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April 04, 2010

2010 Cape Town International Jazz Festival - A Photo Essay

George Benson wowed crowds at the 11th Annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival last night. The ten-time Grammy Award winner, talented jazz guitar player and vocalist passionately entertained the sell-out crowd. According to his website, Benson says, “In the end, it’s about the songs and the stories. That’s what keeps the music fresh for me. That’s what keeps me coming back. If you come up with a great melody and put the right lyrics to it, I’m immediately excited.”

2010 Cape Town International Jazz Festival

George Benson reaching out to the Cape Town crowd, photos by Deon Gurling

More than forty years after Benson cut his first recordings, he released his latest album, Songs and Stories, on August 25, 2009. This album came three long years after his previous record, Givin’ It Up, impressed fans.

2010 Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Jazz guitar maestro

George Benson’s electrifying tribute to Nat King Cole was definitely a highlight of the day’s shows; he sang crowd favourites including Mona Lisa and When I Fall in Love, in addition to many of his own songs.

2010 Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Well-known performer, George Benson was a Festival highlight

Benson arrived in Cape Town on April 1, 2010, and tweeted “Hello Cape Town”. His performance did not disappoint the appreciative crowd.

2010 Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Saxophonist Moreira Chonguica

Other musicians included Cape Town based Moreira Chonguica, who is originally from Mozambique. He impressed fans with his sax performance. Moreira graduated from the University of Cape Town’s South African College of Music with a degree in jazz performance and an honours degree in Ethnomusicology (cum laude) in 2000.

2010 Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Jonathan Butler, cool jazz guitar player and soulful singer

Another favourite was Jonathan Butler, a born and raised Capetonian. According to his website (http://www.jonathanbutler.com/), Jonathan, who’s the youngest of twelve children, began singing publicly in South African townships at the tender age of seven. His breakthrough single was the first song by a black artist to be played by white radio stations in South Africa. Jonathan is now a popular and busy performer; his next stop is the British Virgin Islands, followed by a jam-packed schedule across the United States.

For more on the festival, you can browse the following stories:

George Benson thrills a sell-out crowd at the 2010 Cape Town International Jazz Festival
Cape Town International Jazz Festival community concert
Cape Town International Jazz Festival community concert – a photo essay

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