Cape Town Feature

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Jazz It Up

Music, especially jazz and local African music, was an extremely potent instrument for social change during the oppressive apartheid regime. Consequently, South Africans are passionate about music, and they celebrate their love of jazz with the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, usually held in March or early April. Started in 1999, this event is arguably the best weekend of the year in Cape Town. There's an even mix of local and international stars, and past festivals have included the likes of Randy Crawford, Abdullah Ibrahim, Hugh Masekela, Ismael Lo, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. www.capetownjazzfest.com.

It's a tradition for jazz festival performers to play the Monday night jam at Swingers, a well-known but out-of-the-way jazz club in Wynburg. Dance music is played Friday and Saturday (cover R30), but Monday (no cover charge) is the night for jazz aficionados. There's also a full restaurant serving traditional Cape curries, seafood, and steaks. 1 Wetwyn Rd., near Wetton station, Cape Town. 021/762–2443.

On any old night, the Green Dolphin Jazz Restaurant attracts some of the best mainstream jazz musicians in the country, as well as a few from overseas. The cover charge is R30–R35. Victoria & Alfred Arcade, Pierhead, Waterfront, Cape Town, 8002. 021/421–7471.

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