Classical & Strings

Anne Mmarie Clulow
Bella Voce Africa Profile Image
Bella Voce Africa has also performed for the RSA President Mr. Jacob Zuma during a private function. Performed at the Palace Hotel (Sun City) in the presence of Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela and his wife Graca Machel, Gary Player, the Queen of Swaziland, top government officials / ministers as well as numerous CEO’s of major international companies, performed at the 2008 Miss World Pageant (Entabeni Golf Estate), Nedbank Million Dollar Golf Tournament (Sun City), Black Book Function (Sun City’s Exclusive Function for top 200 Businessmen Worldwide), the Hilton Hotel (Sandton) Christmas Lunch for 300 guests, and many more.
The group has been performing every weekend at Crystal Court, Palace Sun City since September 2008, also performed as “The Voices” in the very successful music production, TIMELESS, featuring well know artists Jannie Moolman, Rina Hugo, Kevin Leo, Arina de Witt, Andrè Schwartz and a live band.
The group toured London from 11 June until 12 July 2009. Performances included high profile events such as Head & Neck Cancer Research Trust Dinner at Westminster Abbey, Irish Rugby Union Benefit Dinner, The Benchmark Sport Awards, hosted by HRH Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, The British Travel Market Launch on invitation of the Lord Mayor of London, Beyond Sport Foundation Dinner, Beyond Sport Summit (hosted by the former Prime Minister of Britain, Tony Blair, with special guests: Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Group), Bishop Desmond Tutu, Prince Hussein of Jordan, Boris Johnson (Mayor of London), and other celebs), GMR Group Corporate Function and various others. They also presented a very successful music production ‘VOICES’ at the Lyric Theatre, West End, London.
Bella Voce Africa is a popular choice for social events, corporate functions, special events, weddings, indoor and outdoor events, awards ceremonies, and black tie events.

Some Corporate clients include:

• Montecasino 
• SA Lipizzaners
• Hatch Africa (Pty) Ltd                                                         
• SA Breweries / SAB Miller
Bella Vocè Africa

The Black Tie Ensemble

Black Tie Ensemble Profile Image

It is a fact of life in South Africa that the opportunities for young singers who aspire towards attaining any heights in the field of opera no longer exist to the extent they once did. This reality is one that confronts virtually every young person who chooses to enter the world of the performing arts, in whatever métier. Artists have been forced to create their own work and to adopt a truly entrepreneurial spirit, much in the manner of the touring theatrical companies of old, and new opportunities are being created every day.
It was in this spirit of entrepreneurship and with a determination to preserve the traditions of opera performance in this country, not to mention the creation of a pathway for gifted young singers to attain their goals, that South Africa’s diva, Mimi Coertse, and celebrated opera director and costume designer, Neels Hansen, decided to create The Black Tie Ensemble.
The Ensemble has during the last five years developed into one of the most exciting classical music and singing projects in Gauteng. Proudly sponsored by SA Breweries – North Region and Sasol, with additional support given by The South African State Theatre, BASA, SAMRO-Endowment for the Arts and Nedcor Foundation (founder sponsor).  The Black Tie Ensemble consists of a multicultural group of classically trained and talented young opera singers from diverse cultural groups in South Africa, and they aspire towards bringing opera and quality singing to a wider audience, mainly by way of performing at CORPORATE GATHERINGS and INDUSTRIAL EDUTAINMENT, to schools and to outlying areas. They have also performed at various Arts Festivals in South Africa and Namibia.
This initiative enables them to earn an income while gaining experience and realising their dreams with their glorious voices.  The experience gained since the formation of the company in March 1999, has let to its now being in a position to embrace more challenging projects, and they staged their first opera, RIGOLETTO, during May 2001 to rave reviews. Their second opera, MADAMA BUTTERFLY, was staged in the Spoornet State Theatre, the new “home” of the Black Tie Ensemble since August 2001. The Ensemble was very honoured to have Mrs Zanele Mbeki attend the opening night.  The Black Tie Ensemble elicits standing ovations at virtually all their performances.  The media have been extremely impressed with the project particularly because the standard has been consistently high.
“Triumphant staging of Verdi’s RIGOLETTO” - Riek van Rensburg Pretoria News
“The Black Tie se RIGOLETTO `n puik toekomsbelegging” - Thys Odendaal Beeld
“Black Ties se RIGOLETTO prysenswaardig” - Beeld
“Drie van Black Tie genooi om in Beijing te sing” - Thys Odendaal Beeld
“Grense is só in Bloemfontein oorgesteek” - Marina Griebenow Volksblad
“Black Ties sit finale stempel van welslae op fees” - Volksblad
 “A Magical Butterfly” – Riek van Rensburg  Pretoria News
“Prime accolade in this production goes to Zodumo Mboniswa” – Riek van Rensburg  Pretoria News
“This multi-racial production of Puccini’s immortal MADAMA BUTTERFLY is a triumph for the Black Tie Ensemble” – Michael Traub  The Citizen
“A production not to be missed, one that South Africa can be proud of” – Michael Traub  The Citizen
The Black Tie Ensemble has since its launch in March 1999 made appearances at functions for auspicious audiences such as:
  • South African Airways’ Executives and Lifetime Platinum cardholders
  • A soiree for The Airports Company of South Africa
  • Several Soirees and Concerts for Vodacom, Altron, Classic FM
  • Concerts at the major Arts Festival: “Aardklop” in Potchefstroom, The “Namibië Kunstefees” in Windhoek, Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees in Oudtshoorn and the volksblad Fees in Bloemfontein
  • A performance for a delegation of cultural advisors from Germany
  • The Lipizzaners Viennese Ball
  • The Garden World Concert
  • Several regular concerts and Soirees for Rapport and City Press 
  • Edutainment programme: The Mountain to Mohammed Project at the Highveld Steel factory near Witbank
  • One of the ensemble members, Linda Zitha, sang on 14 November 2000 at the Earth Gallery, National History Museum London, and had a great personal success.  He repeated this performance at the Frankfurt Opera House in January 2001.  This spectacular event was arranged by Ogilvy One Worldwide for South African Tourism.
  • Several VIP soirees and concerts for Nedcor Investment Bank
  • A recording for Kyknet’s Draadloos - this was aired on 22 December 2000
  • A Christmas Eve street concert at Montecasino Fourways
  • During February 2001 the Ensemble performed for the Directors and Editors of all the newspapers and magazines belonging to the Naspers Group.
  • During May 2001 the Black Tie Ensemble completed their first full-length opera RIGOLETTO (Verdi) at the Aula, Pretoria and received excellent reviews from the Press.
  • During 2001, the Black Tie Ensemble performed regularly at the Kloppenheim Country Estate in the Machadodorp area.
  • The South African Department of Foreign Affairs in Beijing invited members of The Black Tie Ensemble, as part of the Youth Day Celebrations, to perform at concerts in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai
  • The Ensemble has staged their first true corporate opera for their main sponsor, Nedcor Investment Bank with Opera in Miniature: La Traviata (Verdi).  This 70-minute performance was staged in the Agfa Theatre on the Square, Sandton.  This performance was repeated at the Kloppenheim Country Estate.
  • A performance in the open air at the Royal Livingston Hotel, Zambia – a corporate function
  • Invited to sing for Mr Mandela at the Newsmaker of the Decade Award.
  • During April 2002 the Black Tie Ensemble completed their second full-length opera MADAMA BUTTERFLY (Puccini) at the Spoornet State Theatre, Pretoria and received excellent reviews from the Press.  For the first time, the opera was accompanied by the 35-piece Chamber Orchestra of South Africa.
  • The Black Tie Ensemble was honoured to perform for the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology at a dinner held in honour of the Finnish Delegates.
  • Performances annually for the Pretoria News: A Night at the Proms
  • At the end of October, the Black Tie Ensemble did a short season of the acclaimed Madama Butterfly at the Sand du Plessis theatre in Bloemfontein to critical acclaim.
  • A Christmas concert for Classic FM and a Christmas Gala in the Drama, Spoornet StateTheatre during December 2002.
  • The Black Tie Ensemble has collaborated with the South African Ballet Theatre to stage Valentine Enchantment in the Opera, State Theatre Pretoria.
  • In August 2003, members of the Ensemble did second outreach concert in Witbank: “Concert for the People” in the Witbank Civic Theatre.
  • The Black Tie Ensemble launched their debut CD on 23 August 2003 and at this event, they presented their Opera Gala where they, for the first time, collaborated with two major artistic companies, The Johannesburg Music Initiative and the Gauteng Choristers.
  • September 2003, The Black Tie Ensemble performed at the Starlight Concerts in Johannesburg, presented by Rand Merchant Bank.  
  • Performed during the opening ceremony of the tenth UNISA Piano competition
  • The second successful season of valentine Enchantment performances
  • On 3 March they celebrated their 5th birthday with a gala concert in the State Theatre.


