Jazz Band Profiles

Aya
Babu

Beat-Route is an acoustic swing jazz band, our sound is best suited for sophisticated cocktail type events where a refined and seductive musical backdrop is required which still allows for conversation and networking without strain. We do often perform entirely without our PA system but for bigger events just give our unique and nuanced sound a subtle boost. 

4 more Horns, 2x Vocals, percussion and piano on top of the usual Beat-Route quartet!
 
The band also augments adding vocals (with the Lovely Ms Thobeka Langa or the vibrant Mr Sam Marais) and other additional instrumentation extending right up to an 12 piece mini Big Band replete with 5 horns, 2 vocals, percussion, Guitar, Drums, Upright Bass and Piano; ideal for bigger events that want that Big Band Swing era throwback style and pizazz.
 
With more than 180 corporate Events and well over 350 Weddings and Parties to our credit this experienced swing ensemble has developed into a thriving community of Jazz musicians capable of supplying the perfect musical note from Solo, Duo, Trios and upwards for your next Event, Party or function.
 
Music sets the mood transforming any scene into an extravagant and joyful event. Let us take care of the atmosphere from the ceremony to the first dance and sometimes beyond with our extensive and versatile repertoire of jazz and popular standards and flawlessly professional presentation. We also offer a Package including a more powerful PA System for Bigger Weddings and some lighting options.
 
We are always adding new songs and welcome any requests you may have - within the style of the band of course (we cannot play deep house, Country, Pop, etc..think Swing Jazz thats our Niche). Most tunes are standards but a few are original compositions of Mr Gerald Sloan.
 
 
3 to 5
A fine Romance
A Night in Tunisia
All blues
All night long
All of me
All the things you are
Almost like being in love
Autumn in New York
Autumn leaves
Baby wants to know
Beautiful love
Birth of the Blues
Blue bossa
Blues for Kessy
Bobby’s Groove
Body n soul
Broadway
Bye bye blackbird
C jam blues
Cantaloupe island
Cantaloupe woman
Caravan
Close your Eyes
Comin’ home
Con Alma
Could it be you
Days of wine and roses
Deed I do
Do you know what it means
Do Nothing till you Hear from me
F blues
Falling in Love with Love
Fly me to the moon
Footprints
Four
Freddie freeloader
Gee blues
Giant steps
Girl from ipanema
Got a Match
Green dolphin st
Groovin’ High
Harlem nocturne
Have You Met Miss Jones
Have yourself a merry lil Christmas
Heres that Rainy Day
How High the Moon
How Insensitive
I love Paris
I Remember Clifford
I’ll Close my Eyes
I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas
It don’t mean a thing
It had to be You
Joy Spring
Judy Grind
Just in Time
Ladybird
Lets fall in love
Lets Go
Little sunflower
Mac the knife
Mambo Inn
Mannenberg
Meditation
Mercy mercy mercy
Midnight voyage
Midnight Blues
Milestones
misty
Mittens
Mo betta blues
Mr pc
My baby just cares for me
My favorite things
My Funny Valentine
My Romance
Nancy with the laughing face
No greater love
No hugging
Patta patta
Pink panther
Route 66
Royal blue
Satin doll
Saving all my love
So what
Softly
Solar
Someday my prince will come
Somewhere over the rainbow
Song for joe
Song for my father
Summertime
Take the a train
Tangerine
The Best Things in life are Free
The Birth of the Blues
The way You look tonight
There is no Greater Love
Tin tin deo
Togethering
Unforgettable
Walkin
Watermelon man
What a difference a day makes
When the saints
Willow weepn for me
Witchcraft
Woody woodpecker
Yardbird suite
You and the night and the music
 
 
Beat Route

Black South Easter

 Black South Easter take their name from the uplifting and revitalizing winds that blow across the Cape Peninsula and the music they play follows in its path. With infectious grooves and soaring melodies the band captivates and moves their audiences in a typically South African celebration. Their sound mixes the best of local flavours including jive, soul, dance and afro-pop.  The band is fronted by the silken voiced Nhoza Sitsholwana, who started her career at 17 singing backup with Simphiwe Dana and now at the age of 24 has become a leading lady of great power and beauty. Jimi Curve plays the Bass and also produces the band using his vast experience gained from years of playing with likes of Arno Carstens and a host of well known projects. Dan Boshoff plays guitars and has performed on the biggest stages in the country with local and international artists for the past ten years. Jerry Mbowa plays the drums and has been touring locally and internationally for the past twenty years including the hit show Diamonds in the Dust and musicians of the calibre of McCoy Mrubata and Winston Mankunku. Vaughn Tromp plays the horns and has been touring the world extensively over the past few years with Lucky Dube and Gito Baloi. Black South Easter are also joined by Keyboard Player Nelson Malela for select gigs and he  brings much experience ranging from Brenda Fassie to the cream  of the local music industry.
The band has a fantastic original repertoire as well as a selection of choice cover versions. Black South Easter have played at venues and events across South Africa and pride themselves in always creating a magical atmosphere.
 
“An out of this world performance which deserves international recognition”-Que
 
 
Black South Easter

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Blu Bamboo is a band unequalled in the South African music industry for its professionalism, versatility, presentation and musicianship. The group incorporates the renowned talents of Veronique Lalouette and Nigel Morkel (Vocals), Brendan Ross (Alto Sax, Vocals and Keyboards), Denny Lalouette (Bass), Neil Ettridge (Drums) and Sydney Mavundla (Trumpet).

Blu Bamboo features the most extensive repertoire of music available with styles ranging from current Pop/Dance to Smooth Jazz & Latin, Disco, Rock & Roll and R&B as well as South African Jazz and Kwaito. Additionally, the band is frequently booked as a stand-alone backing ensemble for top-flight artists and concert events.

Blu Bamboo is also adept at catering to the smaller function environment where cost and venue size are important. In this instance, the band can be configured to a 4, 5 or 6-piece unit and various instrumental sections tracked with the smaller ensemble.

The experience and expertise the band possesses within its ranks guarantee that whatever the requirements for your event or function, this band will meet and exceed your expectations.

Blu Bamboo truly boasts some of the very best professionals in the business and represents the cutting edge in great music for every occasion.

Blu Bamboo Band Members

Performer Biographies

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Veronique Lalouette - Lead Vocals

Veronique has been a professional in the entertainment industry for over a decade now. She has shared the stage with some of SA’s top performing artists, such as Danny K, Loyiso, Juanita du Plessis, Steve Hofmeyer, PJ Powers... and many more. She is also a highly acclaimed studio singer, with her vocal talents being used on numerous radio and television adverts. One of the biggest highlights of her career came in 2005, when she came 3rd in the local hit reality TV show, “Idols”. Her subsequent début album boasted a SAMA nomination, as well as two “No.1” hit singles in 2006. She wows audiences both locally and internationally with her dynamic stage presence and vocal range! Being a performing artist runs deep in her veins

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Neill Ettridge - Drums / Percussion

Neill Ettridge was born and raised in Sussex, England. Upon leaving school, he continued studies at the Drum Institute in London and commenced playing in a number of diverse musical situations in the region including BBC TV and Radio Big Band engagements. Along with a 6-month spell as resident shipboard drummer for P&O and Cunard, Neill also spent some time touring across the U.K and Europe with Jazz-Fusion band New Vintage and U.S.A Soul group The Tymes. On arriving in Southern Africa in the late 80s principally to back various visiting British and American artists such as Percy Sledge, Frankie Vaughn, O.C.Smith, George Williams, The New Seekers and Harry Bellefonte, Neill decided to come to South Africa in the early 90’s and continue freelance and studio work after completion of these contracts.

Along with an extensive workshop schedule, Neill has undertaken numerous music projects, including tours of Eastern Europe with the Light Years Jazz Quartet, supporting John McLaughlin at the Gdansk Jazz Festival and Moscow Conservatoire as well as participating in the Hong Kong Handover and Frankfurt Music Festival concerts representing South Africa with Mango Groove, and a world tour as drummer for the Soweto String Quartet.

Core work in S.A includes TV music shows, radio/television commercial jingles, record projects and live concerts with artists and producers such as Mango Groove, Africa Mkize, SSQ, The Light Years Jazz Quartet, Vicky Sampson, Mauritz Lotz, Johan Laas, Denzil Weale and Wessel Van Rensburg, and also work with a number of the Johannesburgbased orchestras.

As a member of Jerry Springer’s Saturday Night house band, Neill has backed numerous other South African and international recording artists. He also features as backing musician in both the Idols and Project Fame TV series, playing alongside Earth Wind and Fire in the recent finals.

Neill embarked on a tour across the U.S in March 2007 as drummer / percussionist with one of South Africa’s top vocal groups and has recently returned from a month-long series of concerts all over Europe with leading U.S Vocal artist, Joe Clarke. In addition to his workshop schedule as an international endorsee for Sonor Drums, Zildjian Cymbals and Pro-Mark Signature Drumsticks, Neill runs the very successful Drumlab group of teaching studios in South Africa.

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Brendan Ross - Lead Vocal / Saxes / Keyboards

Brendan attended school in Port Elizabeth where he began studying music. By the age of 13 he was performing at restaurants with his fathers band “The Sapphires”. At 17 he wrote and recorded two songs for Radio Algoa that were used as “signature” tunes. Later that year he won the prize for “best talent” at the Eastern Capes ‘On The Go Show’. In 1992 he relocated to Pretoria and after a few years in the air force band and studies at Pretoria Technikon musci dept., he took some time off to attend Berklee College of music in Boston, U.S.A, where he completed the Berklee performance program and was awarded a scholarship. He began working with a local jazz band called Light Years and the Vusi Khumalo band.

