In what can only be described as a nail biting and thrilling conclusion to the third annual espYoungLegends 2018 online talent competition, Jarrad Ricketts has been crowned winner and will perform to crowds attending the 19th annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) in March 2018.

From a field of five deserving finalists, it eventually came down to a two-horse race. Cape-based versatile entertainer Jarrad Ricketts and the six-piece Afro-Fusion Sylvester Aklamavo & Miton Fusion Band (MFB) from Johannesburg, who battled it out in a close contest.

Billy Domingo, Festival Director of CTIJF and COO of espAfrika, the organiser of the competition and Africa’s Grandest Gathering, and fellow judge, Bev Scott-Brown are both equally delighted by the response from music fans across the country.

Ricketts was thrilled to be declared the winner of the coveted slot to perform at CTIJF.  “I really thank everyone for voting for me – my fans who have been following on social media and to everyone I spoke to during the campaign and who jumped in and supported me and the band. We’re all looking forward to entertaining festinos at the 19th annual CTIJF.”

“Thanks too, to espAfrika for providing up and coming bands with an opportunity to be recognised.  This is an important platform that links local artists to an international fanbase through one of the world’s most recognised and important music festivals.”

This, the third year of the competition, racked up an impressive total number of over 12, 000 votes.  This is testament to the fact that jazz and jazz-related music is growing in South Africa – as it is around the world.

With self-penned songs hitting the local charts, Ricketts and his band are headed for a bright future.  See him live at the 19th annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival, taking place on 23 & 24 March 2018.  Tickets go on sale on 6 November 2017 at

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