The monthly concerts at the Ristorante Ritrovo continue in support of the Adopt-an-Artist Scheme.  Already fifteen members of the Black Tie Ensemble have been adopted.  The Black Tie Ensemble also performs regularly on every last Sunday of the month at the South African State Theatre in the Sunday Morning Opera Concerts.  2004 promise to be very exciting for The Black  Tie Ensemble as there are two possible overseas trips in the pipeline.  The Black Tie Ensemble will also have the chance to do an opera again in 2004, staging La Bohème (Giacomo Puccini) in June, followed by our annual Gala Concert. The Ensemble will continue with their outreach work at schools and factories throughout the year.
The Black Tie Ensemble will continue their Opera Vignettes.  Arias and ensemble work from an opera are combined with narration into a 75 – 90 minute programme.  This is a short staged version with costumes and props of the original work.


The Black Tie Ensemble have, since August 2001, established their new home in The South African State Theatre – Spoornet, and for the first time have their offices and rehearsal space together in one building.  The Black Tie Ensemble is very grateful for all their support and assistance.


The Ensemble can be divided into groups of 4 artists, up to the full Ensemble, depending on the client’s needs, but we have found in the past that with a minimum of four singers, we can compile a suitable programme.  The programme can then include arias, duets, trios and quartets.   The first half of the programme usually includes well-known opera-arias, duets and ensembles. The second half includes operetta-excerpts, Italian songs and excerpts from the classical musicals.  


“ADOPT AN ARTIST” - SCHEME   Performance events are created by The Black Tie Ensemble Management for the Ensemble singers.  Fees fluctuate depending on the actual number of performances, the content of the programme and the configuration of the Ensemble. The singers do generate their own income through the Black Tie Ensemble performances and outside- work.  In order to strengthen their financial situation, the Black Tie Ensemble in association with the Mazzone family of Ristorante Ritrovo created the “Adopt an Artist” Scheme.  The Mazzone family won a category award at the BASA Awards 2003 for their initiative.


Louette Johnston coloratura adopted by RAPPORT
Ntokozo Xaba coloratura
Loveline Madumo soprano adopted by CITY PRESS
Bongiwe Madlala soprano adopted by CHARLES AND ALEJANDRO
Charlotte Silulu mezzo adopted by THE AIELLO FAMILY
Veramarie Meyer mezzo adopted by SAPPI
Dewald von Solms tenor adopted by JAY PARSONS
Siyabulela Bede tenor adopted by KIASOMA
Rheinaldt Moagi tenor adopted by SAPPI
Khotso Tšekeletsa tenor adopted by JEAN LLOYD
Jonathan Boinamo baritone adopted by THE KÖNIG FAMILY
Linda Zitha baritone adopted by THE MAZZONE FAMILY
Vuyani Mlinde bass adopted by SAPPI
Paul Madibeng bass adopted by THE GOUS FAMILY
“INCUBATOR” SCHEME   Supported by the Nedcor Foundation, this scheme, assists young talented artists with no formal singing training to gain experience and become part of The Black Tie Ensemble in the future.  These young artists receive vocal coaching as well as music theory on a weekly basis and from time to time get the chance to do ensemble work with The Black Tie Ensemble. 


Madeleen Engelbrecht soprano adopted by SAPPI
Itumeleng Tladi baritone adopted by SAPPI
Thabang Senekal baritone adopted by SAPPI
Obakeng Molepe baritone
Dikgang Mantoro bass


Founder & German Coach : Mimi Coertse
Founder : Neels Hansen
Resident Conductor : Graham Scott
Senior Repetiteur & Coach :           Susan Steenkamp-Swanepoel
Repetiteur & Coach : Engeli le Roux
Project leader: The Incubator Scheme : Antoinette Olivier
Manager : Arnold Cloete
Publicity & Marketing Officer : Simone Scholtz
Administration Officer : Sandile Shabalala
Ad hoc Italian Coach : Bianca Berg-Mathiassen
Ad hoc French Coach : Wynand du Plessis
Black Tie Ensemble

Con Grazia Trio Profile Image 1

Different, Dynamic & Versatile – This is the combination created by these three sisters, performing together since the age of 3years old.

They have extensively performed at special events & theatres throughout South Africa & Abroad: Dubai, Abu Dhabi) & Europe (France, Belgium, Holland, England) &

Their musical influences include a variety of styles – From Classical, Light music, Contemporary, Latin, African, Jazz & Gospel.

These renowned performers brought together their musicianship with a variety of instruments: Violin, Electric Violin, Soprano & Alto Saxophone, Flute & Vocals

Con Grazia Launched a Brand New DVD with Dolf Brits Music Productions in May 2013. Their CD lauch were sold out performances in the Centurion Theatre.
The CD & DVD Combo is a showcase of the different musical styles they have mastered.

Qualifications Include:

  • BMUS Degrees, HOD, LTCL, LRSM From The University OF Pretoria
  • Music Studies At the National Conservatoire De Versailles Under Prof. Desiré N'Kaoua
  • Musical Theatre, From Technicon Pretoria
  • Trinity College of Music, London
  • Royal Schools of Music, London 

Corporate Companies which regularly make use of these brilliant artists are:

  • ABSA
  • Standard Bank
  • FNB
  • Mutual And Federal
  • Engen
  • Telkom
  • Wesbank
  • Mahindra
  • University Of Pretoria
  • North West University
  • Life Hospitals
  • Deloitte
  • Nedbank
  • Pam Golding
  • Attebury Properties etc

They have extensively performed throughout South Africa & Abroad Incl Countries:

  • London
  • France
  • Holland & Belgium (With The Ad Musicum choir)
  • Dubai (Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort & Towers
  • Dubai (Royal Meridian Hotel)
  • Abu Dhabi (Hilton Hotel)
  • Morocco (Hyatt Hotel)
  • Oman (Crown Plaza Hotel)
  • Hong Kong, Macau (Green Spot Wine & Dine)

Con Grazia performs with backing tracks or a full band.

Their performances are Tasteful, Elegant & Classy They never fail to leave a lasting impression with their audiences.

You can be assured that they will add a brilliant touch of class to your next special function.

Whether you’re planning A corporate event, launch, show, private party or wedding, let the music of Con Grazia add that extra special touch gracefully & elegantly.