In 2000 he joined Johnny Clegg’s band as their saxophonist, backing vocalist and later, keyboardist. With Clegg, Brendan enjoyed extensive travels to all corners of the globe, giving him the opportunity to play at very prestigious events, sharing the stage with very well-respected artists and perform in front of very large audiences, the largest of which was headlining the opening of the Montreal Jazz festival main stage for a live audience of 125 000 people. Some other highlights with the Clegg band have been playing at the 46664 HIV/AIDS awareness concerts

in Tromso (Norway) and George (South Africa), Madiba’s 80th birthday, performing with Peter Gabriel, Brian May of Queen, Annie Lennox and the Corrs to mention a few. Brendan’s sax sound can be heard daily playing popular sax themes for the television series Binnelanders and until end 2011 Isidingo. In 2006 he set up a recording studio where he wrote, recorded and produced the channel logo music for SABC Africa. In 2007 he formed a joint venture and Co-wrote, recorded and produced SABC 3 Theme music with business partner Concord Nkabinde, as well as SABC 1 TV series Soul Buddyz and Soul City (seasons 9,10 and 11).

Brendan, as a keyboardist and sax player, has done numerous live and recorded television and DVD performances over the years with many top artists from around the country. From Afro Café to “Dis my Storie”, to “Deur die Mukke” (2007 & 2008), to Gospel Skouspel (2008-2011), to “Bring Jou Hart” and “Hart vol Drome” with top sellers Theuns Jordaan and Juanita DuPlessis.

In 2010 Brendan released his first solo record to great critical acclaim, which features many of the top musicians the country has to offer.

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Denny Lalouette - Electric & Acoustic Bass / Backing Vocals

Denny was born in Mauritius, started playing guitar at age 8, emigrated to SA at age 14, started playing drums before moving over to Bass at age 16 and has been a freelance bass player since finishing high school in South Africa – where he has lived ever since.

As a result of being extremely experienced and proficient in so many types of music and having a thoroughly professional attitude, he is extremely sought after for studio as well as live work. He is constantly learning and always open to whatever is “the next big thing” and as a result stays on top of his game.

He is an endorsee of Yamaha basses, MarkBass amplifiers and unofficial endorsee of NS electric Upright Basses. He had a favourable review of his Bass work on Andy Narell’s “Live in South Africa” album in the respected American “Bass Player” magazine. The amount of recordings that he played on runs into the thousands (over 2000 albums) and he has also been on countless commercials and TV shows including being part of the IDOLS band every year, Strictly Come Dancing (2006), Huisgenoot’s yearly extravaganza “Skouspel”, the local Jerry Springer series, to name but a few.

Denny has also performed extensively in Prague, Warsaw, Gdynia, Moscow, Budapest, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Seychelles and many African Countries.

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Sydney Mavundla - Trumpet

Sydney was born in Johannesburg but was brought up in Barberton, Mpumulanga. At the age of 11 he moved to Durban and at 12 started having Cornet lessons from his father which resulted in him playing with the Salvation Army Band. By age 15 after lessons from Prince Lengoasa and further lessons (and influence) from Brian Thusi he was headed in the direction of Jazz.

Theory lessons with Cyril Khumalo at age 18 enabled him to register at age 21 with the University of Natal for a B.Mus. degree studying with Darius Brubeck. In 1995 he went to Florida International University as an exchange student from Natal. While there he had the opportunity to have trumpet lessons from the legendary Cuban trumpeter, Arturo Sandoval and John Bailey.

Back in South Africa, Sydney relocated to Johannesburg where he joined Steve Dyer’s “Southern Freeway” for a tour of Zimbabwe. He subsequently toured Germany, Holland, Zimbabwe and Cape Town with Steve Dyer in “Mahube”.

As well as playing with the Fat Sound, Sydney has played with many of South Africa’s star musicians such as Vusi Khumalo, Jimmy Dludlu, Victor Ntoni, McCoy Mrubata and the late Moses Molelekwa.

He often appears with Bruce Cassidy in the former’s “Hot Foot Sympathy Orchestra” Graham Scott Big Band and JMI ( Johannesburg Music Initiative Orchestra) and Mango Groove.

Nigel Morkel - Lead Vocals

Nigel Morkel hails from Cape Town where he matriculated from Grassdale SS. He capitalised on his considerable “street” credibility at an early age to turn himself into a superb dancer, singer, songwriter and actor.

Nigel was a drama student at John Vander Ross in 1994, in PIC and Gods Disciples Gospel bands in 1995. He became a Coca Cola Popstars finalist in 2002 and became part of the nationally acclaimed band Afro Z.

Nigel also shared the international hip hop championship trophy in 2004. He joined Barnyard Theatre in 2005 and has until recently continued to perform for them in shows such as Surfin’ Safari, Born To Run, Glory Days, Buddy Holly amongst others.

He recently toured the Netherlands with Diamonds And Dust and has also just returned from touring in Turkey performing in That’s Entertainment.

