The FMR Jazz Workshop Biggish Band will be hosting the Langebaan Mussel Festival's Jazz Picnic this Sunday 5 October in the West Coast National Park

The Jazz Picnic happens at Geelbek inside the reserve and starts at 11h00 on Sunday morning. It forms part of this year's Mussel Festival which takes place from Friday the 3rd to Sunday 5th of October in and around Langebaan.

We'll be featuring the usual full Big Band line-up playing a host of South African and original material, with guest musician today none other than one of our founder members, Lee Thomson, on lead trumpet. Lee regularly plays with funky Cape Town outfit Golliwog, is a regular member of Nick le Roux's ReŽnboog, and has been seen recently in the UK playing with the Springbok Nude Girls (who after very publicly disbanding and launching solo careers in SA a good while ago seem to still exist overseas though ... that very lucrative ex-pat market talking with hard currency to our local boys .. girls ...)

Other than Part Time Nude Girls, there will be other bird life on display .. the West Coast National Park is also home to such species as the Titbabbler, Little Stint, Anteating Chat and the Bokmakierie, not to mention the Cape Gannet, Flamingoes and White Pelicans, most of which frequent the area around Geelbek. This is what happens on an average spring day around the Lagoon:

The best time to observe the lagoon waders is to visit the Geelbek hide from low tide as the tide is coming in.

As the water level rises the waders are forced closer to the hide until eventually they must fly off until the tide has receded once more. The smaller species depart first, with the more long-legged godwits, whimbrels and curlews the last to leave. Knot, Sanderling, Little Stint, Ruff, Marsh, Terek and Curlew Sandpiper, Turnstone, Ringed and Grey Plover, Greenshank, Whimbrel, Curlew and Bartailed Godwit are pre
sent on most occasions, while there is always the possibility of seeing rarer species. Little Egret and South African Shelduck may be seen alongside the waders. Flamingoes and White Pelican frequent deeper water, and there is chance of seeing Osprey. Another isolated hide west of the Geelbek educational centre overlooks a salt pan that is an excellent place to see Chestnut banded Plover.

The reserveís fynbos surrounding the lagoon hosts Black Korhaan, Cape and Greywinged Francolin, S
outhern Grey and Cape Penduline Tit, Anteating Chat, Whitethroated and Yellow Canary, Karoo Lark, Titbabbler, Bokmakierie and Cape Bunting are all easily seen. African Marsh and Black Harrier can often be seen quartering the ground.

The coastal islands at the mouth of the lagoon are breeding havens for a number of species such as Kelp and Hartlaubís Gull, Cape Gannet, and African Penguin. Cormorants and terns are present too.

Text courtesy the West Coast National Park website

Tickets for Sunday's Jazz Picnic are R130 per person, R60 per person for kids and include an extravagant picnic basket and a bottle of wine per person! For ticket sales phone 022 772 1515.

So, take in some spring flowers, prime bird life, maybe even a whale or two, and a picnic with some fine SA Jazz this weekend. It's just over an hour's drive up the West Coast from Cape Town, taking the R27 from Milnerton past Melkbosstrand, up past Yzerfontein and then you'll get the West Coast National Park turnoff on the left. Once in the Park there are clear directions to Geelbek.

Have a spring day!


Map courtesy

The JWBB is an amateur Big Band based in Cape Town, and lead by trombonist Jannie 'Hanepoot' van Tonder
The JWBB plays original compositions written for the band, as well as arrangements of South African Jazz standards.

Saxes: Chris Dippenaar, John Ntshibilikwana, John Thorne, Graham Thorne, Nick Green
Trumpets: Charlie Heyes, Douglas Armstrong, Dumani Katywa, Stephen Draper
Trombones: Andrew O'Donoghue, Shelley Williams, Simon Hough, Matthew Grant
Rhythm (gt, pno, bs, dms, perc): Rick Beckman, Ralston van der Schyff, Sidney McKinnon, Ewan Inglis, Grant Jansen

More info: / 072 189 2481
or phone Cynthia at the Jazz Workshop on 424 4956
or check out

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