The queen of neo-soul, Erykah Badu brought the house down at the 15th annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival this past weekend at the CTICC. Live’s Kabelo was there to experience the wonder of jazz music. This is what she had to say about some of the musicians that graced the stages
The Grammy award winning singer/songwriter graced us with her out of this world performance. It was everything I anticipated and so much more. The crowd was thrilled and couldn’t compose themselves when she hit to the stage. Badu looked simply beautiful wearing black sweat pants, crisp white shirt, black leather jacket, sneakers and black hat and African print doek/head wrap. While many people were expecting her to be rocking her huge Afro but were still delighted to see the beautiful Ms Badu.
Her look during her performance was as versatile as her sound. She transformed her look several times- styling her headwrap from a long ponytail hidden under her black hat to a short back bun followed by an upward bun. Her effortlessly beautiful and eccentric character resonated with the gathering of die-hard Fat Belly Bella fans.
Badu’s set included many of her hits such as “On & On”, “Love of my Life”, “Tyrone”, “Bag Lady”, “Window Seat” and many more. An outstanding artist indeed, pleasing every single one of her fans. It was worth every penny. It was amazing seeing the different age groups within the crowd – showing just how many people resonate with her music. A true global artist, she said “this is the most beautiful crowd I have ever performed for and then said but of course I’m HOME.”
For someone who is influenced by a lot of 70’s and 80’s music, Erykah is still innovative and aims to be no imitation what so ever. She has always been able to create a rich texture of sound that is uniquely hers.
Her performance of the classic “Next Lifetime’’ went on for an extra 30 minutes, much to the delight of all her supporters. At the end of her performance she threw herself into the crowd, exciting many of her lucky fans who were lucky enough to touch her. She ended off her set with a promise to all her South African fans, singing “I hope I see you next lifetime South Africa.”
Some of the other performances that stood out at the jazz festival included:
The amazing trio of a capella singers performed at the Basil Manenberg stage on Friday night. They bring comfort and warmth through their music in a unique and soulful performance. If you haven’t had the honour of seeing The Soil perform live, be sure to look out for them because they’re shaking things up in the music industry is definitely a band worth looking out for. They have ignited a passion within the hearts of their many fans.
One of my favourite performances at this year’s festival. Their set at the Moses Molelekwa stage was a mix of soul, jazz, house, hip hop with an unexpected touch of trip hop and drum ‘n bass. They got the crowd on their feet with their hits “Have You Heard” and “Ghetto”. Their sound is highly addictive and their lyrics thought-provoking. The talent of these five gentlemen is truly amazing and proudly South African.
My goodness! This woman’s voice overflows with so much heart and soul. She sings with a beautiful demeanour, making timeless art through her music. She serenaded the Kippies crowd with some of her hits and did some renditions of famous soul hits like “Angel” by the legendary Anita Baker. Coming from a music heritage, the daughter of Donny Hathaway has groomed and fulfilled her dream of becoming one of the most respected and loved jazz musicians of our time.
The “Bump the cheese up” rapper set the Bassline stage on fire with his catchy lyrical content and enthusiastic (and sweaty) stage presence. What made the rapper’s 60-minute-long set even more impressive was his band who put the third dimension to the Reason A3D experience. His drummer was electrifying. The crowd which was made up of mostly young hip hop heads couldn’t help but bob their heads and sing along hits like “Do it like I can”- which even got a few attempting a young dougie (dance) and “No sleep”. Reason surprised his fans by bringing Cape Town hip hop duo Ill Skills to the stage to perform a kwaito inspired trippy crowd I must say.
Shane Cooper Quintet
A contemporary yet classical, jazzy and polished are just some of the many words to describe the South African quintet. Their sound is beautifully crafted and artistic. A very mature and innovative sound.
Overall the 15th annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival was a musical success. In its 15 year, the festival continues to thrill and entertain not only South Africans but from other countries too. I love that the festival caters for all sorts of music lovers – from many cultures and age groups. I never imagined that I would find myself having a good time with a crowd so much older than me. If you’re a musical lover, do yourself a favour and attend at least one festival such as the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in your lifetime. (Do yourself a favour and add the Cape Town International Jazz Festival on your musical bucket list, you won’t regret it!)
Images courtesy of Masixole Feni.
Follow Kabelo on Twitter @KCSeshibe