For centuries, the country turned its back on black musicians — including the jazz artists whose creations embodied freedom and empowerment. Today, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival is one of Africa’s largest musical gatherings. Here are five musicians who played the festival this year.
In the midst of the U.S. civil rights movement, pianist and composer Randy Weston found himself in Morocco, where he incorporated African musical forms and musicians in his recorded work. Weston returns to Piano Jazz with host Marian McPartland to perform “A Ballad for T.,” “Little Niles” and “African Lady.”
Once he had established himself as a world-class saxophonist, Joshua Redman moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he grew up. Soon afterward, he co-founded the SFJAZZ Collective. With his successor in the tenor sax chair, Joe Lovano, the band runs through “Blackwell’s Message,” a jaunty, open swinger to ring in the opening of the new SFJAZZ Center.
Thirty years after presenting its first concerts in San Francisco, the organization SFJAZZ has built a permanent home and performance venue. For its grand opening, masters like McCoy Tyner and Chick Corea rubbed shoulders with modern stars like Esperanza Spalding and the SFJAZZ Collective. WWOZ, WBGO and NPR Music present a live recording of the concert.