Skip links

Put on your dancing shoes for a big band birthday bash like no other

It’s a celebration! The Cape Town Big Band Jazz Festival is turning 21 this year, and what’s a milestone without a party to make it memorable? From 29 May to 1 June 2019, the Baxter Theatre Concert Hall in Rondebosch will reverberate with exuberant big band music delivered by young musicians from across the country.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Founded by the late Dennis Barr, the festival is today renowned as one of South Africa’s premier showcases of youthful musical talent and is an essential outing for families, friends and groups.
     This year, the festival showcases 24 big bands from junior and high schools, as well as university and community big bands, and an all-star alumni band led by Professor Mike Campbell. Check out for the band line-up.
     Two added treats are the debut performance by the South African College Schools (SACS) Old Boys’ Big Band, led by saxophonist Dan Shout, and the Pridwin Preparatory School Senior Jazz Band from Johannesburg, returning for its third appearance.
     The Cape Town Big Band Jazz Festival is not just about celebrating young musicianship and bringing the magic of big band music to life – organiser Ann Barr is also passionate about paying it forward by providing financial and moral support to music initiatives in disadvantaged communities.
     The festival supports marimba projects at Ned Doman (where it also sponsors steelband tuition), Manenberg and Mount View High Schools, enabling the learners to showcase their talents at the Cape Town Steelband and Marimba festivals.
     Explains Barr: ‘The focus is on being able to provide quality music education to young people, especially those who are at risk because they live in under-resourced areas with few constructive recreation opportunities.
     ‘During the year we have supported workshops, as well as sponsorships for young musicians to attend the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival, as well as the Arcevia Jazz Festival in Italy. We were also thrilled to have been able to sponsor a trombone for the Cape Town Music Assembly.’
     Come and sway, swing and swoon to the sweet sounds of big band and jazz music at the 21st Cape Town Big Band Jazz Festival. Tickets range from R80 (for scholars, students and senior citizens) to R140 per day. Book at Webtickets, Pick n Pay or the Baxter Theatre on (021) 685 7880.
     Thank you to the following sponsors: the SAMRO Foundation, Pres Les, Paul Bothner Music, Fountainhead Design, Fine Music Radio, Peninsula Beverages, South African College of Music, HCI and two anonymous sponsors.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.