Cape Town International Jazz Festival

All That Jazz

In early April every year, Cape Town puts on its jazz shoes and hosts the world-renowned Cape Town International Jazz Festival. For jazz lovers, this is a chance to see top local and international jazz musicians at the foot of Table Mountain.

The Festival

The festival is the fourth biggest largest jazz festival in the world and the largest music event in sub-Saharan Africa, drawing in an excess of 37 000 jazz fans every year. 2017 will see the festival being held for the 17th time, and organisers promise another incredible line-up of more than 40 performers and jazz virtuosos who will grace the stages of “Africa’s Grandest Gathering” over the two show days.

When and where

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is held in and around the Cape Town Convention Centre on Cape Town’s Foreshore. The Cape Town Jazz Festival 2017 will take place on Friday, 21 March and Saturday, 1 April.

Cape Town Jazz Festival 2017

Image courtesy of Cape Town International Jazz Festival.


Due to the popularity of the festival, tickets sell out within minutes of going on sale. Tickets for the 2017 festival went on sale on 8 November and have already been sold out, but organisers might make a few extra tickets available, so be sure to check


The festival hosts more than 40 performers across its five stages, with a 50/50 split between local and international artists.

In addition to the main festival, a free concert is also held in Green Market Square in the CBD, as well as the Duotone Photographic Exhibition, and a number of workshops. See the festival’s website for more information.

There also numerous food and shopping facilities.

Cape Town Jazz Festival2017

Image courtesy of Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

Things to do before the festival

Cape Town has much to do and see, and is truly a tourist paradise, with hundreds of thousands of tourists heading to its friendly shores to experience the city’s breathtaking natural beauty and colourful cultures. Explore the city streets by foot or bicycle with a number of free walking tours available, or get a great overview of the city, its history and cultures by hopping on one of the red City Sightseeing Busses, or explore the city from the sea or air. Of course a trip to Cape Town is not complete without visiting one of the city’s world-renowned wine estates. Be sure to check out the best places to take postcard perfect pictures to show friends and family back home.

Post Festival Vibes

When the festival lights have died down and you’re still feeling a bit artistically peckish, why not take in a show at one of the city’s many theatres, catch a gig  or view great art one of the number of art galleries.

Experiencing the sites and sounds of this incredible city is enough to build up a healthy appetite. You’re in luck, because Cape Town is arguably South Africa’s foodie capital, so go grab a bite or a drink with the locals, or breathe in the aroma of the city’s lively coffee culture at one of the many coffee shops.