Jazzathon is a multifaceted project that promotes Jazz in as many forms as possible, including live performances, educational workshop programs, awards programs and multimedia content. Produced and managed by JCQ Productions, the Jazzathon gives opportunities to many musicians, service providers and associations. Jazzathon hosts a variety of integrated projects throughout the year leading up to an annual music festival called the Cape Town Jazzathon.
The Cape Town Jazzathon is 4–Day Music Festival. Initiated in 1997, this flagship event is eagerly anticipated by both performers and fans alike, and has fondly become known as “The People’s Festival”
One of the main aims of Jazzathon and The Cape Town Jazzathon is to provide a platform for previously disadvantaged, brand new and young-and-upcoming artists. The event pays tribute Women, Youth and Legendary artists.
To provide a platform for musicians to showcase their talent
To provide an opportunity for emerging and disadvantaged musicians
To pay tribute to those who used their musical talent to shape our cultural heritage
To Educate and develop those who contribute to the cultural heritage of South Africa
To facilitate interaction and opportunities for developing artists
To provide a platform for charitable organisations to create awareness
To promote reconciliation, unity and a common nationhood
To contribute to the growth of tourism in South Africa
The concept of Jazzathon is the brainchild of Craig Parks. Initially intended to run as record-breaking marathon of jazz music, the idea was to allow local jazz lovers to experience jazz culture by any means necessary. In 1997, founding members of newly established JCQ Productions – John Esterhuizen, Craig Parks and Quinton Raaff, produced the very first, free jazz festival in Cape Town. The Cape Town Jazzathon has launched the careers of many well-known South African musicians, promoted South African music to international recognition and achieved award-winning status as a contributor to South African Jazz Culture. The festival soon became an annual event that ran for 13 years until the event lost sponsorship in 2009. After the untimely passing of Esterhuizen (2005) and Raaff (2013) JCQ Productions decided to close its doors and the festival shut down.
Eventually in 2017, the only surviving and founding member of JCQ Productions – Craig Parks –succumbed to public demand and revived the festival after 7 years of dormancy. Soon thereafter (within 3 years), the Cape Town Jazzathon re-established itself as a popular event and has unashamedly opened its doors to all young, upcoming and previously disadvantaged musicians. Usually in the second week of January, the Cape Town Jazzathon runs over 4 days at Africa’s premier Tourist destination – The V&A Waterfront.
The Jazzathon strives to celebrate South African and African music culture. The Jazzathon reflects the passion of a people who are proud to share South Africa’s Rich Cultural Heritage with a global audience. The Jazzathon will always promote diversity, honour history, cultivate development and contribute to a positive future for the prosperity of our beautiful Country as a holistic nation.
A free-to-public festival of music and activities
Features primarily diverse, contemporary South African music and performers
Hosted at Africa’s premier tourist attraction/destination – The V&A Waterfront
Suitable for all ages and cultures, and accessible to local and international tourists