Visitors to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden have enjoyed lazy summer Sunday afternoons listening to the best in local and international music over a number of years. The 2012/2013 season of Old Mutual Summer Sunset concerts promises to be a year of memorable musicians, not least because it is a celebration of 21 years of concerts and the Centenary of the Garden.
World renowned, the concerts are on most tourists’ agenda as an opportunity to see a Garden that offers a taste of the Cape’s floral heritage in all its beauty; to soak up an atmosphere of congeniality and enjoy world-class music under the shadow of Table Mountain. This coming season launching on Sunday November 25, 2012 through until April 7, 2013 brings with it music that transcends all ages and genres. This Sunday afternoon tradition is one of the experiences that make Cape Town so unique – the chance to experience the best artists performing in one of the world’s most beautiful places.
Says Frank Brooks, Sponsorship Manager for sponsor Old Mutual: “This season marks the fifth year we have been a part of this iconic Cape Town event. We are immensely proud that the Old Mutual Summer Sunset concerts have become a staple on the local and international tourism calendar, and that we as a brand can help these artists do great things on such a prestigious stage”.
For the popular groups, and the exciting new performers in the country, it is a mark of achievement to have been on the Kirstenbosch stage – and to be invited back. This year’s line up welcomes back old favourites: Mango Groove, Zebra and Giraffe, Prime Circle, Arno Carstens, The Parlotones, Jimmy Dludlu, Freshlyground, Goldfish and Natasha Meister and introduces some hot new acts that will thrill their audiences.
Opening the season on November 25 is international star and UK based Daniel Bedingfield. His pop wizardry is renowned, award winning and seriously funky. Having previously charted #1 in South Africa expect to hear some new material that moves adroitly between genres – the perfect way to set the season rocking. This will be one of the rare opportunities to see this UK star live whilst in the country. December 2 sees Mango Groove and lead singer Claire Johnston set the gardens rocking to SA pop while Zebra and Giraffe take Indie Rock to a dark and daring place on December 9.
Back to bring in the Christmas spirit and get the crowds rocking is Prime Circle on December 23. With a newly pressed album – their fifth – “Evidence” this 2012 release is set to capture accolades. Listen for their new hits!
Winding down to the New Year, newcomers to the Kirstenbosch stage Yoav and Tailor make their debut on December 30. Singer-songwriter Yoav uses his acoustic guitar and a live looping set up to create an awesome sound in a one-man sonic showdown. Tailor opens the show with music that flits from modern folk to blues-rock to pure pop and spooky soul.
It’s 2013 and what a way to begin the year with the ever popular Arno Carstens. With his fourth solo album just released, his performance on January 6 will ensure a sold-out concert.
Heading into mid month and January 13 is a lucky number for all music lovers as The Parlotones hit the stage. This most accomplished of SA’s rock bands will be relocating to Los Angeles in 2013 so this concert is a great opportunity to give this stalwart of SA music the rocking send off they deserve.
If it’s cool jazz and guitar wizardry then make a date for January 20 when Jimmy Dludlu brings his own brand of music to the Garden. He continues to compose and make the kind of jazz music that stirs the soul – clearly influenced by various cultures around the continent and his interaction with other musicians on the world stage. His latest album, TONOTO, introduces new facets of Jimmy and opens you up to feeling the world in a whole new way.
Old Mutual has chosen to highlight some of the incredible eclectic musical talent that this country has produced. Four of the concerts are devoted to these exciting performers.. They are; Toya Delazy with Lindiwe Suttle (January 27), Sipho Hotstix Mabuse (February 17), Ringo Madlingozi (March 17) and MiCasa with Natasha Meister (March 31). Make sure you enjoy this showcase of up and coming and seasoned musicians with their unique SouthAfrican sound.
Toya Delazy and Lindiwe Suttle will be the hot young artists on January 27. Toya Delazy has made a real impact on South African Top 40 Radio and this trained jazz pianist is influenced by many genres: from Hip Hop and Electro to Alternative and Pop. Opening the afternoon will be Lindiwe Suttle, fresh off the SA music festival stages where she launched her debut album Kamikaze Art, with her music described as organic electronic soul.
Needing no introduction and always attracting a full house Freshlyground grabs the stage on February 3. Celebrating 10 years in the South African music industry this household name has fans across all ages. Sing along to their newly released album Take Me To The Dance and groove to their smash hits including: Doo Be Doo, and 2010’s world-wide hit with Shakira, Waka Waka.