REPERTOIRE LIST

VERONIQUE: · A 1000 Miles – Vanessa Carlton · A New Day – Celine Dion · Angel – Sarah Mclaghlan · Bad Romance – Lady Gaga · Beautiful – Christina Aguilera · Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion · Black Velvet – Alannah Miles · Blame It On The Boogie – Jacksons · Born this way – Lady Gaga · Boys Of Summer – DJ Sammy · Brass In Pocket – The Pretenders · Breathe – Faith Hill · Breathless – The Corrs · Can’t Get You Out Of My Head – Kylie Minogue · Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Engelbert Humperdinck · Carwash – Christina Aguilera Feat Missy Elliot · Close to you – The Carpenters · Come Away With Me – Norah Jones · Complicated – Avril Lavigne · Crazy – Patsy Kline · Crazy In Love – Beyonce · Crush – Jennifer Paige · Cry Me a River – Diana Krall · Cry Me A River – Justin Timberlake · Destiny – Malika · Diamonds are a girl’s best friend – Marilyn Monroe · Dirrty – Christina Aguilera · Don’t Be Stupid – Shania Twain · Don’t Call Me Baby – Madison Avenue · Don’t Cha – Pussycat Dolls · Don’t Know Why – Norah Jones · Don’t Tell Me – Madonna · Doo Bee Doo – Freshly Ground · Dream a little dream of me · Eternal Flame – Atomic Kitten · Every Breath You Take – Sting · Everytime – Britney Spears · Fallin’ – Alicia Keys · Fantasy – Earth Wind and Fire · Fields Of Gold – Sting · First Time – Celine Dion · Funky Town – Lipps Inc. · Game Of Love – Santana feat Michele Branch · Get Over You – Sophie Ellis Bextor · Get Right – Jennifer Lopez · Get The Party Started – Pink · Getcha Good – Shania Twain · Gimme Gimme Gimme – ABBA · Give Me A Reason – The Corrs · Glitter in the air – Pink! · God Is A DJ – Pink · Heaven – DJ Sammy (Slow Version) · Hey Mickey – Toni Basil · Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani · Hot & Cold – Katy Perry · I hate this part right here – The Pussy Cat Dolls · I kissed a girl – Katy Perry · I Love Rock ‘n Roll – Britney Spears · I Love The Night Life – Alicia Bridges · I Say A Little Prayer For You – Diana King · I Try – Macy Gray · I Turn To You – Christina Aguilera · I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor · I’m Gonna Getcha Good – Shania Twain · I’m Like A Bird – Nelly Furtado · If You Could Read My Mind – Stars on 54 · It’s In Your Eyes – Kylie Minogue · It’s Raining Men – Geri Halliwell · Ketchup Song (Asereje) – Las Ketchup (x2) · Kiss Kiss – Holly Valance · Le Freak – Chic · Left Outside Alone – Anastacia · Let’s Get Loud – Jennifer Lopez · Listen – Beyonce · Little Bird – Annie Lenox · Love At First Sight – Kylie Minogue · LoveGame – Lady Gaga · Mamma Mia – ABBA · Man! I Feel Like A Woman – Shania Twain · Mercy – Duffy · Music – Madonna · My Baby Just Cares For Me – Nina Simone · One Day In Your Life – Anastacia · Only Girl in the World – Rihanna · Out Of Reach – Gabriella · Outta Love – Anastasia · Papa Don’t Preach – Kelly Osborne · Pieces Of Me – Ashlee Simpson · Play – Jennifer Lopez · Please don’t stop the music – Rihanna · Poker Face – Lagy Gaga · Price Tag – Jessie J · Release Me – Agnes · River Deep – Celine Dion · Rolling in the Deep – Adele · Shackles – Mary Mary · Shoop Shoop Song – Cher · Show Me Heaven – Maria Mckee · Single Ladies – Beyonce · Smile – Nat king Cole · Smooth Operator – Sade · So What – Pink! · Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees · Stereolove – Edward Maya · Stuck In The Middle With You – Bob Dylan · Summertime · Sunday Morning – Maroon 5 · Sunrise – Norah Jones · Superstar – Jamelia · Sway – Pussycat Dolls · Sweet Dreams – Annie Lennox · Thank You – Dido · The Closest Thing To Crazy – Katie Melua · The Fame – Lady Gaga · The First Cut Is The Deepest – Sheryl Crow · The Lala Song – Sugarhill Gang · The Tide Is High – Atomic Kitten · The Way You Love Me – Faith Hill · There Goes The Neighbourhood – Sheryl Crow · There You’ll Be – Faith Hill · These Words – Natasha Bedingfield · Tik Tok – Kesha · Time After Time – Cindy Lauper · Too Lost In You – Sugababes · Torn – Natalie Imbruglia · Toxic – Britney Spears · Umbrella – Rihanna · Unforgettable – Nat king Cole · Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield · Vogue – Madonna · Walk Away – Kelly Clarkson · Walking On Sunshine – Katrina And The Waves · We Are Family – Sister Sledge · What A Girl Wants – Christina Aguilera · What Can I Do – The Corrs · What U Waiting For – Gwen Stefani · When I grow up – The Pussy Cat Dolls · When love takes over – Kelly Rowland · Whenever, Wherever – Shakira · Whole Again – Atomic Kitten · With A Little Help From My Friends – Sam And Mark · You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban BRENDAN: · Advertising Space (Robbie Williams) · Africa (toto) · Ain’t No Sunshine (Bill Withers) · Amazed (Lonestar) · Amazing (George Michael) · And I love Her (Harry Connick Jr)Angel (Lionel Ritchie) · Autumn Leaves Baby Can I Hold You Tonight (Tracy Chapman) · Babylon (David Gray) · Bad Moon Rising (CCR) · Baker Street (Gerry Rafferty) · Beautiful Girls · Besame Mucho · Big Girls (Mika) · Black Orpheus · Blue Eyes (Elton) · Blue Suede Shoes (Elvis) · Captain of Her Heart (double) · Celebration (cool + gang) · Change The World (Clapton) · Closer (Ne-Yo) · Coming Home, Baby (David Sanborn) · Could you be loved (Marley) · Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Queen) · Crazy (Seal) · Crocodile Rock (Elton) · Cry Me A River (Dianna Krall) · Do you feel my love (Eddie Grant) · Don’t know why (Nora) · Don’t stop me now (Queen) · Don’t stop the music (lionel Ritchie) · Dreadlock Holiday (10CC) · Electric avenue (Eddie Grant) · Englishman in N.Y. (Sting) · Every Breath You Take (Police) · Everything (Buble)Fairground (Simply red) · Faith (George Michael) · Fast Love (George Michael) · Feel (Robbie Williams) · Fields of Gold (Sting) · Fool if you think it’s over (Chris Rea) · For You (Kirk Whalum) · Forever In Blue Jeans (Diamond) · Fragile (Sting) · Get Your Way (Jamie Cullum) · Gimme Hope Joanna (Eddie Grant) · Girl from Ipanema · Give Me The Night (George Benson) · Going Home (Kenny G) · Great balls of fire (Gerry Lee Lewis) · Half of my Heart (John Mayer) · Harlem Nocturne · Have I Told You Lately (Rod Steward) · Haven’t met you yet (Michael Buble) · Heart of Life (the) (John Mayer) · Help (Beatles) · Higher Ground (UB40) · Home (Buble) · Hotel California (Eagles) · How Can You Mend A Broken Heart (Buble) · How Deep Is Your Love (Beegees) · I can’t make you love me (George Michael) · I Dont Wanna Dance (Eddie Grant) · I Got a Feeling (Black Eyed Peas) · I Got a Girlfriend Everywhere (lou bega) · I know you want me (pitbull) · I Like the Way (...you move) · I Love to See You Cry (Enrique) · I Want to Break Free (Queen) · If Tomorrow Never Comes (Ronan Keating) · I’m a Believer (monkeys) · I’m Yours (Jason Mraz) · Is This Love (Marley) · It’s only Natural (crowded house) · It’s Probably Me (Sting) · Jesus to a Child (George Michael) · Josephine (Chris Rea) · Just the 2 of Us (Bill + Grover) · Just the way it is (Bruce Hornsby) · Just the way you are (Harry Connick Jr) · Kingston Town (ub40) · Kiss (Tom Jones) · Kissing a Fool (Buble version) · Knocking on Heavens Door (Clapton) · Labamba (Ritchie Valens) · Lady · lady soul · lately (Stevie Wonder) · Lady Wants to Know (Michael Franks) · Lets Fall in love (Diana Krall) · Life Is a Roller Coaster (Ronin Keating) · Long Train Running (Doobie Brothers) · Loves Devine (Seal) · Lovelight (Robbie Williams) · Make it Mine (Jason Mraz) · Mambo No. 5 (Lou Bega) · Maputo (Savid Sanborn) · Misty (Errol Garner) · Money for Nothing (Dire straits) · Moon Over Bourbon Street (sting) · Moon River · Moondance (Michael Buble) · Mr Magic (Grover Washington jr) · Mustang Sally (Commitments) · My All (Kirk Whalum) · My Cheri Amour (Stevie Wonder) · My Funny Valentine · Need You Now (lady Antebellum) · Nightbirds (Shakattack) · Nightshift (Commodores) · On the Beach (Chris Rea) · Paint it Black (Rolling Stones) · Penny Lover (L. Ritchie) · Pick Up the Pieces (Average white band) · Please forgive me (David gray) · Put your head on my shoulder (Buble) · Quando quando quando (Buble) · Roxanne (slow vs. by George Michael) · Sacrifice (Elton) · Same Old Love (Kirk Whalum) · Satisfaction (I can’t get no) (Stones) · Save the Best for Last · Save the Last Dance for Me (Buble) · Say You Love Me (Simply Red) · September (Earth wind fire) · Seven Days (sting) · SexyBack (J Timberlake) · Shape of My Heart (Sting) · She Bangs (R. Martin) · Smooth (Santana) · Somewhere Over the Rainbow · Songbird (Kenny G) · Speed Of Sound (Coldplay) · Spirit In The Sky (Gareth Gates) · St Elmos Fire (Love theme) · Stars (simply red) · Stop this train (John Mayer) · Sultans of swing (dire Straits) · Sunrise (simply red) · Sway (Buble) · Sweat (a la la long) (Inner Circle) · Sweet Caroline (Neil Diamond) · S’wonderful (Dianna Krall) · Take 5 (Paul Desmond) · Tears in Heaven (Clapton) · Teddy Bear (Elvis) · The Hardest Part (Coldplay) · The Way You Look tonight (Buble) · These are the days (Jamie Callum) · Unchain My Heart (Joe Cocker) · Unforgettable · Waiting in Vain (Marley) · War of My Life (John Mayer) · We just don’t care (P.D.A.) (John Legend) · Weather With You (Crowded house) · What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong) · What goes around (J. Timberlake) · When I Fall in Love (Celine Dion / Clive Griffen) · Where or when (Harry Connick Jr.) · Who can it be now (men at work) · Wicked Game (Chris Isaak) · Windmills of Your Mind (Sting) · Winelight (Grover Washington) · Wonderful Life (Black) · Wonderful Tonight (Clapton) · Yesterday (Beatles) · Your body is a Wonderland (John Mayer) · You can call me Al (Paul Simon) · You Can Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac) · You Can Leave Your Hat On (cocker) · You Don’t Know Me (Buble) · You’ll Never Find another love like mine (Buble) · You’re the First, the Last, My Everything (Barry White) · Your body is a wonderland (John Mayer) · Your Latest Trick (dire straits) · Your Song (Elton John) NIGEL: • Aah - Trey songs • Baby by me - Neyo & 50cent • Baby u can give it to me - Busta Rhymes • Beautiful people - Chris Brown • California girls - Katty Perry & Snoopdog • Can’t help but wait - Trey songs • Come to me - P-diddy & Nicole • Cos I’ve gotta have faith - George Michael • Diamond girl - Ryan Leslie • Don’t wanna go home - Ason Derulo • Everybody knows - John Legend • Give me everything tonight - Neyo & Pitbull • Headsprung - LL Cool j ft. • I do - Ryan Leslie • I don’t wanna bore - Donel jones • I need a girl - Trey songs • I’m coming home - P-diddy • Just make it clap - Busta Rhymes • Let me love you – Mario • Like glue - Sean Paul • New York - Jayz and Alicia • Quicksand - Ryan Leslie • The Dream- Baby - LL Cool j ft • This Love - Maroon 5 • Undiscovered - James Morrison • We be burning - Sean Paul • Wonderful World - James Morrison • You give me something - James Morrison

Blu Bamboo

BM Jam Profile

Vocal Jazz Repertoire

As time goes by
Almaz
Somewhere over the rainbow
Cocorvado
Fly me to the moon
Ain't no sunshine
Making Whoopee
Straighten up and fly right
Fever
Street life
Simply the best
Everything I do
New York State of mind
I will survive
How high the moon
Girl from Ipanema
Take Five
Mack the knife
Knocking on heavens door
Misty
Autumn leaves
Summer time
The shadow of your smile
Stand by Me
Lullaby of Birdland
My baby just cares for me
If you haven't got love
Carlifornia dreaming
Killing me softly
Can't take my eyes of you
All I Do
One day I'll fly away
Fly me to the moon
Fire
Long walk
You love me
Sweet love
Unforgettable
Quisas Quisas, Quisas (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps in Italian)
My Funny Valentine
It's Wonderful
Desafinado
Don't know why
Cry me a river

Vocal African Jazz Repertoire


Ntyilo NTyilo
African Sunset
Ndiready
IMbube (Lion Sleeps)
Home talk
Iphi ntombi
Lakuttshonilanga
Malaika
Shaka's Song
Thula sana
Thathisgubhu
Weekend special
Vulindlela
Paradise road
Malaisha
Click song
Jabulani
Homeless
Mama Ndiyalila
Jikelemaweni
Meadowlance
Unonganga
Destiny
Music in the Air
Not yet Uhuru
Mpulele
A cry a smile a dance
Wedding day
Pata Pata
African Dream
Umqombothi
Avulekil'amasango

 

BM Jam

breakfast-included

BREAKFAST INCLUDED

What’s that sound? It’s jazzy, it’s groovy, it’s proudly South African with a whole lotta soul - it can only be Breakfast Included.

They first took to the stage for a sell-out performance in 1999 and it’s been a success story of rave reviews ever since. Their cool new sound, classy look and fresh approach had an immediate and lasting impact on the face of jazz in South Africa.

This hip and happening, award winning band is in a class of its own, boasting internationally acclaimed albums and an impressive string of prestigious performances. They have just released their latest EP, Welcome To Today, recorded in Cape Town and produced and engineered together with Grammy Award winning engineers in New York, USA.

Led by SAMRO international scholarship winner for jazz piano, Jason Reolon and highly acclaimed drummer and composer Shaun Michau, Breakfast Included features South Africa’s most elite and accomplished jazz artists, including star vocalists Nomfundo Xaluva and Haydn Gardner, double bass legends Wesley Rustin and Charles Lazar, saxophone sensations Buddy Wells and Marc de Kock, trumpet extraordinaires Lee Thomson and Darren English, celebrated pianists Melissa van der Spuy and Andrew Lilley, drumming maestros Heinrich Goosen and Jonno Sweetman as well as percussion master Tony Paco.