Con Grazia Trio Profile Image 2

Yours Musically
Con Grazia

Con Grazia Trio


She Sings. She Strings. She Holds her Own. Effortlessly.
When it comes to elegant versatility, there is one name in the business that delivers on key every time:
Cristina Rodrigues. A melodic compilation of honey noted tones and raspy interludes, Cristina has the ability to diversify her performances to suit the desired occasion.
Cristina Rodrigues is a soloist and collaborator of incandescent value. From laid-back summer afternoon cocktails to glitz-and-gusto “Rodeo Drive” ensembles; to corporate unravels and wedding day favourites, Cristina effortlessly floats her vocals - and her violin - between musical genres.
She believes in sharing the limelight with authentic performances that engage with her crowd. She keeps the atmosphere relaxed and encouragable, for both the coy and the confident. As a result, Cristina’s reputation as an interactive performer hits all the high notes when it comes to ratings.
Cristina Rodrigues offers a variety of Performance Packages that include cross-over performances; solo performances and collaborative ensembles that celebrate an increase in demand: FEVER ; INDIGO ; and THE GIRLS. Each package is comprised of talented (and sultry) musos that hail from a range of musical backgrounds.
The Groups have their own unique sound that lights up the stage and the hearts of the party. Cristina joins each of the collaborative Performance Packages as a leading musician and performer.
More on Cristina Rodrigues
Cristina Rodrigues began her classically-trained career at the age of 9, as a vocalist and instrumentalist, honing her love for violin. Today, Cristina sets the benchmark in Africa as a leading, cross-instrumentalist that performs on vocals and on strings, simultaneously. Her musical crossover is dubbed as captivating and her audience often marvels at the unique talent of a violinist soloist.
Cristina is also the Founder and Designer of the internationally acclaimed AIR™ Violin Viola Stand and AIR ™ Scales.
Cristina Rodrigues

Elena Zlatkova Flyer

Elena Zlatkova

Elena Zlatkova Profile

Elena is a dynamic performer with an electrifying stage presence that has local and international audiences enthralled by her skill, dexterity and talent. Since her arrival in 2003, Elena has captivated audiences throughout South Africa with her many appearances on stage, at corporate events and concerts. She currently resides in Johannesburg.

Elena is a sought after performer for corporate events and has performed for some of South Africa’s most prominent companies and financial institutions. Elena is a versatile musician that performs a variety of genres of music from light classical, contemporary favourites, jazz, Irish and African tunes through to the crossovers of Vanesa Mae and some current dance chart hits. Elena is a master in creating a romantic ambience for your intimate occasion or she can provide a dynamic performance to suite the vibrant feel of your event.


On the classical front she has enchanted audiences with her solo and chamber recitals at the popular Music in the Gallery, the Old Mutual Theatre at the Nelson Mandela Square, the sundowner concert series at the University of Johannesburg, the Kyalami Classics, Classic FM Soirees at Summer Place as well as the University of Witwatersrand.

Elena works regularly with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra. She also spent time abroad touring Europe with prestigious Bulgarian orchestras as well as a member of a classical trio based at the Ritz Carlton and Hyatt Regency Hotels in Dubai, UAE.

Elena hails from the capital city of Bulgaria, Sofia. She started to play the violin at the age of five. At the age of seven she went to study at the National School of Music Lyubomir Pipkov in Sofia. Thereafter she graduated from the State Academy of Music Pancho Vladigerov also in Sofia, Bulgaria with an honours degree in violin performance. In 2011 Elena completed her masters in music degree with distinction.

Elena has also appeared on television on numerous occasions internationally and in South Africa and has gained a wider audience with her appearance on the popular South African television soap Egoli, the Afrikaans showcase Huisegenoot- Skouspel, Vicious Delicious as well as a youth programme, Craze- E on E-TV. Elena’s latest musical highlight has been the broadcast of her classical album on Classic FM.

Elena Zlatkova

Gugulethu Tenors Profile Image 1

From the dusty streets of the township to the country’s top concert halls, the Gugulethu Tenors’ raw talent has captured the hearts of audiences across South Africa. The quartet consists of Mpendulo Yawa, Siyabulela Gqola, Xolani November and Loyiso Dlova.  They’ve performed to politicians, dignitaries and superstars including Oprah Winfrey, Chris Rock and Mariah Carey. At the 2006 Oprah Party, guests were blown away, and Oprah herself was touched by their sincere performance and humble beginnings.  Their ambition goes beyond success as performers – collectively they aim to be role models for South Africa’s youth and, through their singing, to showcase the richness and diversity of South Africa’s cultural heritage.
Previously known as Fez Tenors / Three Young Tenors, the group was formed in 1999. These self-taught vocalists were selected from Fezeka High School in Gugulethu to enter a music competition called the Prompt Voice Search. They won first place for the best group category and have never looked back.   They went on to win 1st prize at the Nyanga Junction Golden Voice Competition, 1st at the prize-Tygervalley Star Search competition, 2nd prize at the Westgate Mall Voice Search competition and 1st prize at the Langa Gospel competition.  Apart from various corporate events, these talented young men were featured at high profile events such as:
  • Official opening of new Central Terminal Building, Cape Town Airport
  • The Ubuntu Festival 2009, Cape Town
  • The Table of Unity 2009, Table Mountain, Cape Town
  • Die Burger Kerskonsert 2009, Artscape Theatre
  • Parliament of SA Film launch 2008
  • Afro-fusion band CODA's album launch, November 2008
  • 2006 Cape Town International Jazz Festival at the Greenmarket Square public concert 
  • Youth Day celebrations on Robben Island in 2001 
  • Kirstenbosch Summer Concert series 2002, accompanied by the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra under renowned conductor, Richard Cock.  
Kirstenbosch Summer Concert series 2002, accompanied by the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra under renowned conductor, Richard Cock. 


JUNE  2010 

20th Live @ On Broadway Theatre, Cape Town

MAY  2010 

1st Cederberg Arts Festival, Clanwilliam
6th Sanlam Corporate Event, One & Only Cape Town
7th Live @ Marimba Restaurant, CTICC 
25th Corporate event for House of Monatic, Old Mutual, Pinelands
29th Charity Ball, Lord Charles Hotel, Somerset West

MARCH 2010 

11th Conference Dinner, Llandundo
13th Corporate Dinner, Mount Nelson Hotel
21st Festival, Company Gardens, Cape Town
25th Corporate Dinner, Vergelegen Wine Estate, Somerset-West
27th Corporate Dinner, Westin Grand Hotel, Cape Town
28th Caro Wiese’s 60th birthday party, Clifton


12th Bishops College Valentine’s Picnic


1st World AIDS Day performance, Parliament, Cape Town
4th Corporate Dinner, Casalinga Ristorante, Johannesburg
5th Public performance, Maponya Mall, Soweto
5th Corporate Dinner, Maponya Mall, Soweto
9th Charity Toy Drive, Speedway Café 105, Cape Town
10th Yolanda Yawa launch (the Bella of Africa), Cappello, Riebeeck Street, Cape Town
11th Public Show, 11:30 - 12:30, Maynard Mall, Cnr Main & Wetton Roads, Wynberg
16th Reconciliation Day Public Show, V & A Waterfront Amphitheatre, Cape Town
17th Public Show, 16:30 – 17:30, Vangate Mall


1st Greyton Rose Festival, Morivian Church Greyton
3rd Keepers of the Quaich AGM & Banquet, Castle of Good Hope
7th Varing Festival, High School Brackenfell
7th Genesis Trust Fundraising Dinner Auction, Lord Charles Hotel
7th Official Opening of Cape Tow Airport Central Terminal Building 
14th Forbidden Fruits Festival, Kleinplasie, Worcester
28th Official opening of Gugulethu Mall (Public performance), 15:00 – 16:00


12th Nederburg Auction, Nederburg, Paarl
17th SAB Gala Dinner, CTICC, Cape Town
24th Heritage Day open-air concert, V & A Waterfront 


14th Woolworths Christmas Media Launch, Old Biscuit Mill, Woodstock
17th Talkshow & Entertainment for HIV/AIDS Awareness, CPUT Auditorium, Bellville

