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The Delft Big Band, under the musical directorship of Ian Smith, was launched in August 2008 as an initiative by the Department of Social Development, and NGO Cape Outdoor Adventure Service and Training ( COAST ). The objective of the project was to take youngsters off the gang-infested streets of Delft, one of the most violent suburbs on the Cape Flats, and give them a focus in life, in addition to enabling them to contribute to their household income. The band, consisting of 17 musicians and two vocalists, has developed into one of the most exciting big bands in South Africa, with many of the founder members now earning incomes as music teachers and professional musicians, as well as progressing to studies at the UCT College of Music.
Members of the band have undertaken two tours of Sweden, a tour of France, and performances at the Liverpool Brouhaha Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival and the London Jazz Festival.
The Delft Big Band also performed at the 2015 Cape Town International Jazz Festival, one of the most prestigious festivals of its kind globally.
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