Always sharply dressed, Breakfast Included is the perfect choice for all occasions where style and visual impact are paramount. From intimate to centre stage, their dynamic live performances are hard acts to follow. It’s no wonder that they’ve fostered their reputation of being one of the most sought after bands in the South African live entertainment industry.

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES

North Sea Jazz Festival Cape Town | Kirstenbosch Sunset Concert Series | Rocking the Daisies Festival | Grahamstown Jazz Festival | Cape Town Arts Festival | Nederburg Auction & Fashion show | Oude Libertas Concert Series | Davidoff International Vocal Festival | Smirnoff International Comedy Festival | Up the Creek Music Festival | Hermanus Whale Jazz Festival | Table Mountain Table of Unity | Simon’s Town Penguin Festival | Franschhoek Champagne Festival | Cape Town Jazzathon | Tulbagh Festival | Queen’s Plate | J&B Met | Wacky Wine Festival | FIFA World Cup Semi-Final Match - Cape Town | Hyundai Global Convention | FNB Whisky Live Festival, Cape Town | Blackberry Val De Vie Pink Polo Event | Anton Rupert Foundation VVIP Luncheon | Cape Premier Yearling Sale | Freeworld Design Centre Launch | Sanlam VIP Event Cape Town International Jazz Festival | Canal Walk Retail Awards 2011 | Innovnation Design Indaba Event 2011 | European Commission Dinner 2011 | Samsung Media Launch 2012 | Mining Indaba 2012 | Think Red Launch HSFSA 2012 | 5 Nations Invitational Polo Classic 2012, Val De Vie | Indian Ocean Naval Symposium 2012 (64 countries represented) | Banco Espirito Santo Angola Event 2012

OUR CLIENTS

Allan Gray | Allianz | Anglo American | Anglo Gold | Appletiser | BAT (British American Tobacco) | Banco Espirito Santo Angola | Blackberry | British High Commission | Boutique Marketing | Camel | Cape Times | Cape Breeders | Cape Medi-Clinic | Cape Winemakers Guild | Caterpillar | Cell C | Chivas Regal | Coca-Cola | Compass Group | Discovery Health | Distell | Dunhill | Eskom | Etihad Airways | Exchange Creative Commerce | Ferrari | FIFA | FNB | Freeworld Coatings | GE Aviation (General Electric) | Grant’s Whisky | HSBC | Heart & Stroke Foundation SA | Hyundai | Interactive Africa | Investec | J&B Met | Jupiter Drawing Room | Kaspersky Lab | KPMG | KWV | Mercedes-Benz | Metropolitan | M-Interiors | MTN | New York Life | Nedbank | Nissan | Old Mutual | Oude Meester | Pam Golding | Platinum Group | Porsche | Qualcomm | Red Bull | SAA | Samsung | Sanlam | Shoprite Checkers | Standard Bank | South African Navy | Sunday Times | Sygnia | Thebe Tourism | Transnet | Vodacom | Wedding Concepts

NOTABLE VENUES

African Valley Estate | Allée Bleue | Ambassador Hotel | Arabella Sheraton | Ashanti | Atlantic Imbizo | Baxter Theatre + Concert Hall | Birkenhead House | Blaauwklippen | BMW Pavilion | Boschendal | Bouchard Finlayson | Brandwacht | Buitenverwachting | Cape Grace Hotel | Cape Town Convention Centre | Casa Labia | Casalinga (JHB) | Castle, The | Cloof Estate | Clouds Estate | Commodore Hotel | Constantia Uitsig | Cullinan Hotel | De Aria | Delaire | De Oude Welgemoed | Devon Valley Hotel | Diemersfontein | Dornier | Dreyersdal | Durbanville Hills | Endler Hall | Erinvale | Ernie Els Wine Estate | Goodhope Centre | Graham Beck | Graham Beck Robertson Winery | Grande Provence | Grand West | Green Point Stadium, Cape Town | Greyton Lodge | Grootbos Nature Reserve | Groot Constantia | Groote Schuur (President’s Estate) | Haute Cabriere | Hazendal | Heldeberg | Houtkapperspoort | Jonkers Drift | JC Le Roux | Kelvin Grove | Kirstenbosch | Klein Constantia | Kleindasbosch | Kleine Zalze | Kronenburg Estate | Laborie | La Colombe | La Couronne | La Morace | Lanzerac | La Colombe | La Couronne | Le Franschhoek Hotel | La Morace | Lanzerac | La Residence | La Vendome | Lord Charles Hotel | Lourensford | Milner Hotel | Meerendal | Molenvliet | Monkey Valley Resort | Morgenhof | Mount Nelson Hotel | Mountain Shadows | Nederburg | Neethlingshof | One & Only Hotel | Oude Jong | Oude Kraal Hotel | Oude Libertas | Pearl Valley Golf Estate | Radisson Hotel | Range, The | Rickety Bridge | Riebeek Valley Hotel | River Café | Rockhaven | Rotunda | Roundhouse, The | Royal Cape Yacht Club | Saronsberg | Sante Winelands Hotel | Shelley Point Hotel | Silvermist | Silverhurst Estate | South Hill | Spier | Steenberg | Strandkombuis | Table Bay Hotel | The Conservatory | The Land Bank | Tokara | Trinidads | Trinity | Twelve Apostles Hotel | Two Oceans Aquarium | Uitsig | University Of Cape Town | Val De Vie Estate | Vergelegen | Vergenoegd Estate | Viglietti Ferrari & Maserati Showroom | Vineyard Hotel | Vrede en Lust | V&A Waterfront | Warwick Estate | Waterkloof Estate | Waterford | Webersburg | Western Cape Hotel | Westin Grand Hotel | Westlake Golf Estate | Willowbrook Lodge | Winchester Mansions Hotel | Zevenwacht | Zorgvliet

DISCOGRAPHY

CD - Breakfast Included - Breakfast Included (2001) (BICD01)
Best of Passion Jazz Volume 2 (2002) - Track: I Thought About You
Universal Music - The Jazz Lounge (2002) - Track: I Thought About You
CD - Breakfast Included - Night Work Ahead (2004) (BICD05)
Palace Lounge - Cafe d’Afrique II, Va Va Voom Edition (2005) - Track: Burnt Toast
UCT Jazz - Full Spectrum (2006) - Track: Burnt Toast
Goldfish - Caught in the Loop (2005) - Tracks: The Real Deal, Dream,
Times May Change You, Wait a Minute
Breathe Sunshine Volume 2 (2005) - Track: Dream
Cafe d’Afrique Volume 2 (2006) - Track: Dream
Breathe Sunshine Volume 3 (2006) - Track: The Real Deal
Best of Cafe d’Afrique (2007) - Track: The Real Deal
Cafe d’Afrique Volume 3 (2007) - Track: Times May Change You
Pure Pacha (2008) - Track: The Real Deal
CD - Breakfast Included - Welcome To Today (2012) (BINC2012)

breakfast-included1

Breakfast Included

chilli and lime

Hailed as The Jazz Maestros, Chilli & Lime is a vibrant young jazz band that has firmly established itself on the South African jazz scene. Since their inception in 2006, Chilli & Lime has performed alongside great South African artists, including Mango Groove and Judith Sephuma. The line-up includes Johannesburg’s finest talent performing traditional jazz and African favourites.

These musicians in their individual capacities have also performed world-wide with well known artists such as Sibongile Khumalo, Themba Mkize, and Lauren Hill. They have represented South Africa on a number of cultural awards and have performed at Jazz Festivals including New Orleans, USA in 2005, Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, Cape Town International Jazz Festival and The Cape Town Jazzathon. They have also collaborated with South Africa’s most respected artists - Hugh Masekhela, Themba Mkhize, Sibongile Khumalo, Zimology, Khunle, Lesego, Vusi Khumalo and Judith Siphuma, to name a few.

Chilli & Lime has set the tone for numerous events including:

Vodacom End of Year function at the Coca Cola Dome in front of 6000 people, the Government Awards Dinner for the Health Minister, Moloko Dinner with Judith Sephuma, BMW X5 launch, J&B Met in Cape Town as a 9 piece band, the launch of the Financial Mail Property Handbook at the Michelangelo, DISA Awards with Mango Groove, the Business Day Entertainment Awards at Alexander Theatre, the Shell Awards at Sun City, a performance for the African Ministers of Education at Maropeng, the Premier's Service Excellence Awards hosted at Kyalami Castle, the Nedbank Africa Conference, the Taste of Jo’burg Food Festival, Deloitte & Touche Awards hosted at the Fan Court in George, 2010 Women’s Day function for the South African Government, Microsoft dinner hosted at the Arabella Sheraton in Hermanus, as well as performing at year end functions for SANLAM, ESKOM, Mercedes Benz, to name a few.

References

"Chilli & Lime was absolutely fantastic, and the perfect recommendation for this event. Many of our guests asked if they had commercial CDs available in the shops, and we will definitely book them again for one of our SANLAM events in future". Maude Hugo - Head Function Co-ordinator, SANLAM

“They [Chilli & Lime] were absolutely stunning. From all the various people I have ever worked with in the past, these people were the most friendly, open, honest, accommodating and easy-going. It was a pleasure working with them and the client was over the moon.” Vevette Husbands, Intelsat, Washington DC

“Thank you again for you contribution to our superbly received X5 unveiling. You guys helped set the premium tone and we are grateful for that.” Matthew Vermaak, Auto Alpina Boksburg

“…Chilli & Lime is…smooth. Listen only once to how the petite Lindiwe Maxolo does ‘Ain’t no Sunshine’ with a voice larger than Table Mountain and you’re hooked. …the jazz slips into your soul – seamlessly shifting from choppy to smooth in one song – ending in something so sublime you almost forget to place your order.” Sunday Times

“Chilli & Lime managed to create the perfect vibe fun and funk that made our wedding the ultimate cool. Great job guys! And we look forward to booking you again for our next big event.” Yusuf & Hazel, Johannesburg

“…Chilli & Lime was fantastic…” Davina Martin, Westcliff Hotel, Johannesburg

“… [Chilli & Lime] played great ensemble jazz, and each of you was good individually. The evening slid by seamlessly. Wish we could just sit and listen without the company function intruding.” Goldfields Business & Leadership Academy

 

 
Chilli & Lime
dan-01

 

The word “legend” is loaded with meaning – especially when one thinks of Blues-legends. It conjures up images of seasoned older players that have been touched with a rare gift, and whose talent has been salted through the onslaught of years in the music business.