JULY 2009

9th UCT Conference, CTICC
18th & 19th Ubuntu Festival Gala Dinner & Main Stage performance

APRIL 2009

3rd Ubuntu Breakfast for the Amy Biehl Foundation, Cape Town 
30th International Incentive group dinner - Pigalle Restaurant, Green Point Cape Town

MAY 2009

7th Ubuntu Breakfast for the Amy Biehl Foundation, Cape Town
17th Table of Unity, Table Mountain

APRIL 2009

3rd Ubuntu Breakfast for the Amy Biehl Foundation, Cape Town 
30th International Incentive group dinner - Pigalle Restaurant, Green Point Cape Town

MARCH 2009

7th Gala Dinner at Riboville Restaurant, Cape Town 
14th Bishops Teddy Bear Black Tie dinner at the Grand Westin
21st Township Jazz Festival, for Amy Biehl Foundation Trust 
23rd Old Mutual Corporate Dinner at Mutual Park, Pinelands 
24th DA lunch event, Goodwood Civic Centre 
24th Distell VIP Gala Dinner at Van Ryn Brandy Cellar, Stellenbosch 
Gugulethu Tenors Band Members
Gugulethu Tenors Band Members Image



Weekend Argus (the Good Weekend section):  Feature Article (“Tenacious Tenors from Gugs”), 2 May 2010; p. 9
Cape Argus:  Feature Article (“Tenors to take opera to the townships”), 17 September 2009, p. 3


E-TV:  20 May 09 - Mpendulo Yawa is interviewed live on the Sunrise Breakfast Show


CCFM:  4 May 2010
Bush Radio:  6 May 2010
Cape Talk:  22 May 09 – Time Out, with Soli Philander 
Bush Radio:  10 July 09 – interview with Busi Mtabane
Umhlobo Wenene:  17 July 09


Gugulethu Tenors CD Cover Image
The Tenors released a 7-track Demo CD, O Afrika!, in July 2009.  
Tracks: Il Mondo, Pata Pata, The Prayer, Nessun Dorma, Funiculi Funicula, O Afrika!, O Sole Mio


Thank you so much for suggesting the Tenors for the Keepers Banquet this year. They were perfect and delightful chaps and yes very well received. Please could you kindly pass on our grateful thanks to the Tenors.  
Karen Chaloner - NC Connect / Whiskey Live Festival
Wanted to really say that we were blown away by the Gugulethu Tenors and so was the Client. They really contributed to the Italian ambiance of a very successful evening and WOW what talent! They are a great group of guys and what struck us most that they are a very humble group of guys that are singing because they love it and because they all have a special talent. Our wish for them is that they go far and wide and enjoy success as they truly deserve!  Thanks for making our event turn from ordinary to extra-ordinary!
Nikki Wagner – The Production Line
Just to let you know that we thoroughly enjoyed the performance of the Gugulethu Tenors in Greyton last weekend - they were fabulous and we would like to invite them again for the Greyton Winter Classical Music Festival in June 2010.
Coenie Visser - Media Consultant
I just wanted to express my gratitude for your amazing performance at the Nederburg Festival this weekend. It made my day and I cant stop telling people about it. Please add me to your media list and let me know what you're getting up to so that I can one day write about you. You are all truly talented and a credit to our country.
Lauren Cohen - Senior Reporter for The Times 
The Tenors were absolutely FABULOUS!!!!! We had such great feedback from our media guests in regards to our choice in entertainment so many thanks for setting it all up, they really were super.
Monique Postema - Liqiudlingo Communications
We had only positive feedback concerning the Gugulethu Tenors. The ladies even has tears in their eyes!! We will definitely consider the Gugulethu Tenors for any future bookings. 
Eileen Walsh - Manager: Groups, Events and Incentives, Platinum Africa
Gugulethu Tenors Band Singing
Gugulethu Tenors
Kristel-Lynn Birkholtz

Motswako String Quartet Band Profile Image

Motswako String Quartet profile

The Motswako String Quartet was formed in 2000 under the name four @ play. It comprises of violinists Bernard Madumo and Tshepo Mngoma, violist Tshepo Komane and cellist Kutlwano Masote.
The four are all classically trained string players and work as freelance musicians for the JMI Orchestra, the Johannesburg Philharmonic and Johannesburg Festival Orchestras. Madumo and Komane were members of the National Chamber Orchestra in Mafikeng until its closure in 2000 and are still actively involved in teaching projects in the North-West Province. The two are also founder members of the kwaito group Metswako, which has was nominated for the 2003 Kora All-Africa Awards in the category, Best New Group. Mngoma comes from one of South Africa’s premier musical families and is a University of Cape Town graduate in jazz studies. He has been a part of Joyous Celebration for several years now and performs regularly with his mother Sibongile Khumalo. Masote studied at the Menuhin Academy in Switzerland and was the first black member of the National Symphony Orchestra. He is the chairman of the Johannesburg Music Initiative and has also been an on-air broadcaster on Classic fm since 1999.
Motswako’s strength is in their variety of repertoire. They play a wide selection of classical music, African folk as well as contemporary popular music. The quartet has played at numerous high-profile corporate and government functions and was invited by the South African Embassy to the People’s Republic of China to play in Beijing in August 2002. They also played in the UK and Zambia in July 2003.  In November 2003, they played at the opening of the new South African Embassy building in Berlin, Germany.  
Motswako String Quartet

Rainbow Tenors Band Members Image

Rainbow Tenors

Hailing from Sasolburg, The Rainbow Tenors (Paul Dalasile, Fizile Magazi and Mpho Phasha ) have been described as being “fuelled with passion for developing their talent”. The three young gentlemen sang as soloists in their respective school choirs, getting together as a trio in 1999, under the banner of the Sasol Music Choral.  
They have performed at numerous events such as SA Women in dialogue in Pretoria, World AIDS Day, Matric World EXPO, World Productivity Congress and the Department of education Initiative (all held in Bloemfontein), many events for Sasol and a number of other performances, some of the more recent performances include FNB awards, Discovery, Clientele life year end, Auto & General, Samsung gala dinner, Essential National Trade Show and their crowning glory thus far; the opening of Soccer City on 22 May 2010, They also performed for the International Launch of the Tasly Alliance in August 2010.
Together with extreme violinist Caitlin Papier, The Rainbow Tenors shot a music video at The Silverstar Casino, the Fountain on 31 December 2010.
Rainbow Tenors currently assist the choirs at their local schools and churches to read score and train their voices.  Their mission is to improve the standard of opera and classical performance in rural areas.
These young Tenors have completed their voice art training with distinction at the Vaal Technicon and are currently busy with their Honours. The Northern Free State District Government has supported and sponsored these dedicated young Artists through their development.
Rainbow Tenors

Sibongile Khumalo

Sibongile Khumalo


Sibongile Khumalo is South Africa’s first lady of song.  The most celebrated member of a musical dynasty marked by an extraordinary vocal gene pool and passion for making music; she is a singer who personifies the rich and multi-sourced Southern African singing tradition. 
That Sibongile is so accomplished comes as no surprise to those who know even a little of her background.
Born in Orlando West, the heart of Soweto, she was raised by her mother, Grace, a qualified nurse and her father, Khabi Mngoma, a music professor and historian. Sibongile’s father was a man who celebrated all the music traditions he encountered, from the ubiquitous choral to a range of indigenous musical expressions, and the full gamut of western classical genres. 
Sibongile is her father’s daughter in her insatiable appetite for music and profound belief that no music belongs to some and not to others. In a way, everything that she has done in her musical career is a tribute to him. She grew up listening to and singing opera, oratorio and the classical art song. 
Sibongile's voice has been critically acknowledged as one of the greatest natural instruments in use anywhere in the world. Visceral in its presence and sheer size, splendid in its timbral richness, expressive in every nuance of register and emotion, it is a unique voice that is immediately recognisable.
Sibongile Khumalo could have been the star of any major European or American operatic stage if she hadn’t felt so strongly about living and making a career in South Africa. But she did; and, as much as it is her extraordinary vocal gift, it is also her amazing sense of connectedness, in her art and in her being, that makes her the artist she is. This is what informs her interpretations in every genre, from western classical to township jazz. She has lived with them all, grown with them, and believed in them as her own.


