Marimba Jam Festival 2017

This year, our second annual Marimba Jam Festival took place at the Joseph Stone Auditorium on the 17th August 2017.

Over 200 female learners from around Cape Town gathered together to perform the African Marimbas. The energy on stage was overwhelming- particularly in the mass items. The festival consisted of a variety of performances from various school groups, ranging from Traditional African tunes to the latest Pop songs.

The Junior Mass Item concluded the first half of the evening. 100 young learners, many of whom were performing for the first time, played No More Tears (amaAmbush) and Tshosholoza (Ndebele Folk Song) together on stage. The Senior Mass Item ended the Festival and involved all participants of the show. Mbube/The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Solomon Linda), Qongqothwane/Click Song (Xhosa Traditional Song) and Ashanti (Kiara Ramklass) were the three items performed- each with a mass of energy, lively singing and dancing from all our learners.

Thanks to the profits from our first Marimba Jam Festival in 2016, we were able to start our first Outreach Group with 13 girls from Chris Hani Arts and Culture School in Khayelitsha earlier this year. This year’s festival was this group’s first performance and they did not disappoint!

Our Marimba Jam Performing Band played three items, each arranged by our own Rachel Suttle, namely: Great Heart (Johnny Clegg), Lord of the Dance (Irish Folk Song) and Special Star (Mango Groove). Special Star featured four guest artists- Lauren McDonald (Violin), Bianca van der Westhuizen (Tenor Saxophone), Julianne van Zuydam (Penny Whistle) and Dimpho Fatman (Vocals).

We would like to thank each of our students for the time, effort and commitment that they put into this year’s Festival- we are so proud of your incredible performances. Thank you to our teachers, band members and volunteers- without you, the show would not have been a success.

We would also like to thank the following schools and people for their support in this year’s Marimba Jam Festival:

Springfield Convent School, Wynberg Girls’ High School, Wynberg Girls’ Junior School, St Cyprian’s School and Chris Hani Arts and Culture School. Ross Johnson, Nomsa Mpofu, Colleen Hart, Bridgitte Franke, Marianne Martens, Dizu Plaatjies, Konica Minolta, Carl Anthony and Zoe Stevens.

A special thank you to DrummingSA for donating 100 djembe drums for the mass items and to the Joseph Stone Auditorium and the EON Group for allowing us to host our Festival at your venue.

See you all next year!

Music For Madiba

Thanks to Smile 90.4FM, Mandela Day was celebrated in every corner of Cape Town by filling the city with music. Marimba Jam had the privilege of being a part of the Music for Madiba initiative by spending our 67 minutes on Sea Point Promenade sharing our music with anyone that would listen. Not only was it a day spent raising funds towards music development for underprivileged children, but it was clear that the spirit of unity was felt by all throughout Cape Town. It was an incredible opportunity to honour Nelson Mandela by sharing our talent with the public.
Thank you to everyone that contributed to the donations and to all that came to watch, we had a blast! A special thanks to Smile 90.4FM for organizing this mass busking event- we hope for it to continue for years to come!

Smile 90.4 fm

Music for Madiba is an initiative created by Smile 90.4 fm for this year’s Mandela Day (Tuesday 18th July). 67 buskers in 67 locations around Cape Town making Music for Madiba for 67 minutes!

Marimba Jam is taking part in this project- we will be located on Sea Point Promenade from 12:00 to 13:07.

The funds raised during these 67 minutes will go towards music development for underprivileged children.

On Thursday 13th July 2017, we made our way to the Smile fm studio and got to jam with the Smile team- going on live at 9:50 am. This was a great experience and we cannot wait to make our Music for Madiba!


Our second annual Marimba Jam Festival will be taking place on Thursday 17th August 2017 at the Joseph Stone Auditorium in Athlone!

This year, we will have over 200 learners performing from various schools around Cape Town. Thanks to the profits from last year’s festival, Marimba Jam has been able to start our Outreach Group from Chris Hani Secondary School who will also be performing.

You can book your tickets at Tickets are limited, so we encourage you to book your tickets soon.

Tickets are priced at R100 per adult and R50 per student.

Featured: Marimba Jam, Chris Hani Secondary, Springfield Convent, Wynberg Girls’ High, Wynberg Girls’ Junior, Grove Primary, St. Cyprians.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Africa Day at Artscape

Marimba Jam had the honour of performing at The Artscape Theatre Centre, Thursday, 25 May, as part of the Africa Day celebrations!

The event was organised by the Western Cape Government and Assitej as a part of the Cradle for Creativity project. Marimba Jam partnered with Assitej earlier this year for this initiative that aims to inspire the South African Youth through the arts.

Delegates from around the world gathered at the Artscape for the congress and were treated to a spectacular performance after the speeches. Marimba Jam collaborated with a traditional djembe group,  a drum-line as well as a African- Traditional choir for an outside performance. This high-energy parade of events attracted hundreds and the spirit of South African unity was ever-present throughout the festivities.

The theme for Africa Day 2017 was “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in youth”. Here at Marimba Jam, we strive to enhance the lives of the South African youth through the gift of music. We teach over 100 learners on a weekly basis, many of whom have never had any other musical training. Our outreach program allows students from different socio-economic backgrounds to build relations through their love of the African Marimbas.

We are proud to have been a part of the Africa Day celebrations for 2017!



Outreach Program with Chris Hani

Today we launched our Outreach Program for 2017! We have partnered with Chris Hani Secondary School and Springfield Convent School.

Marimba Jam began as a similar outreach project that aimed to break socio-economic barriers between students through African Marimba Music. This year, we are able to continue in achieving this goal and will be able to include the Chris Hani Girl Marimba Band in our annual Marimba Jam Festival!

Chris Hani is an “Arts and Culture focus School” situated in Khayelitsha. Our lessons are based at Springfield and some of our senior students are able to help lead these sessions. This allows the opportunity for relationships to develop between the learners.

Thanks to the profits from last year’s Marimba Jam Festival and the generous donations towards this project, we were able to make this possible!


Students at FACETS

Huge congratulations to all of our bands who competed in the FACETS Eisteddfod held at San Souci’s High School last night.

Our bands performed exceptionally well and every single one of our bands achieved a mark of above 90%! (See marks below). The competition was tougher than ever before, with a record 16 marimba bands entering this year’s category!

Well done to the following bands who represented their schools, as well as, Marimba Jam last night:

Springfield Grade 7:
90% (First Place in the Junior School Category)

Springfield Grade 10:

Springfield Grade 11:

Springfield Grade 12:
93% (Third Place in the Senior School category)

Wynberg Girls’ High Junior Band:
94% (Second Place in the Senior School Category AND won a special prize for “Best Junior High School Band”)

Wynberg Girls’ High Senior Band:
95% (Tied for First Place with St Cyprians Grade 10 band)

Thank you to the parents and teachers who made this night possible!