To achieve legend-status as a Blues-musician at the age of 30 is almost unheard of. Enter Dan Patlansky – an artist who shares the muse that touched Hendrix, Zeppelin and Stevie Ray Vaughan. What Dan Patlansky can do with a six-string Fender Stratocaster at the age of 30, most critically acclaimed guitarists will never quite achieve in a lifetime.

Dan Patlansky is a conglomerate of charisma, charm and musical genius - and all of this comes wrapped up in an unassuming, startlingly attractive package that bespeaks his Judeo-Spanish heritage. And yet, he doesn’t seem to realise the extent of his tactile appeal – both on stage and in person. Humility suits him well and is as much an extension of his being as his Fender. There are no airs and graces here – just sincerity and an incredible musical talent.

In only a little over a decade on the music scene, Dan Patlansky has become one of the busiest and most respected blues artists to ever come out of South Africa. His music can best be described as vacillating between slick, soulful blues and the renegade psychedelic angst and raw emotion of Hendrix and Zeppelin – fire encased in ice...if you will.

After his debut, “Standing at the Station”, an independent album that amazed critics and garnered Dan a reputation as a Blues-phenomenon and his subsequent “Readers Choice” vote as “Best Blues Guitarist in Southern Africa” – Dan released a second album, “True Blues” which was produced and released by EMI on the famed “Blue Note label” in 2004. Dan is one of the only South Africans to ever achieve “Blue Note” status. And the accolades kept on coming.

In 2006 Fender Guitars recognised Dan’s fiery playing and offered him an endorsement deal to promote Fender Guitars and amps. Dan is one of only six Fender endorsed guitarists in South Africa.

In February 2005 and again in July 2006, Selwyn Miller, New Orleans based manager of David Gates and Bread, Randy Crawford, and Petula Clark amongst others, brought Dan to New Orleans to showcase this amazing talent. In his time living in the city of the Blues, Patlansky performed at legendary venues such as Maple Leaf, Rock & Bowl and Checkpoint Charlie with many Blues giants such as Henry Gray (Howlin’ Wolf’s Pianist), Snooks Eaglin, The Batiste Famil and Rockin Dopsie Jr.

Whilst abroad, Dan performed live on both television and WWOZ radio. What this South African boy achieved in a few months, and the following he built up, many thought would have taken years.

Touring was cut short due to Hurricane Katrina and he was deprived of the opportunity to play with legendary and world renowned slide guitarist, Sonny Landreth. During the evacuation of New Orleans, Dan was separated from “The Red,” probably his most prized possession. She is the 50 year-old Fender Stratocaster that Dan used to compose and play his music on. He had to leave her in New Orleans and he thought Katrina took her along with the greater part of the French Quarter…but fate stepped in. The American band that played with Dan in New Orleans were scheduled to play with him in South Africa a year later…when he met them at the airport, they were carrying “The Red”. It seems that the muse has not only touched Dan with an extraordinary gift, but she is looking out for him as well.

Dan followed his first two albums with two more releases Real (2007) and Move My Soul (2009), each garnering wider acclaim than the former – solidifying Dan’s status as a world-class Blues musician. He continues to perform all over the country and globe in the company of world-renowned musicians, including Guy Buttery, Albert Frost, Steve Fataar (ex Beach Boys / Flames), Cedric Sampson, Valiant Swart, The Late big voice Jack (who performed with Mango Groove and the Dave Mathews Band) and Alistair Coakley, to name only a few.

His epic talent as a musician aside, this man can really sing…Dan’s voice has a gut-wrenching quality that compliments the renegade approach to the Blues. Imagine a young Tom Waits and Marianne Faithful (post-Lucy Jordan) producing a musical heir – and you’re close to understanding the emotive quality of Dan’s voice. When he grabs hold of his Fender he becomes a modern-day knight slaying dragons on stage and bemoaning the carnage all at once. He is one of those rare talents capable of whisking an audience into a netherworld of sonic orgasms.

David Batiste Sr. once said that “Dan Patlansky is one of the most renowned and fiery blues artists in the southern hemisphere and one of the greatest I’ve ever seen.” Anyone who hears him play will agree. Meanwhile, Dan Patlansky just carries on playing and blazing musical trails across South Africa and the world, as effortlessly as a summer breeze. One might call him an enigma. Perhaps. But would one call him a legend? For sure.

Dan Patlansky

Laka, Don

DON Laka was born in 1958 near Pretoria in Mamelodi, the first child in a family of five.In 1969 he formed his first band and made his first recording in 1972 which featured Ray Phiri on guitar.

After passing his matric in 1978 he started formal music lessons, obtaining his licentiate in high school music teaching in 1979. From 1980 to 1981 he joined the afro-fusion group Sakhile, that was formed by Sipho Gumede and Khaya Mahlangu. The group revolutionized South African music, and set a trend for groups like Bayete.

Don recorded his first big hit with the group which was called ‘Oneness’, before moving to form his own band with ‘Chicco’ Twala, called ‘Image’. The group lasted for 10 years. In the 10 years they have recorded no less than 12LP’s, and in 1986 they were spotted by one of the top producers in the world, Tony Visconti, who has produced 10 of David Bowie’s albums, Paul McCartney T Rex, Moody Blues and one of the classic songs of our time “I HATE MONDAYS”. During the same period Don ventured into recording solo LP;s and producing other artists. His songs and piano playing proved to be popular with other musicians, who then asked if he could write, produce or perform on their records. Brenda Fassie is one artist who has performed some of Don’s music.

He appeared on most of Sankomota’s albums as a string and keyboard arranger. 1990 was another turning point in his career. He started writing big orchestral arrangements for Sibongile Khumalo, who performed with the National Symphony Orchestra of South Africa. In 1991 he also collaborated with Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Rebecca Malope.

His career blossomed further by producing and performing with artists such as Ray Phiri and Sipho Mabuse. He is now regarded as one of South Africa’s premier producers, having produced for Mango Groove, Sharon Dee and Johnny Clegg amongst others.

 
Don Laka

Ernie Smith Profile

Ernie Smith

In 2001 Ernie Smith released his first Album, “Child of the Light”, which went on to win Major acclaim, seeing him win 2 SAMA awards for Best New Comer and 1 KORA award for “Most Promising Male in Africa”. The South African star then went on to release his second Album “Lovely Things” which gave him access to a younger Rnb/Jazz audience, winning him a SAMA award for Best Jazz Adult Contemporary Album, 2002 and a METRO award for Best Jazz Artist, 2003.

Ernie’s rise to National acclaim in South Africa has grown to attract international attention, earning him production collaboration on his 2005 Album “My African Heart” with “Grammy award Nominee” Jonathan Butler, featuring Grammy award winner “Kirk Whallum”.

Ernie’s fourth Album, “Everything Around Me”, was released in 2008 and has sparked International Interest, affording him International Shows all over the world. The album was written over a period of a year and was recorded and produced by Ernie in his studio at his home where he resides with his wife in Durban. This Album is flavoured with Jazz and African pop overtones and the unmistakeable Ernie “Love Song” Magic.

Ernie is also currently in studio mixing his first Gospel Album “Blessed Man” which is set for release over Easter, 09. The Album features the likes of Jonathan butler, John Ellis, Janine Price, Neville D, Imelda Wroots, Arlington Jones, and Swazi Dlamini, Songs and Psalms and more.

Ernie has just recently been nominated for a SAMA award in the category for “Best Adult Contemporary”, which will be held at Sun City on the 1st and 2nd of May, 2009. …

” I Love being in Studio writing and singing, but nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing my music touching people through the gift of song.” – Ernie Smith

“…Ernie smith is the perfect 21st century artist. His debut album sees Smith offering up a musical melting pot that’s destined to find fans across a wide spectrum of music tastes.” – Diane Coetzer – Billboard Magazine

 
Ernie Smith

Feya Faku

Feya Faku

Trumpeter/ Flugelhorn/ Composer, Feya Faku was born in New Brighton, a South African township in Port Elizabeth which has earned the title of South Africa’s “university of jazz”, after producing some of the country’s jazz greats.

Feya started playing without any formal training and received theory and practical lessons from various artists around Port Elizabeth. He later completed a Performer’s Diploma in Jazz Studies at the University of Natal.

He has been associated with some of South Africa’s classic jazz musicians including Barney Rachabane, Thandie Klaasen and the late Duke Makasi and was the youngest member of the Winston Mankunku Ngozi Quintet.

Feya has worked extensively with Abdullah Ibrahim and recently completed the recording of a CD for the Mahube project – an interesting combination of African music and jazz. Feya’s involvement in Mahube and other projects such as NU Connection, Jazz Counterculture and his leadership of his quintet The Core, is a demonstration of his dedication to Jazz as an evolving art form, based on the understanding and appreciation of its classic form.

Feya sites South Africa’s “gentle genius”, Bheki Mseleku, as mentor and spiritual influence on his career. Since 1994, Feya has worked with the Paul van Kemenade Quintet (Holland).

Feya Faku Profile

 
Feya Faku

French Embassy Trio Logo

French Embassy Trio

Gypsy jazz, french cafe music

guitar • double bass • violin

We are the French Embassy Trio and our music of choice is Gypsy Jazz. The style originated in Paris, France when by sheer luck a violinist named Stephane Grappelli and a guitarist named Django Reinhardt met while at an informal jam session at the Hotel Claridge in Paris in 1933. Their connection was instant and soon the Quintette Of The Hot Club Of France was born. The improvisational virtuosity of both Reinhardt and Grappelli was staggering. Their unique blend of gypsy rhythm, style and instrumentation with American Jazz was the first truly European form of the music to emerge since Jazz had landed on the European shores. Their influence is still felt today as strongly as ever.