Sibongile’s first formal music teacher was Emily Motsieloa, herself an influential musician and personality in township circles around Johannesburg. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Zululand and an Honours Degree in the History of Music from the University of the Witwatersrand. 
Approached, at the age of 24, to head up FUBA's music department (The Federated Union of Black Arts) and then, armed with a Postgraduate Diploma in Management (gained in 1983) Sibongile became the Funda Arts Centre's Coordinator for three years.
Having honed her administrative skills, Sibongile spread her wings, participating in various research projects and working with different artistic institutes. In later years, she would join the Festival Committee and Board of Directors of the National Arts Festival (NAF), Grahamstown, and ultimately become the Chairman of the Festival Committee, navigating a transitional period in which the NAF was charting a new path for itself. She retired from the NAF board and Festival Committee in 2010.
Sibongile is currently a member of the board of directors of SAMRO, chairman of the Performers Organisation of South Africa (POSA) and the founding chairperson of the association of South African Business Women in the Arts (SABWA).


In 1992, Sibongile began to perform in earnest – and the list of stages she has graced is long and hugely impressive. Her breakout performance was The Three Faces of Sibongile Khumalo, a sell-out show held at Kippies in Johannesburg which showcased her proficiency in the jazz, South African indigenous music and opera genres. This performance earned her the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Music in 1993, firmly establishing her as a woman to watch on the South African music scene.
Since then, Sibongile has been on stage with the Brodsky Quartet; Oumou Sangare, Sally Nyolo (formerly of Zap Mama) and Hanitra Rasoanaivo from the group Tarika, in a collaboration called ‘Women of Afrika’; she has toured the USA with Hugh Masekela and done numerous other collaborations with him on home soil, including the hugely successful “Songs of Migration”; she was part of the ‘Intercontinental’ tour with Jack Dejohnette, Danilo Perez, Jerome Harris, Byron Wallen and Jason Yarde; she performed a special commission by Jason Yarde at the Bath International Music Festival, called ‘Reflections in Reverence and Remembrance’, which also premiered at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown.
Not neglecting her operatic passion, Sibongile collaborated with sopranos Aviva Pelham and Virginia Davids in 1999 for a series of concerts entitled Divine Divas, for which they were awarded an FNB VITA Award for the Best Musical Performance of the year.
Khumalo has sung in major venues all over the world. Appearances as a soloist with South African symphony orchestras in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, stand alongside her realisations of leading roles such as Carmen, Amneris in Aida and Azucena in Il Trovatore at the Artscape Opera Stage and the State Theatre Opera House in Pretoria, the Witch in Hansel und Gretel at the Roodepoort Opera. She sang the role of Azucena at Den Norske Opera in Oslo in 2004.
She has been heard at the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican Centre. She was part of the African Odyssey series at the Kennedy Centre, Washington DC and she has performed at Ronnie Scott’s in London.
She has sung the title role in Mzilikazi Khumalo’s Princess Magogo ka Dinuzulu, presented by Opera Africa, which had its world premiere at the Playhouse Opera in 2002, with further appearances at the HetMuzik Theater, Amsterdam, and at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago.
Khumalo’s oratorio repertoire includes among others, Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, both the Verdi and Mozart Requiems, and Mzilikazi Khumalo’s Zulu epic uShaka ka Senzangakhona.


In the midst of a whirlwind schedule of performances, Sibongile finally decided to settle down to actually recording an album in 1996. Her first CD, Ancient Evenings, was an exploration of the African indigenous music that she had been brought up listening to, and it earned her two South African Music Awards - Best Female Vocal Performance and Best Adult Contemporary Performance as well as Song of the Year for composer Motsumi Makhene's song "Untold Story". In 1998, Sibongile released her second album, a live recording of a performance held at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg. Aptly entitled Live at the Market Theatre, this album turned its attention to Sibongile's love of jazz. Again, the album received public and critical acclaim, and again, Sibongile took home a SAMA award, this time for the Best Adult Contemporary Performance. Immortal Secrets, the title of Sibongile Khumalo's third album, is a CD that continued the work she began with Ancient Evenings. A thoughtful, introspective and nostalgic CD, Immortal Secrets articulated the feelings and reflections of a contemporary, urban being, seeking to maintain their core identity as a person steeped in African culture and heritage.
And then came Quest, an album that truly showcases just how Sibongile is the epitome of a New South African, an individual with a strong sense of self and culture, who is equally open and receptive to difference, ignoring borders artificially created by culture, language and history. Quest garnered Sibongile a SAMA for best Female Vocal Performance as well as a nomination for best Producer.
The self-titled Sibongile Khumalo, is an inspired and inspirational album that moves from the substantial repertoire of the nineteenth-century western classical repertoire to the equally classic gems of African choralism and the songs of Princess Magogo ka Dinuzulu that she has made her own. Again, this album earned her a nomination for best Female Vocal Performance.
Sibongile Khumalo has spent a great deal of her extremely busy schedule honing her skills as a producer, both on stage and in the recording studio, producing a body of work that will ensure a legacy for future young singers. She recorded a Live CD and DVD for the launch of her independent record label, Magnolia Vision Records, founded in 2007 that coincided with her 50th birthday celebration. This fun and lighthearted offering paid tribute to all the people who had a profound influence on her outlook and grasp of music, from the songbook of Allen Kwela, a master guitar player respected and lauded all over South Africa to the vocal sounds of Letta Mbulu and the girl group Joy.


