Cape Town Jazz Safari,personal experience of some of Cape Town Jazz players
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays 1900 – 2300.
The Cape Town Jazz Safari INCLUDES: home music performances, refreshments, dinner
The Cape Town Jazz Safari EXCLUDES: transfers to and from accommodation, drinks at jazz club
HIGHLIGHTS of this The Cape Town Jazz Safari : exclusive home performances, home dinner
The Cape Town Jazz Safari provides music fans – or those that just want to discover our people and culture – an opportunity to meet musicians in their homes over dinner and performance.
It is an intimate and unique opportunity.
Part 1. Guests meet at in Cape Town Central City
Part 2. Dinner at home of jazz musician, with private show
Part 3. Visit to jazz club OR visit to second musician for nightcap
We are a pirate of cultures.
It’s like Cape Town has pirated pieces of the whole world, everything is gathered here. Cape Town is a port city after all, absorbing the world over hundreds of years.
It’s a touch of Europe, a little bit of India and Malaysia, is a piece of Africa, there’s Brazil in here and there’s America and Israel.
Cape Town is not one thing: it is many things in one.
And so is our music. We start with the first people in the Cape, the Khoe-Khoe, with their tradition of the goma drum and trance chant.
Then the Bantu people migrated South with their deep rhythms and bass harmonies.
Later the colonisers came with fife and flute and marching military music, first the Dutch and then later the French and the English.
They brought slaves from Mozambique and the Congo and Malaysia and the Philipines, each with their own musical legacies. Through the port came the New Orleans Minstrels and the carnival music of America, and later through the radio came that new thing called Jazz Music.
Jazz was everywhere in Cape Town. Everybody listened to the radio in Cape Town. Voice of America and LM Radio from Mozambique were the evangelists. Together with the rest of the world, we were listening to Ellington and Coltrane and Miles. And our currency was in jazz records.
Especially for one Dollar Brand.
In the 1950s, the sailors would arrive in Cape Town with music from America. Every Saturday, the young Abdullah Ibrahim, would go to the ships and buy a record for a dollar. Back then he was still Adolphus Brand, he hadn’t yet converted to Islam. And so he was given the nickname Dollar, because he always had a dollar in his pocket to buy music from the sailors. Dollar Brand.
Our jazz was first about dancing, we had big dance bands with fantastical American sounding names playing American music.
Then as South Africa became a police state, so the music started getting serious. Political. Original. Mankunku blew Yakhal Inkomo, Bellowing Bull, behind a curtain at the Luxurama theatre.
Black musicians and white musicians couldn’t play together on the same stage so he had to be hidden. Ibrahim went into exile, and then back for a while in the 70’s and gave us Manenberg, an anthem for Cape Town. Chris McGregor and the Blue Notes gave us Izmite Is Might as a eulogy for what could have been.
For a musical city Cape Town is ironically a very unmusical city – it’s the heritage of the great divides that apartheid created. You would think that you could go any night to a venue in the city and find great music. It’s not like that. Accessing the music of the city is difficult. And the real action is not always accessible to tourists.