Catch Micaela Kleinsmith at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival FREE Concert tonight

The international country star performs at the 21st Jazz Festival Free Concert in Greenmarket Square tonight. File Picture

The international country star performs at the 21st Jazz Festival Free Concert in Greenmarket Square tonight. File Picture

Published May 2, 2024


It’s hard to say who is driving the new upsurge in country music’s popularity - South African born masked singer Orville Peck, Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter or Cape Town’s very own queen of country, Micaela Kleinsmith.

One thing we do know for sure, is that the “Butterfly” hitmaker will be playing at the jazz fest’s free concert, happening in Greenmarket Square tonight from 4pm.

Bright, bubbly, with the biggest smile in showbiz, and insanely talented, Micaela Kleinsmith has a discovery tale made for the story books.

The first-ever winner of the Nashville-located Apple TV+ reality competition series, My Kind of Country, Micaela shares that she nearly didn’t make it to the spotlight.

“I missed the first email from the show”, she told IOL.

“Someone must have seen me online – I still don’t know which video – and then Apple TV+ emailed me again. I thought it was a scam initially. I mean what are the chances of Reese Witherspoon having this country music competition, it makes no sense”.

After some internet sleuthing and verifying that the actress was indeed involved, she responded, auditioned, and then Peck chose her to be on his team. The rest as they say in showbiz, is history.

Orville Peck

If you have not listened to Orville Peck or do not yet know who he is, where have you been?

He’s country music’s masked mystery man with a baritone that reaches deep into the soul. Oh, and he is South African… although now living in Canada.

“It was the most random thing ever – the universe is telling me something – I need to listen to it,” says Kleinsmith of overcoming her nerves to get on a plane and participate in the competition, which she ultimately won, with her original song ‘Butterfly’ being released on Apple’s streaming platform.

Kleinsmith, for all her youth, has a depth of emotion and empathy in her music that is hard to ignore.

Her effervescence belies the sadness and loss she has experienced, which informs much of her work, which is about love – its highs and lows and of self, others and the whole.

“I think that the place I write from is the love I have for my family, friends, and partner. I want people to essentially appreciate everything they have and the people around them – life is very short, and things change very quickly.

“I have had lots of experience with loss and death, I know what that eels like and I have learnt to appreciate who I am.” Yet in the sadness, Micaela offers us joy with an angelic voice and soothing sounds, and lyrics that give those who hear, permission to be real and in the moment.

How did she end up in country, especially in a town deeply rooted in jazz?

“I come from a musical family. My earliest memory was singing in creche. When I was 13, an uncle down the road began teaching me the guitar and started out playing secular music.

“My first real tunes were country and I have dabbled vocally with a lot of jazz, which is why I am so excited to be playing in this stage,” she said.

Greenmarket Square will ring true with Micaela’s singing, music and message. Expect some original sounds and a really good time she shares.

Her parting words

“Continue believing in yourself and pushing – it’s one thing to dream about stuff but if you don’t do anything or don’t work towards it, it may not happen.

“Believe as if your dreams have already come true because when it happens, you’ll be ready.”

Cape Town is ready to hear Micaela Kleinsmith on Thursday 2 May 2024 as she takes to the stage for the 21st Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) free concert.

See for details or head over to Ticketmaster to get your hands-on sought-after tickets for Africa’s Grandest Gathering.

IOL Entertainment

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