When South Africa celebrated 10 Years Of Democracy in 2004, Sibongile was part of the Creative Collective comprised of Hugh Masekela, Caiphus Semenya, Letta Mbulu, Anant Singh and Jonas Gwangwa among others. They conceptualised, directed and staged different forms of celebration for this remarkable year in the history of South Africa. This became one of Sibongile’s highlights in this year, as the celebrations continued throughout the year.  
In August 2006, Sibongile was musical director for the ‘African Soul Sisters’ concert, as part of the Standard Bank Joy for Jazz in Johannesburg. In October of that year, she was musical director for ‘Soul on Turf’ at Sun City and, in November, conceived and directed the 30th Anniversary Celebrations for the Khongisa Academy for the Performing Arts in Kwa-Dlangezwa, KZN.
Sibongile remains involved with the Khongisa Academy for the Performing Arts, founded by her late father Khabi Mngoma. In March of 2007, she founded the Khabi Mngoma Foundation, whose purpose it is to fundraise for the Khongisa Academy. In this year, she also spent several periods abroad, in March touring Europe with Jack DeJohnette and others in a collaboration entitled Intercontinental. The tour had its grand finale at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. In July, she sang in Phillip Miller’s Rewind Cantata at the `Celebrate Brooklyn’ Festival in Brooklyn USA. And in August performed in Opera Africa’s Princess Magogo ka Dinuzulu, prior to a tour to Oslo, Norway, presented by Den Norske Opera.
On her return, Sibongile co-produced and directed a musical collaboration with other esteemed African singers that include Sylvia Mdunyelwa, Abigail Kubheka and Gloria Bosman, called
Sistas Healing Our Souls, at the Cape Town City Hall and at the Artscape Opera stage in 2008.
Her civic-mindedness saw her pull together a group of concerned musicians in a hugely successful concert dubbed the Campaign 4 Healing. This was an effort to mitigate a growing political intolerance in the public space, just prior to the general elections of 2009. 
Sibongile was also part of a collective of musicians and composers who contributed to the Closing Ceremony of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, staged in Johannesburg.
Because of her ability to treat every piece of music with poise and integrity, in May 2011 Sibongile was invited back to sing in Philip Miller’s ‘Rewind Cantata’, staged at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town, and a 3-city tour of Isak Roux’s Jazz-Gospel cantata ‘Coming Home’ which took place in August.
After a long overdue and well-deserved sabbatical, Sibongile had a particularly successful return to the Joburg Theatre in a one-off concert entitled “Spirit Ascending” in 2011.
Sibongile made her debut appearance at the Luanda International Jazz Festival and also performed at a South African embassy National Day event in Kampala, Luanda. 
She was also one of the featured performers in the Jazz Foundation’s Melodi Collaborations.
She describes her appearance at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival in August as one of the highlights of 2011, hosting the ‘Conversation with Wynton Marsalis’ and collaborating with him in an impromptu performance.
In October 2011, Sibongile performed ‘Haya Mntwan‘ Omkhulu’, a song cycle based on 8 songs of Princess Magogo ka Dinuzulu with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra at the Durban City Hall, with maestro Arjan Tien, with whom she recorded the songs for the eponymous album Sibongile Khumalo.
Sibongile enjoyed a hugely successful and significant performance year in 2012. The highlights include an appearance at the Lyric Theatre, Johannesburg, where she staged the first of a number of performances celebrating 2 Decades of Song as a full time singer and performer. She also released the second album from her independent label, Magnolia Vision Records, Music Is Everywhere by Sifiso Khanyile. 
In July-August she embarked on the landmark concert tour entitled Reflect. Celebrate. Live: The University Tour (R.C.L.) This was another milestone for Sibongile as a music producer. She conceived and co-directed this 90-minute concert, in which she paid homage to her family and the community of musicians she grew up in, musicians who had an impact on her growth and the choices she made throughout her career. R.C.L. was a feast for the senses. She put together a 21-piece ensemble comprised of a young cast of 12-voices, a jazz trio, a string quartet and two narrators in an exploration of her continually evolving sound. R.C.L. was a celebration of Sibongile’s 2 Decades of Song and an act of giving thanks and giving back to the South African public and institutions that have supported her work throughout her remarkable career.   
In October, Sibongile travelled to Amsterdam, London and Washington DC with Hugh Masekela,  performing in ‘Songs of Migration’. The production was well received before it returned to a highly appreciative audience at Cape Town’s Artscape Opera in November. In December 2012, R.C.L. reprised at the State Theatre, Pretoria in a grand ending to a milestone year for this irrepressible and dynamic performer.


2013 started at a remarkable speed for Sibongile, having been contracted to be the Musical Director, composer and arranger for the AFCON 2013 opening and closing ceremonies. Being one who relishes a challenge, she enlisted the services of 2 others and in just under 3 months, delivered the soundtrack for both ceremonies with competence and imagination.
Sibongile continues to inspire the creation of new work. She has been featured in Credo, a new work by Bongani Ndodana-Breen, based on the Freedom Charter, as well as the commission of Mazisi Kunene’s Anthem of the Decades, composed by Motsumi Makhene.
Apart from performing on a regular basis, 2013 is proving to be a bountiful one as she has been recognised by the Naledi Theatre Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award, was identified as one of “100 World Class South Africans” by City Press newspaper and conferred with 2 honorary doctorates by the University of Zululand and the University of South Africa
Sibongile Khumalo
Soweto String Quartet Profile Image

Soweto String Quartet

Their Music

The sound is fresh, vibrant and funky, not what you’d expect from a string quartet, but a sound that the SSQ delivers with panache and enthusiasm. Some puritans would say: “You’re not supposed to grin from ear to ear and tap your foot to the music!” Nelson Mandela allegedly plays their CD in his office all the time. His assistant is reported as saying: “The old man loves it!”


Soweto has always been alive with music. The dance rhythms of Kwela, the syncopated guitars of Mbaqanga, the saxophones and trumpets of swaying African jazz and the voices of people singing in joyous, easy harmony.
The Soweto String Quartet emerged during the 80’s around the nucleus of the three Khamese brothers, violinists Sandile and Thami and cellist, Reuben. The Khamese brothers attend their uncle’s music school with Sandile and Reuben later serving as violinists in the Soweto Symphony Orchestra. The Soweto String Quartet was formed in 1989 at the Madimba School of Music.
The four members of the Soweto String Quartet are a political statement in themselves. They are four black classical musicians from a South African Township. The ensemble initially faced criticism at home for their adherence to traditional European instruments, but through the years their music has absorbed native African rhythms and intonations.
Their talents went unrecognized for long as the apartheid era had seen all things South African boycotted. The foursome went on to take South Africa by storm; their engagement diary was soon bulging and was even resident musicians at Sun City for nine months, as the tourists loved them! That’s where Grahame Beggs from BMG records noticed them and had them signed.
Soweto String Quartet
Sterling EQ

The Afro Tenors Members Image

The Afro Tenors

The Three Afro Tenors, performing together since 1997, are Agos Moahi, Given Mabena and Lucky Sibandan. All three members studied at the Opera Department of the Pretoria Technikon, under the vocal tuition of Eric Muller and Pierre du Toit, and were awarded National Diplomas for Performing Arts specialising in Opera.
Receiving standing ovations wherever they perform our own Three Afro Tenors present an excellent repertoire of popular light classical hits, in the vein of Amigos Para Siempre, Love Changes Everything, Surriento, Santa Lucia, Funiculi Funicula and O Solo Mio, all supplemented with the finest traditional African bush songs, including the likes of Meadowlands, Thula Thula, Malaika, and the great Madiba tribute, Rolihlahla Mandela, all presented to perfection by Africa's premium opera singers Agos Moahi, Given Mabena and Lucky Sibandan! While the trio present themselves in smart black tuxedos, they also appear in the colourful traditional ‘Madiba' shirts, popularised by their hero – Nelson Mandela!
The Afro Tenors

The Muses Band Image

If there is a party worth starting, the best ignition mechanism is this funky four-piece out of Gauteng, South Africa that will take any sensible situation and turn it into a sensational night to remember, two violins, one viola and a single cello at a time.

Meet four drop-dead gorgeous, classically-trained virtuosos, all keen to get as many people on their feet and dancing the night away each time they unpack the contents of their three carefully considered albums.

Their latest, Pop On Strings 3, welcomes back violinists Mia Snyman and Ashley Bodill, viola player Ruby Ngoasheng and cellist Laetitia van Wyk. The quartet have been celebrating the success of their previous two albums, and have been sneaking in time between their busy performance schedules to work on the third instalment of their Pop On Strings series.

Founded by Olivia Kotze, The Muses’ journey began in 2011, and in that time the four-piece have played the length and breadth of the country, invited by prestigious brands the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, The Spring Summer Guess Fashion Show and the 2013 UEFA Champions League Heineken Mansion series.


Known for their quality productions, qualification as classically trained, pop prepped and able to deliver musicians, the music The Muses make generates enough energy to contribute to the national power grid and light a dance floor indefinitely. Whether it’s “Party Rock”, “Pata, Pata” or “Don’t You Worry Child”, their biggest floor fillers are soon to be topped by their new inclusions from thelikes of  Coldplay, John Newman, George Ezra amongst others.

