtukudzi, as well as singers Al Jarreau and Dee Dee Bridgewater, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Ringo Madlingozi, Donald, Beatenberg, Mahotella Queens (2015 Metro FM awards Lifetime Achievers), Basia and Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, amongst others.

As expected, the GDP of Cape Town and the country would increase, considering the economic downslide we’re experiencing.

An intrinsic part of the CTIJF and what makes it unique, are a series of training and development workshops and master-classes, developed by the South Atlantic Arts and Culture Trust (SAACT), which are mainly funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.

 The SAACT is a not-for-profit organisation working closely with the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and is dedicated to supporting education in the arts, to ensure that there is a sound and vibrant entertainment industry staffed by passionate and knowledgeable people beyond the CTIJF.

Every year, these programmes go from strength to strength, gaining widespread support from Government, the private sector, and the public alike. Visiting performers (local and international), happily involve themselves in the myriad of workshops – some fun and some more structured and serious.

Celebrating its Sweet Sixteen, this year the workshops and master-classes will take place between, the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) and the Artscape Theatre, as well as the Cape Sun hotel, Guga S’Thebe in Langa and Cape Music Institute in Athlone.

All of these workshops are free as a result of the dedicated support the programmes receive from its funders and partners, which include the Ministry of Arts & Culture and the City of Cape Town.

For more information on classes, artists and programmes visit: www.capetownjazzfest.com

With sold out tickets, it remains to be seen if organizers would heed the call to make available more.

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