Every week we compile a selection of music to sing you into the weekend and list them in a post called #bottomrightcorner. Sometimes new tunes, sometimes themed tunes and sometimes we ask a music aficionado to choose the tunes for us. The 14th Cape Town International Jazz Festival kicks off today with a killer line-up of over 40 international and local artists who will take to five stages over two nights. Among them are names such as three-time Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Jill Scott, London-hailing acid jazz and funk group Brand New Heavies and French virtuoso violinist and jazz composer Jean-Luc Ponty. Here is some musical foreplay to prepare you for the main spectacle.
‘A Long Walk’ – Jill Scott

Three-time Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter, New York Times best-selling poet and critically acclaimed actress are only a few titles held by Jill Scott. Before having the #1 album in the US with her new album The Light Of The Sun, performing at The White House, being named People Magazine‘s Top TV Breakout Star of 2010 and appearing on VH1 Divas alongside Aretha Franklin, the triple threat began her career collaborating with musical icons such as The Roots, Will Smith and Common in the late 1990s.
‘Heroes’ – Ben Sharpa & Pure Solid

Considered as one of the African continent’s most accomplished lyricists, Ben Sharpa has dedicated his life to his art. Born in the rugged ghetto slums of Soweto, South Africa in 1979, Ben Sharpa (aka Oh Kaptin My Kaptin, or simply ‘Kap’ to his friends and fans) experienced the full force of the apartheid regime. While Ben was still a young child, his father relocated the family to Chicago where Ben was inspired by the radical new voice that hip hop was giving to the disenfranchised. He returned to South Africa in 1994 forming cult crews GroundWorks and Audio Visual.
‘Ubahlula Bonke’ – Mafikizolo

Male-female duo Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza are two of the original members of Mafikizolo, which started small as a kwaito group in the 1990s. Various sorrows saw them disband, but Theo and Nhlanhla recently re-grouped to produce an album combining blues and swing called Six Mabone.

‘Never Stop’ – The Brand New Heavies

The Brand New Heavies started life in the 1980s as an instrumental acid jazz group called Brother International. As The Brand New Heavies, they gained a cult following in London and soon signed to Cooltempo. In 1990, the band issued a debut recording for Eddie Piller‘s Acid Jazz label. A single, Got to Give, came out on Cooltempo before the Heavies signed to Acid Jazz Records.
‘Grains de Beaute’ – Céu

Maria do Céu Whitaker Poças hails from Brazil and calls herself CéU. It means either ‘sky’ or ‘heaven’ in Portuguese, a name which speaks to her warm and tantalising voice. Born into a musical family in São Paulo, CéU studied music and launched her debut album in the US in 2005, when she was already making waves in Europe. Influenced by the sound of jazz singers like Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu, she fronted a samba funk outfit and then an electro-dance group in São Paulo, capturing the attention of several major record labels.
‘Celtic Steps’ – Jean-Luc Ponty and his Band

Jean-Luc Ponty is a pioneer and undisputed master of jazz and rock violin. Born into a family of classical musicians in Avranches, France, he attended the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris after which he joined a professional symphony orchestra.

Words taken from capetownjazzfest.com/