The chemistry that makes The Muses spark comes from many different places. “Ruby is the rock chick and is as happy go lucky as you get”, Kotze explains. “Mia’s world revolves around music, she loves anything new and fresh on the market and with a busy teaching schedule there’s never a quiet moment in her life. Laetitia is finishing off her degree in music at the University of Pretoria, so there’s lots of classical influence in her life and Ashley who is the newest member of the group also teaches and especially loves that we can inspire children through our music

So what’s clear is their musical influences are varied, and some even a little less mainstream, but between the four music-makers, each has their favourite. The best part being that they all get to show off their rich personalities at different times, thanks to the diversity of their respective and evolving playlists.

“We’ve all studied and learnt to master our instruments and the technical focus makes for some wonderful spontaneous moments,” Kotze continues, “whether we’ve brought our laser show along for the ride or not. The ladies love to get dressed up and have some good clean fun. Classical music may be our foundation, but we’ve left the launch pad, thanks to the success of first two albums. Both are powerful calling cards we’re very proud of indeed.”

The Muses are no ‘one trick ponies’ and have several performance options that always keep the live show different. Whether they’re sharing the stage with percussionists 1st Project in their “Strings Attached” show, or combining pop, strings and big band jazz with their friends in Swing City, or turning up the beats with hip hop DJ, Ms Cosmo, in their “Violins & Vinyls” show, the ladies always have an electrifying live show to keep audiences captivated. In addition, their laser show offering is always a show-stopper! Furthermore, the quartet occasionally perform with “The Muses Band” which includes two horn players and a drummer.

The third instalment of the Pop On Strings series includes songs originally made famous by John Newman, Clean Bandit, Coldplay and more. This time ‘round, the repertoire also includes classical numbers Palladio, Kashmir and the theme from Game Of Thrones.

“We love the buzz, the wonderful energy each show brings with it,” Kotze concludes. Big or small, blue chip or A-List corporates, The Muses make the rooms they play in, and with each the quartet blazes a trail and reputation that’ll see these four busy, playing up a storm indefinitely!

The Muses


Repertoire list:


Love Me Again  - John Newman
The Buzz - New World ft Timmy Trumpet
Jebel Klingade
Feeling Good Muses
Rather Be Clean Bandit ft Jess Glynne
Sky Full of Stars Coldplay
Counting Stars Onerepublic 
The Edge Of Glory Lady GaGa
Rolling in the Deep Adele
So What P!nk
Dynamite Taio Cruz
Jai Ho! (You are My Destiny) A.R. Rahman ft Nicole Scherzinger
Human The Killers
Toca's Miracle Fragma
Starlight Muse
Use Somebody Kings Of Leon
Hush Hush The Pussycat Dolls
Stereo Love Edward Maya ft Vika Jigulina
Only Girl (In The World) Rihanna
Firework Katy Perry
Party Rock Anthem LMFAO ft Lauren Bennett & GoonRock
Hi-A Ma (Pata Pata) Milk & Sugar ft Miriam Makeba
Mr. Saxobeat Alexandra Stan
Skyfall Adele
Somebody That I Used to Know Gotye feat. Kimbra
I Will Wait Mumford & Sons
Paint It Black The Rolling Stones 
Destiny Malaika
Don’t Stop Believing Journey
Fight For You Jason Derulo
Don't You Worry Child Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin
Titanium David Guetta ft Sia
Back In Time Pitbull  
Locked Out of Heaven Bruno Mars
I Knew You Were Trouble Taylor Swift
Try P!nk
Game Of Thrones theme
The Muses
The Soweto Opera Quadro

The Soweto Opera Quadro

seamlessly blends a range of musical styles, with songs by Josh Groban, Il Divo, Verdi and Johannes Kerkorrel. 
FOR the discerning music lover, Brothers in Song, with the Soweto Opera Quadro, is a perfect treat. The concert series is at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) from 15 April. 
Fresh from a tour of Cape Town, where the four wowed audiences with their amazing blend of jazz, opera and Broadway standards, Afro-pop, traditional and gospel music, the Soweto Opera Quadro promises an unforgettable show at the UJ Arts Centre. 
The quadro is made up of four singers from Soweto - Elliot Koena, Edward Mabunda, Bokang Sehau and Xola Mpola - who have been stirring it up in the South African music industry of late. Having carved a musical path for himself since primary school, Koena has performed with the Pro Musica Opera Company and is a permanent member of the Soweto Opera Quadro. 
Like Koena, Mabunda started his musical career at an early age. He studied basic performing arts and majored in voice and stage acting under Petrus Mofokeng. His repertoire ranges from African music to opera. He joined the Pro Musica Opera Company as a understudy in 1999 and performed in opera productions such as La Traviata, Rigoletto, Un Ballo in Maschera and Madame Butterfly, among others. 
Sehau, a tenor, studied basic theory and voice at Fuba School of Music in Johannesburg. He has performed in concert with the Soweto Symphony Orchestra and is a part-time member of the SABC Choristers. 
A former University of Cape Town student and member of the famed Black Tie Ensemble, Mpola is a fulltime member of the quadro. He has sung baritone roles in operas such as Romeo and Juliet and Cosi fan Tutte. 
Since its formation five years ago, the Soweto Opera Quadro has performed for President Thabo Mbeki and has built a solid reputation for excellence around the country and abroad. Expect to hear exquisite renditions of a diverse selection of tunes by the likes of Josh Groban, Il Divo, The Beatles, George Harrison, Verdi, Johannes Kerkorrel and Nianell. 
The Soweto Opera Quadro

Urban Strings

"Urban Strings is a nine-­‐piece musical wonder that is creating a new sound of glam-­‐ electronica" -­‐ Randburg Sun

"Your music is definitely a first for South Africa. Congratulations!" -­‐ Victor Edward, Director at M-­‐Net and M-­‐Net Series

"Urban Strings, a Johannesburg-­‐based string collective band has taken center stage as South Africa's up-­‐and-­‐coming performing act" -­‐ Fourways Review

URBAN STRINGS – A Johannesburg based superior string collective is taking centre stage as South Africa’s up and coming performing act. As a collective, they are “Musicians in their own right” each bringing their individuality that presents Urban Strings modern style across many genres as described by creative director and musical lead, Larah Eksteen.

Officially formed at the end of 2014, Urban Strings is made up of nine talented and diverse musicians from South Africa. Fronted by vocalist, violinist and multi-­‐ disciplinary creative Larah Eksteen, the diverse ensemble exudes a distinctive sound that paints an authentic ambience in live performances. Brought together by their musical disciplines, the pool of talented professional electric and acoustic string section respectively features violinists, viola players, cellists, double bassists, an electric harpist, pianist and guitarist.

Setting the standard high, Urban Strings made their debut on the stage of South African Idols Season 10, performing alongside winner Vincent Bones, Donald Moatshe, DJ Tiro and the Top 10 contestants.

The bold composition and versatility of the ensemble is depicted by Urban Strings’ glam electronica act. The act is described as a fusion of electro, live strings, neo-­‐jazz and downtempo grooves and appeals to lovers of music right across the board. Far from the traditional form of a string collective, Urban Strings have taken a refreshing approach by pushing boundaries musically as evident in past collaborations with the likes of some South African artists namely: ProVerb, RJ Benjamin, and Reason.

It is safe to say that Urban Strings are paving a way to a new South African sound. They have fashioned the winning combination of successfully mixing genres and giving a new perspective to a string infused sound.

Not being strangers to the stage, Urban Strings are open to performing at corporate events, launches, private functions, music festivals, weddings and markets.

Electro | World |Downtempo

Urban Strings' glam world music electronica act is a fusion of electro, live strings, neo-­‐jazz and downtempo grooves and appeals to lovers of music right across the board. Best described as similar to artists like Jazzanova, Goldfrapp, Cafe del Mar and Hotel Costes this multi-­‐instrumental performance option includes trio's and quartets with vocals and other instrumentalists. Also ideal for 2 x 45 min sets of background music.

