Stars of note for jazz fest

Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

Ishmael Lo, Senegal's best export and cultural dynamo, will once again be visiting our shores to perform at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2007 in the Mother City, on Friday and Saturday.

A balladeer of note, Lo, who has carved a huge following of fans enthralled with his world music, will beef up the who's who line-up set to mesmerise the throngs of jazz lovers who will converge on the Cape Town International Convention Centre, home to the the fest for the past few years.

Best known for his fusion of folk, soul and Senegalese m'balax music, Lo's melodic singing, has won him millions of followers across the globe. South Africans particularly are huge fans of his anthemic hit, Dibi dib rek.

Other artists who have just joined the line-up, include US-guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, South Africa's guitar maestro Madala Kunene, saxophone prodigy Ezra Ngcukana, South African saxophonist Khaya Mahlangu, vocalist Mpho Skeef and Cape Town-based band Tucan Tucan.

A graduate of Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band, Rosenwinkel was voted rising guitar star for 2005 and 2006 by the Downbeat Critics.

Kunene refuses to be pigeon-holed as a maskandi or Zulu guitar musician and plays folk, blues, soul and mbaqanga.

Ngcukana is one of the first saxophonists in South Africa to have adopted John Coltrane's modal style of playing jazz.

Better known as a member of the popular Sakhile, the hard-blowing Mahlangu has also impressed as a solo act. Lovers of jazz will remember his stints with The Beaters, Harari, Jazz Ministers and Spirits Rejoice.

Skeef, the UK-based daughter of South African musician, Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse, has shown her vocal abilities on Ty's Wait a Minute, and Bugz in the Attic's Booty La La. She is launching her solo career with her album To Spite My Face.

Tucan Tucan comprises Mozambican, Norwegian, and Argentinian musicians who have fused different genres. With lyrics sung in Portuguese, Spanish, English and many southern African languages, Tucan Tucan uses inflections from salsa, samba, bossa nova, chacareca, kwassa kwassa, marabbenta and juju to produce amazing multi- cultural sounds.