A Rainy Night in Cape Town

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival brings together a multitude of cultures – and not even bad weather can dampen the spirit.

Revelers enjoying the Green Market Square concert. Picture by: Thobile Mathonsi

I am walking briskly through the cold air, with the scent of fresh rain looming. The cobblestone pavement of Church Square, where slaves were once sold, is hard beneath my heels.

It’s the annual free jazz concert in Green Market Square, but I’m worried that tonight’s chilly weather will keep people away.

Boy, am I wrong.

justin smidt image
Picture by: Justin Smitd


Thousands have braved the cold, pushing those of us at the front right up against the fencing of the stage.

When Lana Crowster appears, her small stature makes everyone think: “What could possibly happen here?” No one expects her to sing Judith Sephuma’s Thuto ke lesedi.

The crowd erupts as Crowster’s beautiful voice echoes through the square. She truly does justice to Sephuma’s song, moving many that were seated to their feet to dance.

And that’s the beauty of the festival. No matter your tradition, culture or ethnicity, you’re here to have a good time.

Image by Caroline Kaminju

“You know what? To me, traditionally you must adjust. We’re from different races, but we are one”, says festival-goer Thebogo Ntetha.

Throughout the cold and wet evening, the crowd – young and old – jive and sing their hearts out, finding warmth in the person next to them.

A night to remember.


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