If you love folk music then 10 February is a date to diarise. The third installment of the Cape Town Folk n Acoustic Music Festival is live on stage at Kirstenbosch. Featuring an incredible line-up of South African folk and acoustic artists – the finest musical storytelling will be heard from the personal journeys of Ard Matthews, Steve Newman, Guy Buttery and Nibs Van Der Spuy, Andrew James and Steady Tiger, Digby and The Lullaby, Robin Auld and Wendy Oldfield and Tombstone Pete.
Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse is one of South Africa’s proudest musical treasures and this concert honours him and his special guests on February 17. A man who loves his country as much as he does performing and with a career spanning almost 50 years this Soweto born-and-raised multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and philanthropist is an international performer. An iconic afternoon at the Garden will be enjoyed by fans across every generation.
For classical music lovers no summer sunset concert series would be complete without The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra so make a date for February 24 when the final concert of the Cape Town International Music Festival takes place at Kirstenbosch. Conducted by the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra’s principal guest conductor maestro Martin Panteleev this concert will feature internationally acclaimed French violinist Philippe Graffin. The haunting strains of Mendelssohn’s Violin concerto, Rossini ‘s William Tell Overture and Tchaikovsky’s Overture Fantasy Romeo and Juliette will simply delight the audience.
Ever popular electronic duo Goldfish return to South Africa after an Ibiza summer residence to play their hearts out on March 3. Goldfish will be performing only a select amount of exclusive gigs in South Africa this summer so don’t miss their Kirstenbosch performance.
Looking for something completely different? Then March 10 has to be in your diary as Jeremy Loops will offer a new experience as this modern day one-man folk band shows how technology creates a finely woven tapestry of sounds. Using his guitar, ukelele, harmonica and beatbox skills his technique and clever manipulation creates music that leaves a crowd quite literally awe-struck. Not to be missed! Young Capetonian band Holiday Murray will open the afternoon. Consisting of four musicians with wide ranging influences and diverse musical backgrounds listen out for a refreshing and unique sound.
Ringo Madlingozi on March 17 sings about healing, love, patience, kindness and forgiveness. Named after the Beatles drummer – his talent on drums is exceptional – he is also a vocalist, percussionist, guitarist, songwriter, producer and arranger with a string of awards. He has worked with renowned local and international stars, from Mandoza to UB40 and is fast making a name for himself.
Shadowclub performs on the March 24 with their rootsy, bluesy rock inspired by classic rock acts. This popular trio performs with passion and whose short, fast, banging tracks are easy for a crowd to connect with. Gangs of Ballet will be opening this concert with a sound that is captivatingly fresh. Experimenting with an eclectic mix of alternative, melodic, anthemic, electronic and dance genres they bring a new sound to the stage.
The penultimate concert on March 31 sees Mi Casa & Natasha Meister giving their best. If you have not encountered Mi Casa previously this threesome is South Africa’s newest soulful house collective. The three members, Dr Duda (producer and club DJ), J-Something (vocalist and guitarist) and Mo-T (trumpeter) blend their musical talent to create warm house beats peppered with jazz trumpet and a fresh twist of soul. Rich and authentic the band has already won three SAMA awards since being founded in 2010.
Natasha Meister has become our very own Blues Queen in the three years since returning from Canada and has made a huge impact on in the blues/funk niche. Her captivating Motown voice coupled with her talent for song-writing, electric and acoustic guitar playing is a joy to listen to.
Drawing huge crowds, what better way to end the summer series on April 7 than with world music icon Johnny Clegg as he brings the “scatterlings” of Africa together. A dancer, anthropologist, singer, songwriter, academic, activist and French knight this energetic, passionate human being has become one of South Africa’s greatest musical exports and an untiring cultural ambassador for the new South Africa.
Plan ahead to pack a picnic; spread your blanket, gather your friends and spend Sunday afternoon under the African sky surrounded by unsurpassed beauty and appreciating the best in hot music.
The Old Mutual Summer Sunset Concerts take place at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden (Rhodes Avenue, Newlands, Cape Town) on Sundays from 17h30 – 19h00. Gates open at 16h00. For further information and ticket prices, please telephone 021 799 8783/8620 or visit the website www.sanbi.org or www.oldmutual.co.za/music. Tickets can be booked on www.webtickets.co.za