Cape Town Jazz fest had fans mesmerised

PICTURE a musical festival fantasy with alluring multiple stages featuring the best acts imaginable.

PICTURE a musical festival fantasy with alluring multiple stages featuring the best acts imaginable.

Imagine that fantasy unfolding against the backdrop of a magnificent scenery such as Cape Town, with its imposing flat table-like mountain, and you are halfway to the ever-captivating Cape Town International Jazz Festival setting.

The artists outdid themselves as they took to the sprawlingpsychedelic scenery.

And so, by the time she came on to the Kippies stage, boasting the biggest auditorium thatwas packed to capacity ... everyone lucky enough to be present to witness the amazing Rachelle Ferrell was set for endless enchantment.

I think many Miriam Makeba fans loved her for her rendition of Mama Africa's inimitable ditty Igqira Lendlela.

When every instrument was running as a well-oiled machine, she really showed the mesmerised crowd that she is made of sterner stuff, musically.

Pianist Ronnie Jordan also attracted a huge crowd despite the freezing Basil "Mannenberg" Coetzee stage.

What he could not deliver in words was infused in his soulful music, taking us back to favourites like After Dark. The crowd went mad when he played Pata Pata in a tribute to Makeba.

The legendary George Benson on Saturday played with the orchestra, while Sunday saw him take his fans back to the dizzying days of Back To My Roots, The Greatest Love of All, Gimme The Night, Broadway, among his age-old captivating repertoire.

Our local acts were no slouches either. When Judith Sephuma delivered her mixed repertoire from all three of her albums and topped it with Elton John's Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me, she brought the roof down.

Her ex-husband,Selaelo Selota, took it a notch higher with his energetic performance. The show would have been incomplete without his showing off his well-defined six-pack.

Lira was at ease and enjoyed herself on stage, while she had her audience entranced.

Jonathan Butler has truly come of age. Sliding from one hit to another, he literally had the doting fans eating out of the palm of his hand.

The show was still on when lesser extravaganzas would been spluttering to a choking end.

Therefore, until you heard Vusi Mahlasela, the humble yet extremely talented musician, you wouldn't have known what you were missing. The man boasts the purest soprano, hitting those high notes without effort.

Other acts that were on fire were Jeff Lober, Musa Manzini, Allou April, the Glenn Robertson Jazz Band, Mervyn Africa (Kaap Finale), and Bilal. The surprise of the evening was the US's Bad Plus whose sound is enough to drive you crazy and make you a fan for life.