Our repertoire includes many of the great standards from this genre including Minor Swing, Douce Ambiance, Nauge etc. We also rework more contemporary tunes in this style and play a number of original compositions

Background music for weddings, functions, restaurants...

We stem from Cape town based gypsy jazz band Manouche and our influences include Django Reinhardt, Birelli Lagrene, Stephane Grapelli, Edith Piaf

 
French Embassy Trio

Gloria Bosman Profile

Gloria Bosman

Born in Mofolo and raised in Pimville, Soweto, Gloria’s career began in the church choir in much the same way as her American contemporaries. A production at the Market Theatre in 1993 earned her a scholarship to study opera at the Pretoria Technikon. During her career she has performed live at numerous clubs, theatres and festival throughout the country (far too many to list here – you name it, she has played it)! She is a consummate performer and is able to impress and get any crowd on their feet and begging for more, interacting with them and putting her personal touch all the way. Gloria has shared the stage (both locally and internationally) with too many music greats to list here, but including the likes of: Sibongile Khumalo, Moses Molelekwa, Tananas, Sipho Mabuse, Vusi Mahlasela, Sipho Gumede, Oliver Mtukudzi, Victor Masondo and Hugh Masekela…

She now has five albums to her credit under her own name as a solo artist (and the “Sheer Sound” banner as a record company), as well as several collaborations, concept and guest feature appearances. Her latest offering, namely “Emzini”, has very recently been released to the market and is already receiving wide acclaim, airplay and feature across all media formats. This particular album is a slight departure for Gloria, with a focus on more simple African melodies and lines. That said her “Jazzy” nature is also represented in abundance here, and with two bonus “House” remixes added. All together an album with great depth, diversity and a flavour for everyone, of all ages and stages, to savour has been masterly crafted at the Jazzworx studios with Gloria as sole producer…

Messages in the album follow a similar line, one that speaks to the soul of every individual in their combinations of simplicity and complexity. The idea of past times, places and values lost and/or forgotten is revisited in the albums repertoire again and again in different and divergent ways and from many angles.

Her pervious solo release: ‘Nature Dances’ was another bold new step for this accomplished artist and she funded the recording herself. Co-produced with Wessel van Rensburg, who was also her co-composer on many of the songs, the album consists of seven original tracks and three cover versions. Gloria also wrote three of the original tracks – ‘Play Me the Love Songs’, ‘Dance’ and ‘Nature Dances’. These tracks assisted in Gloria’s scooping that years SAMA (South African Music Award) for “Best Female Composer.” The album was awesomely received in the marketplace and received no less than 6 SAMA nominations that year! Gloria feels the album represents her sweetest, softest side and every song sounds like she is smiling as she sings. She feels Wessel has reached into her soul and found that delicate part she never knew she had.

The album title is about the dance of nature, from the time the egg is fertilised to the birth of the baby – the dance that happens inside the mother’s womb. We are all part of this circle. 'The Many Faces of Gloria Bosman', her second solo album, featured some of the finest musicians in South Africa, and has earned her two nominations at the prestigious 2001 Kora Awards for Best Southern African Artist and Most Promising Female Artist. She was also a SAMA (South African Music Award) nominee for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Other albums include ‘Stop and Think’, which earned her two nominations at the 2003 South African Music Awards in the categories of Best Female Artist and Best Jazz Vocal Album.

Her debut album ‘Tranquillity’, produced and arranged by pianist Paul Hanmer, earned her the South African Music Award for Best Newcomer. She was a SAMA finalist in three categories for ‘Tranquillity’ – Best Female Artist, Best Newcomer, and Best Contemporary Jazz Album.

Gloria’s drive and talent have enabled her to break into the Afrikaans music market, where she has developed a relationship with new fans through this interaction. She has appeared at many of the major Afrikaans music festivals, including KKNK, Aardklop and Skouspel in Sun City. Gloria was also recently part of a project called ‘Al Daai Jazz’, which were jazzy rearrangements of Afrikaans songs. Her first music video ‘Amaqwati’ was nominated for a “Channel O” music video award for Best Afro-Jazz video. This talented artist has also been nominated for the All African “KORA” Awards for Best Southern African Artist.

Gloria Bosman

Hugh Masekela Profile

Hugh Masekela is a world-renowned flugelhornist, trumpeter, bandleader, composer, singer and defiant political voice who remains deeply connected at home, while his international career sparkles. He was born in the town of Witbank, South Africa in 1939. At the age of 14, the deeply respected advocator of equal rights in South Africa, Father Trevor Huddleston, provided Masekela with a trumpet and, soon after, the Huddleston Jazz Band was formed. Masekela began to hone his, now signature, Afro-Jazz sound in the late 1950s during a period of intense creative collaboration, most notably performing in the 1959 musical King Kong, written by Todd Matshikiza, and, soon thereafter, as a member of the now legendary South African group, the Jazz Epistles (featuring the classic line up of Kippie Moeketsi, Abdullah Ibrahim and Jonas Gwangwa).

In 1960, at the age of 21 he left South Africa to begin what would be 30 years in exile from the land of his birth. On arrival in New York he enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music. This coincided with a golden era of jazz music and the young Masekela immersed himself in the New York jazz scene where nightly he watched greats like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Mingus and Max Roach. Under the tutelage of Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, Hugh was encouraged to develop his own unique style, feeding off African rather than American influences – his debut album, released in 1963, was entitled Trumpet Africaine.

In the late 1960s Hugh moved to Los Angeles in the heat of the ‘Summer of Love’, where he was befriended by hippie icons like David Crosby, Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. In 1967 Hugh performed at the Monterey Pop Festival alongside Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. In 1968, his instrumental single ‘Grazin’ in the Grass’ went to Number One on the American pop charts and was a worldwide smash, elevating Hugh onto the international stage.

His subsequent solo career has spanned 5 decades, during which time he has released over 40 albums (and been featured on countless more) and has worked with such diverse artists as Harry Belafonte, Dizzy Gillespie, The Byrds, Fela Kuti, Marvin Gaye, Herb Alpert, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and the late Miriam Makeba.

In 1990 Hugh returned home, following the unbanning of the ANC and the release of Nelson Mandela – an event anticipated in Hugh’s anti-apartheid anthem ‘Bring Home Nelson Mandela’ (1986) which had been a rallying cry around the world.

In 2004 Masekela published his compelling autobiography, Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela (co-authored with D. Michael Cheers), which Vanity Fair described thus: ‘…you’ll be in awe of the many lives packed into one.’

His story is far from over, and as Bra Hugh approaches his 75th birthday he shows no signs of slowing down. He maintains a busy international tour schedule as his fan base around the world continues to grow.

In June 2010 he opened the FIFA Soccer World Cup Kick-Off Concert to a global audience and performed at the event’s Opening Ceremony in Soweto’s Soccer City. Later that year he created the mesmerizing musical, Songs of Migration with director, James Ngcobo, which drew critical acclaim and played to packed houses. Songs of Migration will visit Amsterdam, London and Washington in October 2012.

In 2010, President Zuma honoured him with the highest order in South Africa: The Order of Ikhamanga, and 2011 saw Masekela receive a Lifetime Achievement award at the WOMEX World Music Expo in Copenhagen. The US Virgin Islands proclaimed ‘Hugh Masekela Day’ in March 2011, not long after Hugh joined U2 on stage during the Johannesburg leg of their 360 World Tour. U2 frontman Bono described meeting and playing with Hugh as one of the highlights of his career.

2012 has already been a busy year with Hugh just returning to South Africa from touring Europe with Paul Simon on the Graceland 25th Anniversary Tour. He has opened his own studio and record label, House of Masekela which has already put out its first release: Friends – a 4 CD collection of jazz standards featuring his dear friend, pianist Larry Willis.

Hugh is currently using his global reach to spread the word about heritage restoration in Africa – a topic that remains very close to his heart.

“My biggest obsession is to show Africans and the world who the people of Africa really are,” Masekela confides – and it’s this commitment to his home continent that has propelled him forward since he first began playing the trumpet.
 

Hugh Masekela Profile image

Hugh Masakela
James Frank and the Sticky Triggers

Jazzimandi Profile

Jazzimandi Biography

Zami Mdingi is a rare talent with a voice that is truly exceptional. She recently made the top 100 in Idols 2012. Following a prolific career with the Barnyard, she was signed by EMI to record her debut album in 2008. In 2009 she joined popular group, CODA, whose recent single Go Insane is hitting the airwaves across the nation. The group has performed at numerous high profile events and international events, including concerts (Miss SA 2010, Jazzathon, Jazz on the Rocks, Home For All, Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Woman of the Year, Nederburg Concert Series, Paul Cluver Forest Amphitheatre), fashion shows (Cape Town Fashion Week, Durban Fashion Week), sports events (J&B; Met, Durban July) launch parties and government events. Internationally CODA has performed in the Seychelles (3 times), Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls), Dubai (twice) and Luanda, Angola (Dec 2011)

Jazzimandi features CODA’s acclaimed lead singer, Zami Mdingi in an intimate and riveting jazz trio context. Performing with talented musician, Nelson Malela (piano / keyboard) and Perfe Sylvna (bass), this sultry, smoking collaboration is reminiscent of a by-gone era. The repertoire consists of well known jazz standards presented in a fresh context, allowing Zami’s luscious voice to shine. Jazzimandi is an up-market corporate entertainment act that is making their mark across SA.

 
Jazzimandi

Jimmy Dludlu

Jimmy Dludlu was 13 years old when he first picked up a cousin's home made guitar and started teaching himself to play by imitating the jazz and African music he heard on the radio. His first performances were at township weddings and functions with his cousin.