Urban Strings

Electric Female/Mixed String Quartet

The electric quartet is a popular option for corporate entertainment and events and can be tailor made to suit a specific theme. The quartet offers collaborations with singers, rappers, instrumentalists and other music groups.

Urban Strings

Electric Harp Quartet

Urban Strings offers the first electric harp quartet act in South Africa with renowned electric harpist Jude Harpstar. Jude, a semi-­‐finalist in SA's got talent 2014 is an internationally trained and award-­‐winning artist. Jude’s talent has taken her all over the world, performing in festivals such as The Young Euro Classic Festival in Germany, Carinthischer Sommer Festival -­‐ Kongresshaus Villach, Austria, The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival with Grammy Award-­‐winning Jazz vocalist Gregory Porter, Joy of Jazz and Macufe Festival with legendary Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Sufi Music Festival with legendary Sibongile Khumalo and Splashy Fen Music Festival and Fête de la Musique with her award-­‐winning duo Lu Flur, to name a few. Ms Harpstar (at age 15) was one of only thirty students worldwide (from ages 12 to 25) selected to perform at The Eighth World Harp Congress in Geneva, Switzerland.


Urban Strings has an extensive jazz repertoire, performing old classics to edgy Latin jazz numbers. A standard jazz quartet consists of Larah Eksteen on vocals, Thembinkosi Mavimbela on double bass, Llewellyn George on keys and drums. Most popular choice for 3 x 45 min sets of background music.


Contemporary |Popular| Radio Hits

Love me like you do (Ellie Goulding)
Somebody that I used to know (Goteye)
Radioactive (Imagine Dragons)
Stay with me (Sam Smith)
Budapest (George Ezra)
Starlight (Muse)
The Hanging Tree (Hunger Games)
My Immortal (Evanescence)
Viva la Vida (Coldplay)
All the right moves (One Republic)
James Bond theme Back to Black (Amy Winehouse)
Palladio (Karl Jenkins)
Crazy (Gnarles Barkly)
Hey Ya

World |Electro |Lounge

Sing it Back (Moloko)
Besame Mucho (Buana Vista Social Club)
Let’s never stop falling in Love (Pink Martini)
Lilly (Pink Martini)
Brazil Le Soledad (Pink Martini)
Mas Que Nada (Sergio Mendes)
One Note Samba (Antônio Carlos Jobim)
Dindi (Antônio Carlos Jobim)
Corcovado ( Antônio Carlos Jobim)
Amado Mio (Pink Martini)
How Insensitive (Antônio Carlos Jobim )
Libertango Ain't No Sunshine Fairest (Original)
Yellow (Original)
Whatever (Original)
A Groove (Original)
Cold City (Original)
Goodbye (Original)
Catfight (Original)
Home (Original)
Divine (Original)


Fly me to the moon
My favorite things
Blue Moon
C’est si bon
I can’t give you anything but love
Dream a little dream
Bluesette It don’t mean a thing
My baby just cares
Let’s fall in love
All of me
My Way Autumn Leaves
All the things you are
My Funny valentine
Come Fly with me
I’ve got you under my skin
The Look of Love
Have you met miss Jones
When I fall in love
All blues
Stangers in the night

Latin Jazz |Bossa Nova

One note
Samba Wave
So nice (Summer Samba)
Look to the sky
Girl from Ipanima
Chega de Saudade
How Insensitive
Triste Desafinado
How Insensitive
Agua de Beber
Mas Que Nada
Beame Mucho
Waters of March

Listen to Urban Strings

Urban Strings


Zamar Profile image

ZAMAR was founded in the heart of Stellenbosch when energetic young musicians from across the country (and the world…), equally passionate about their music, came together to create a style which is both traditional and cosmopolitan.
Consisting of 5 highly talented and skilled male and female musicians, Zamar, which means ‘to celebrate with the plucking of strings,’ was meant to be a runaway success. This vibrant group is Veronica (violin), Lyuda (vocal & accordion), Danica (djembe & percussion), Ignatius (bass), Brian (vocal & guitar) and on request with guest artist Simangele Mashazi – our Zulu jewel singing the most beautiful Golden Classics like Somewhere, Autumn Leaves (also songs in Afrikaans)
Their program includes:  Hungarian Rhapsodies, Ukrainian Melodies, South American Tango’s, Irish Music, Traditional African Songs, Contemporary Classics and much more.  During their performance they take you on a tour around the world, visiting many different countries, and you will experience everything from Gypsy to Jazz!
The repertoire of Zamar is ENDLESS and DIVERSE. They are VERSITILE and have mastered the art of reading an audience and taking them captive – from light Classical, to Golden Oldies, to the Irish feel, to African music and Boeremedleys!  
Libertango – Piazzolla
La Paloma Medley
Nazdarovje! Medley
Smooglanka / Hungarian Dance nr 5
Argentinian Tango
Lilac Mist Tango
Amalia Tango
La Comparsita
Song of Celebration
Hava Medley
Irish Medley’s
Boere Songs Medley’s
African Medley’s
Passion becomes a dream
Tico Tico
Jikele – African Song
Angheke – African Song
Babevuya – African Song
Bawo, Thixo Somandla – African Song
Autumn Leaves
Fly me to the moon
Here is love
Dark eyes
…and many more
Zamar also provide technical service concerning sound equipment, lighting, staging, screens, AV as well as DJ dance music. We prefer to use our own equipment as we are secure in it and the Zamar music group is comfortable with our sound engineer that knows our music arrangements. We have quality equipment, well trained staff and will co-ordinate the music and technical side of the performance/event from beginning to the end
Zamar se musiekprogram bied ‘n wye verskeidenheid van klanke, instrumentaal en vokaal, asook unieke verwerkings wat almal se smaak sal prikkel.  Hul program is vol diversiteit met verassingselemente – ‘n ware siesta vir die hele familie.
Hierdie groep het op die Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees 2005 weggestap met die Kanna toekenning vir die Beste Opkomende Kunstenaar.  Hulle het ook al ‘n draai gemaak by KunsKafee, Pitstop en Dis Hoe Dit Is saam met Steve Hofmeyer op KyKNet asook Huisgenoot Skouspel in September 2005.  Hulle tree ook op saam met ander kunstenaars soos Anna Davel in die produksie BOHEEM!, Koos Kombuis, Matthys Roets en was deel van die hoog suksesvolle drama Altyd Jonker wat as opdragstuk van KKNK 2006 ook gespeel het by die Volksbladfees 2006 en Aardklop 2006.  ‘n Groot hoogtepunt hierdie jaar op KKNK 2007 was die produksie In Between Strings met Zamar en DNA strings saam  asook waar Veronica se solooptredes in die  Manjifieke Motzart Manewales vertoning saam met kunstenaars soos Jannie Moolman, Chris Cameleon, Karin Meiring, Lize Beekman ens.
Zamar is beskikbaar vir enige funksie en onthaal - van agtergrondmusiek tot musiekvermaak.  In die korporatiewe mark, by privaat geleenthede, ‘product launches’ asook vir CD opnames (sessiemusikante), musiekproduksies en musiekverwerkings.  Hul repertoire is beide uitgebrei en buigbaar om by die kliënt se 
behoefte te pas - van ligte Klassiek en Jazz, Golden Oldies, Afrikaans, Vokaal en Instrumentaal tot Kontemporêre musiek. Zamar werk saam en netwerk ook met ‘n wye verskeidenheid musikante van verskillende ras, kultuur en agtergrond om sodoende groter verskeidenheid te kan bied.  
Zamar verskaf ook ‘n volledige tegniese diens rakende klanktoerusting, beligting, verhoog, multi-media, skerms tydens hul optredes met opgeleide personeel asook hoë gehalte toerusting.























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