Cape Town Jazz: an empowerment festival

Event management company espAfrika is positioning the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) beyond the entertainment boundaries but also as an empowerment festival.

The company said in a statement “The 2013 Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) will be a hub of both empowerment and world class entertainment spread over eight days, says the festival organizers”.

espAfrika is a subsidiary of JSE listed black economic empowerment (BEE) group Sekunjalo Investments which has developed under the leadership of Iqbal Surve. Sekunjalo is currently on the news after securing a deal to acquire South Africa’s biggest English newspaper group Independent News & Media from the Irish owners.

“This Festival is now far more than just two days of music. We hold a variety of events and programmes that expand the love of music amongst the broader communities of Cape Town and develop musical talent and other skills in the South African music-entertainment industry,” says espAfrika CEO Rashid Lombard.

Ten different initiatives now make up the Sustainable Training and Development (T&D) Programme of the festival. These have been supported by various stakeholders including the Department of Arts and Culture, the SABC, the City of Cape Town. Joining the T&D sponsors this year are the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) and the South Atlantic Arts and Culture Trust.

Paul Mashatile, Minister of Arts and Culture said “The festival’s ten different empowerment and skills development initiatives represent powerful set of interventions that provide experiences and opportunities to individuals who would never otherwise have them. The Department of Arts and Culture is proud to be associated with this vital component of the annual jazz event as it opens up new opportunities and expands awareness of the power of arts and culture in our society.”

The T&D initiatives  include the following:

·         Gigs for Kids is an interactive show for pre-schoolers incorporating music, dance and drama that allows children to explore the sounds and rhythms of different musical instruments. This year, orphaned and previously disadvantaged children from two non-profit organisations – Lalela Project and Where Rainbows Meet – will enjoy this program

·         Arts and Culture Focus Schools: Performance and Rehearsals equips high school learners with relevant skills and knowledge in order to make a meaningful contribution to the Arts and Culture economy. It covers live performance and rehearsals as well as event management. Learners with an interest in both music and events have been chosen from ten different schools in the Cape Town city region and the programme runs in February and March this year.

·         Arts and Culture Focus Schools: Careers in Event Management sees event management professionals share their experience and knowledge with young learners in special workshops for developing careers in event management. The workshops cover basic technical principles, hospitality, logistics, health and safety, security, compliance and marketing. On completion of the programme, learners complete an assignment with the most promising learners then selected to work over the Festival weekend.

·         Intyholo Jazz Development Project is a workshop held in Gugulethu at the Ray Alexander Simons Memory Centre and is aimed at primary and high school learners. Its focus is on music performance, arrangement and composition, and the music industry. It is facilitated by the Berklee College of Music, Camillo Lombard and International Guest Musicians.

·         The Berklee College of Music in the USA uses the CTIJF to recruit candidates from Africa. Auditions and interviews for young musicians are held the week before the Festival begins. The College also offers a summer school scholarship to one of the Arts and Culture Focus Schools learners.

·         A five-day Photographic Workshop will give a select group of working photographers and photo-journalists access to the 2013 Jazz Fest performers both on and off stage. Participants enjoy an unprecedented opportunity to work under supervision as professional photographers with professional musicians and jazz aficionados. The workshop is facilitated by Peter McKenzie.

·         Facilitated by leading arts journalist Gwen Ansell, the Arts Journalism programme for qualified journalists, freelancer writers and journalism students is the longest running training initiative of the CTIJF. The week-long course is aligned to national journalism standards and ranked on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). This means participants use the programme to build or add to a professional qualification. It has become one of the country’s leading initiatives in raising arts journalism standards.

·         The Music Business workshop develops business skills in the music industry. It also deals with changes in the industry, providing tools for up-and-coming business people to adapt and sustain their business. Hosted by Graeme Gilfillan, and various industry professionals, the course covers various essential music business, and cutting edge information.

·         Jazz Master Classes for established musicians concentrate on techniques and skills through various music dynamics, intermit discussions and interaction with Jazz Masters. The Classes are facilitated by Camillo Lombard and presented by local and international artists. International and South African jazz stars from this year’s lineup will also participate.

·         The Fusion Master Classes take the form of an informal panel discussion and an interactive platform for artists to share their professional and personal experiences with the public. The session covers a wide range of topics including album sales, instrumentation and technology, networking and more. Members of the audience can ask the panel questions about living and working as music professionals. Here too, artists performing at this year’s event will be involved.

The Golf with a Cause Day’ is another empowerment highlight of the annual festival. The event is held in support of the Caddie Foundation and sees business and government leaders take to the course supported by some 60 individuals who are employed as caddies for the day. Four aspiring golfers will be selected from the group of caddies to play with the festival’s golfing patrons and ply their sporting skills amongst the high profile delegates. This year’s golf day is taking place on Thursday 4 April 2013.

The SABC will also sponsor four promising caddies from the Caddy Foundation at the CTIJF’s annual golf day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *