Thursday, 29 March 2012


Third World Band
South Africa’s 13th Cape Town International Jazz Festival takes place this weekend, with more than 40 international and African stars over the two days of March 30 and 31.

One of the highlights will be a musical tribute to the late African singer Miriam Makeba, performed by trumpeter and bandleader Hugh Masekela along with three of South Africa's most acclaimed vocalists - Vusi Mahlasela, Thandiswa Mazwai, and Zolani Mahola. The show, with Masekela as musical director, originally made its debut at the Rio Loco Festival in Toulouse, France, in June 2010, to much acclaim. The performers will cover Makeba classics like “Pata Pata, "Soweto blues", and "Meet me at the river".

Also generating excitement is the appearance of pioneering reggae band Third World from Jamaica. Bunny Rugs, lead singer of the group, said that the musicians were themselves thrilled to be going to the festival.

“Back in the early Eighties, Third World Band was invited to perform in South Africa for a large sum of money, but the band chose humanity over money,” Rugs says. "Third World would rather have reaped the true riches in our hearts and spirit than support the radical racism and segregation of apartheid."

Now almost 30 years later, the band has been invited back to South Africa to represent Jamaica with “obviously far less money” but with “great honour”, Rugs adds.

Third World has been going strong since 1973 and their fans appreciate their commitment to their roots and to “traditional” reggae. But Rugs says the group also appreciates the fans’ dedication.

“We are so looking forward to entertaining our family in the motherland of South Africa during this homecoming,” he  told SWAN.

Others scheduled to perform at the festival include R&B singer James Ingram, former Fugees vocalist Lauryn Hill and jazz pianist Adam Glasser.