His career took off in earnest in the mid-1980's, when he worked with various southern African bands including Impandze from Swaziland, featuring Jamaican singer Trevor Hall, Kalahari and Satari from Botswana, as well as Anansi, featuring the Ghanaian saxophonist George Lee. A highlight of this period was his performance with Anansi at the Botswana Independence celebrations in 1986, alongside a range of African stars including Thomas Mapfumo.

In Johannesburg in 1990, Jimmy worked as a session musician. He worked with McCoy Mrubata and his band Brotherhood, which a year later won the Gilbey's Music of Africa Competition. In September 1990, he also took part in the Market Theatre production Conversations with Canadian Bruce Cassidy on Trumpet and EVI, and South African Barney Rachabane on sax.

In 1991, he was a founder member of the highly successful group Loading Zone, which went on to tour across the continent, backing a range of South African stars including Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie, Chicco and Sipho Mabuse. During this period, Jimmy also recorded with Miriam Makeba on the album "Eyes on Tomorrow", and participated in the Sun City production Sax Appeal, appearing with the likes of Rene McLean, Winston Mankunku, Robbie Jansen, Victor Ntoni and the late Duke Makasi. A highlight of this period was Loading Zone's Namibian tour in 1992, when they were spotted by Zairean world-music star Papa Wemba, who subsequently asked the band to back him on several dates in Namibia.

In July 1993, saxophonist Morris Goldberg invited him to perform with his band Ojoyo at the Smirnoff Jazz festival in Grahamstown. He returned to the festival the following year to perform with jazz legend Herb Ellis, a long-time member of Oscar Peterson's ensembles. Working with these jazz greats, Jimmy decided to pursue music studies, and moved to Cape Town in order to enrol in the Jazz Programme at University of Cape Town's College of Music.

Unperturbed by the intensive media coverage he was attracting, Jimmy was determined to focus on his studies at UCT, and developing his original music. From 1994 onwards, his distinctive musical style was becoming evident through a series of high-profile appearances, which eventually caught the attention of the SA record industry.

In September 1994, he participated in Johannesburg's Arts Alive and Guinness Jazz festivals with his own band, featuring Vusi Khumalo on drums, Fana Zulu on bass, Moses Molelekwa on piano, McCoy Mrubata on sax and John Hassan on percussion. In April 1995, Jimmy appeared in the Night of 100 Stars at Cape Town's Nico Malan Opera House, a charity event which benefited organizations such as the Centre for Battered Women and Street Children. In May 1995 he was one of 30 musicians - including Hugh Masekela, Busi Mhlongo, Dolly Rathebe and Dorothy Masuka - selected to participate in a festival in Paris La Villette celebrating South African culture.

In October 1995, Jimmy and his own band C-Base Collective shared the stage with Senegalese singer and guitarist Ismaël Lo's African Reconnection Tour in Cape Town. With C-Base Collective, Jimmy performed 2 highly acclaimed shows alongside Courtney Pine at the 1996 Arts Alive Festival in Johannesburg, and found himself a PolyGram recording artist by the end of the year.

His debut album for PolyGram, Echoes from the Past, was released in September 1997 to a wealth of superlatives from the media. The album was also well received by the industry, as Jimmy received 2 FNB SAMA Awards for "Best Newcomer" and "Best Contemporary Jazz Album" in 1998, and by the general public, as sales figures in January 1999 indicated sales in excess of 25 000 copies. The album has since been released in nine territories on the Verve label, including United States, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden and Hungary.

In March 2000, Jimmy was further acknowledged by the South African music industry, winning the "Best Male Artist" category, and with "Essence of Rhythm" taking the "Best Contemporary Jazz Album" prize at the SAMA Music Awards

Jimmy Dludlu's style includes wide-ranging influences, combining both traditional and modern elements of jazz drawn from among others Wes Montgomery, George Benson and Pat Metheny, to South African legends Miriam Makeba, Letta Mbulu, Hugh Masekela, Themba Mokwena, and Allen Kwela. He is particularly drawn to the sounds of west and central Africa, as well as Latin America, but says jazz remains his first love. His numerous original compositions fall within the tradition of what has been loosely termed Afro-Jazz.

JIMMY DLUDLU’S LIVE ALBUM LIVES UP TO HIS LEGEND

Jimmy Dludlu has been called many things – some of these include “legend’; ‘genius’ and ‘savante’. With his latest double album – simply called Jimmy Dludlu Live – he proves that these titles are all rooted in absolute truth.
The SAMA-winning musician’s latest offering is jam-packed with the type of brilliant compositions that he has become known and loved for. This collection of live tracks transports the listener to a plain where there is nothing other than the music. From intricate jazz-arrangements to effervescent tracks that uplift and inspire. The muse touches Dludlu on each and every track – covering the listener in luxurious, smooth jazz sounds.

“We are honoured and pleased to be working with Jimmy on this masterpiece of an album – he is one of our country’s foremost jazz-artists and we look forward to helping to build his legacy for both this and future generations,” says Wandile Sikhosana of Universal Music South Africa.

Jimmy Dludlu's style includes wide-ranging influences, combining both traditional and modern elements of jazz drawn from legends such as Wes Montgomery, George Benson and Pat Metheny, to South African legends Miriam Makeba, Letta Mbulu, Hugh Masekela, Themba Mokwena, and Allen Kwela. Drawing from these greats and imbuing the music with his own indisputable genius – Dludlu delivers an album of immeasurable quality.

Jimmy Dludlu Live is currently on shelves across the country.

Jimmy Dludlu Live – Full Track Listing

Disc 1

  1. The Man Who Lost His Shadow
  2. Phuza Wise
  3. Blues For Haiti
  4. Saudades
  5. Linda
  6. New Church Street
  7. Corners Of My Soul
  8. A Level
  9. F Town Groove 

Disc 2

  1. Ta Se Bem
  2. Skokiaan
  3. Gentle Rain
  4. How About The Ones In The Village?
  5. Winds Of Change
  6. Walk Of Life
  7. Point Of View
  8. Motherland
  9. Medley - Back To The Childhood(akutlelela aku tsogwana)/Malibongwe/Meadowlands/Patapata/The Thumb/Nkosi Sikelela I Afrika(God Bless Africa)

Jimmy Dludlu

Jonas Gwangwa

Jonas Gwangwa

- Bringing Sounds and Memories from Exile Back Home

It is twelve years since Jonas Gwangwa returned home from 30 years in exile, and not a moment too soon.  This remarkable composer, arranger, bandleader and trombonist has regained his household name and consolidated his reputation as a formidable artist. Gwangwa has just released his latest offering, 'Sounds from Exile' that he co-produced with under-rated maestro guitarist Kenny Mathaba.  
 
Although Gwangwa has only been working in the country for the last 10 years, in many ways, it seems that he never left home. In the last decade he has written more than a dozen music scores and theme music for movies, television, corporations and commercials. These include film producer Mfundi Vundla’s 'Generations' and 'Soweto Green', Dali Tambo’s 'Night Moves,' The African-American Summit anthem and the ANC documentary 'Ulibambe Lingashoni', to name a few.
The highlight of this multi-award winning composer's musical career was his collaboration with George Fenton to create the original score and theme song of the much-heralded Richard Attenborough film, 'Cry Freedom', which was nominated for a Grammy Award.
 
Significantly, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Steve Biko, a Black Consciousness leader on whom the film focuses.  Gwangwa has always been recognized as a member of South Africa's jazz aristocracy, but it was in 1991 with the release of his mesmerizing and electrifying album, 'Flowers of the Nation', recorded in England that he burst into the consciousness of audiences worldwide.    
 
It was soon after the unbanning of several liberation movements that Gwangwa emerged from the shadows to put his explosive talent in the public eye.  His electrifying, infectious, danceable rhythms fused with African traditional jazz sounds alongside with urban influences and a dash of American traces was welcomed by eager audiences.  He has continued his tradition of playing with the best, something that he started in the 1960s when he was associated with legends like Kippie Moeketsi, Abdullah Ibrahim, Johnny Gertse and Makhaya Ntshoko.
 
For the last ten years Gwangwa’s expertise has been in great demand as various people commissioned him to work on special projects, impeding him from working on his own material.  "I have a whole suitcase full of material that I have brought with from exile and it is about time that I released it,"  comments Gwangwa.  It was only in 1999 that he was able to produce and release 'A Temporary Inconvenience', an album that helped to re-establish his reputation as one of the formidable jazz artists with a distinctive style.  Gwangwa immediately enjoyed a strong and loyal following.
 
The 15 years he spent in the United States represent an exciting period in Gwangwa's life. Through the patronage of musical legend Harry Belafonte, Jonas Gwangwa was afforded incredible opportunities to record and play with some of the U.S.'s legends "I have a spent an important part of my life in the United States and there is no way that I can wish away those years.The lasting impact of my experience was being affected by the music and cultural experiences which today are part of my musical elitism" he explains
 
During the exile years, South Africa's struggle for liberation figured largely in Gwangwa's music .
"For a long time I have believed that politics and culture cannot be separated; I channeled my energies to writing and performing for the love of my country," says Gwangwa.
 
With 'Songs from Exile', Gwangwa has concentrated on what he knows best: use music as a weapon to instill self-love and pride in African musical heritage.  There is no doubt that with this latest offering Gwangwa will inevitably be confirmed as one of the country’s most prolific composers, arranger and instrumentalist.  'Songs from Exile' is a 10-track album that is deeply infused with sounds of celebration, pride, joy, happiness and purpose.  The music is unmistakably South African, fused with indigenous influences but has a global appeal.
 
Gwangwa recruited some incredible  local talent to play with him on the project, amongst them   Mara Louw who features on ' Renaissance Song' a tribute to President Thabo Mbeki’s vision and dream of a unified and self-sufficient Africa.  This new album captures the mood of self-affirmation and celebration,  a theme that, coupled with the exellence of the musical offering, is sure to captivate jazz lovers everywhere..
Jonas Gwangwa

Josh Meck Profile

Josh Meck,bass guitarist,acoustic guitarist,Mbira player and Kora player

JOSH MECK PROFILE

Brimming with elegance and panache, Josh Meck (29) walks on to the stage holding his bass guitar upside down. One could be forgiven for assuming he is actually masquerading as a musician because of the way he holds the guitar Josh is left handed.

Josh has toured Europe, America and Africa doing collaborations with international artist like Max Wild and the Swedish band Hornstull.He started touring as a sideman in 2006 with different artist like Chiwoniso and comrade Fasto. In 2010 Josh did a collaboration with USA based jazz saxophone player Max Wild at the prestigious Africa festival Held in Wurzburg Germany and went on to do a collaboration tour of Germany, Estonia, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Czech Republic with Max Wild in 2011.He has also collaborated on a tour of Africa with Kenyan jazz sensation ASALI and have performed at the HIFA festival in Harare. Josh is a well traveled artist who has been touring and performing all over the world for six years. All being said, Josh Meck has a very unique background.

Josh Meck was born in 1983 in Harare the capital city of Zimbabwe. At the age of five, josh picked up his father`s guitar and started teaching himself . He developed an interest in the instrument that saw him playing in church at the age of 12.By the time he reached 15 years he was already a professional musician doing session work for a number of Zimbabwean musicians.

Soon after High school Josh started to perform in Jazz clubs doing session work for top Zimbabwean Jazz musicians.

With the vast experience he gained from working with the best Josh decided to pursue a solo career.

He recorded his debut album entitled Wanetsa in 2008 with the hit song Wanetsa that topped the local charts in Zimbabwe. The music pulses with Zimbabwean traditional rhythms such as Mhande and Katekwe and is fused with the modern contemporary jazz styles.The album discusses day to day life in Zimbabwe and the challenges faced by Africans in their quest to build a better Africa. A blend of traditional Zimbabwean instruments such as the mbira and marimba, with electronic instruments such as the bass guitar, keyboards and drums also influence the unique sound on the album. In 2011 Josh started working on his latest offering that he then released in 2012. The album is entitled TIME. Due to the vast experience of touring and meeting a lot of different musicians worldwide Josh managed to work with musicians from Sweden and Denmark on this album.

Josh Meck is a multi talented Afro jazz musician who has a strong passion for music,as he expresses this in the way he performs. He has a unique powerful stage presents that separates him from the rest.His ability to communicate to the crowd and his charismatic nature and sensational facial expressions when he plays the guitar makes him a truly unique artist.He draws his inspiration from stars like Oliver Mtukudzi, Salif Keita and Richard Bona.

 
Josh Meck

Judith Sephuma

JUDITH SEPHUMA

With the release of her 2011 album, I AM LIVING TESTIMONY, Judith Sephuma has confirmed, yet again, her standing as South Africa’s pre-eminent female artist.
The record, her fourth studio effort, has been described as the multi award-winner, multi-platinum seller’s most “inspirational” record to date – and it’s no wonder that the live shows accompanying the album’s release in the second half of 2011 have drawn substantial audiences. What’s more, Sephuma has ensured that her new material yet again delivers a subtle twist on her signature sound – this time around, on I AM LIVING TESTIMONY there are plenty of Gospel and funk elements that mix comfortably with the Afro-Soul and Jazz music that has earned Sephuma such a loyal fanbase.

It’s been a decade since Sephuma burst, like a gorgeous flower opening for spring, onto the South African music scene. That was with Sephuma’s debut record, 2001’s ‘A Cry, A Smile, A Dance’ that instantly captured the attention of music fans with its incredible moving title track and brightly-hued, still memorable video.

Over the past 10 years, this most multi-faceted of artists has been crafting a sound that makes it easy to spot a Sephuma tune when it’s played on radio. From the very first record, what has been driving this remarkable artist is a desire to uplifit and inspire. “I love being inspired, and there are a lot of people out there that I want to inspire,” Sephuma says simply. “Children, older people, teenagers. I want every one to gain something from the music that I create – something positive and uplifting.” As Sephuma puts it, “God has blessed me with the ability to reach people so I must take the challenge head-on and be an inspiration to people.” Taking a look back at Sephuma’s incredible career, it’s easy to see that creating positive songs, built around quality playing, is the route that the University of Cape Town graduate (an Honours Degree in Jazz Performance in 2000) has been following all along. Starting with ‘A Smile, A Cry, A Dance’ and moving onto ‘New Beginnings’ (2005),‘Change Is Here’ (2008) and now 2011’s I AM LIVING TESTIMONY, Sephuma’s meticulously crafted songs and world class live performances have always conveyed messages of hope and love and the human condition in the most beautiful way. Songs like “You Had Your Hand On Me” off her debut, or the title track of “Change Is Here” or “Mme Motswadi” that proved such a hit off “New Beginnings” – these all showcase Sephuma’s effortless ability to pinpoint the full spectrum of emotions and spirituality that marks out humankind.

What’s also been a consistently striking feature of Sephuma’s career is her humanity. She’s faced personal challenges and so knows better than many what it takes to live life fully, with all its ups and downs. In her lyrics, Sephuma never veers away from the multi-faceted human experience that drives us all – always matching that with a commitment to the purity and power of well-played music, whether it’s straight Afro-Jazz, Gospel, funk or soul.

With her trio of solo albums all earning platinum sales and significant radio play, it’s no wonder Sephuma is also a multi-award winner. ‘A Cry, A Smile, A Dance’ earned her two 2002 South African Music Awards for Best Female Artist and Best Jazz Vocal Album, two Metro FM Music Awards (Best Female Vocalist; Best Jazz Artist) and two Kora All Africa Awards (including Best Artist from Southern Africa). It was a formidable start for her career – and one that she’s lived up to since: Sephuma also enjoyed a clean sweep at the South African Music Awards for “New Beginnings” including taking home the highly coveted Best Female Artist as well as.

Sephuma’s live shows are also the stuff of legend – whether it’s playing at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown or The Lyric in Joburg, her current shows in support of ‘I Am Living Testimony’ or performances in places like Nigeria, Sephuma continues to enchant. With current radio hits ‘Write Me A Letter’ and ‘Wena Wedwa’ and a slate of live performances coming up in the tail end of 2011, there’s no doubting Sephuma’s position in the firmament of great South African artists.

*****Judith Sephuma - Additional Biography Info ******

Awards:

Best Female Artist (New Beginnings)
Best Engineer – Jasper Williams (New Beginnings)
Best Producer – Laurence Matshiza (New Beginnings)
SAMA – Best Female Artist (A Cry, A Smile, A Dance)
SAMA – Best Jazz Vocal (A Cry, A Smile, A Dance)
KORA All Africa Music Awards - Best Artist from Southern Africa
KORA All Africa Music Awards - Best African Female Artist (Africa/Diaspora)
Metro Fm Music Award - Best Female Vocalist (A Cry, A Smile, A Dance)
Metro Fm Music Award - Best Jazz Artist (A Cry, A Smile, A Dance)

Nominations:

SAMA 15 - Female Artist of the Year (Change Is Here)
SAMA 15 - Best Contemporary Jazz Album (Change Is Here)

Judith Sephuma

Following in the footsteps of Sade, Lira blends R&B, Jazz and African styles all in one.

Lira

MISS LIRA

Platinum-selling South African singer/model/actress Lira has already conquered South Africa and much of Europe with her irresistible blend of R&B, Jazz and African styles. Like Sade before her, she is now set to conquer America with the release of her debut U.S. single "Feel Good" and her debut U.S. album release Rise Again, due out April 29 2014 on Shanachie Entertainment. The album’s first single, "Feel Good," is a slinky, jazzy re-mix of one of her major South African hits, a perfect showcase for Lira's soulful, melodious singing style. That unique style led Essence Magazine to name her as one of "Five Unique Artists To Change Music in 2012." With her debut U.S. release and a US tour in the works, Lira is clearly poised for a major stateside breakthrough. Born in the midst of Apartheid, the stunning artist shares, “Music changed my world forever it was the companion and silent warrior that spoke for us when we were not able to.”
 
"Lira has all the ingredients to be a star in the U.S.," says Shanachie General Manager Randall Grass. "She has a unique sound, a wonderful voice, model-quality looks and is already a popular artist, not only in Africa but in much of Europe as well, with a wide-ranging appeal to Jazz, R & B, World music and Pop audiences."
 
Rise Again is the perfect introduction to the full-spectrum of Lira’s artistry. Songs such as “With My Eyes” and “Typical” highlight her sultry vocal tone on songs that deal with the subtleties of romantic relationships. “Rise Again,” “Feel Good” and “Believer” are all upbeat, inspirational, feel good anthems that exemplify Lira’s ability to touch people of all different backgrounds. She incorporates reggae into “Valley Of Darkness” and “Call Me,” a natural move since reggae continues to be a vibrant presence on the contemporary African music scene. “Ixesha,” “Hamba” and “Phakade” are all African-language songs that bring South African musical textures to the fore.
 
“You know there's something very special about knowing who you are and knowing how you came to be,” Lira said in an interview with NPR’s “Tell Me More.” “There's, for me, just something really precious about that and I understand the problem. The thing that we suffered with as our generation is that we are trying to integrate into the world, you know, so we feel like there's no space for our heritage and that's just an incorrect perception. So by artists like myself, who still preserve the language, we bring a sense of coolness to it. So it's just important, but I mean that's the struggle that the elders are finding is that children just want to be part of the global community and they can't see where it all fits in. So that's why I feel like with our generation it's our responsibility to preserve it.” All of the songs on Rise Again are written or co-written by Lira, except the deeply moving “Something Inside So Strong,” written by Labi Siffre. Lira performed the song for Nelson Mandela at his 90th birthday celebration.
 
Lira was born in Ekurhuleni, East of Johannesburg, South Africa. Having grown up listening to Stevie Wonder, Miriam Makeba, Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone, she began writing songs and performing at age 16. In 2000 she was discovered by, the musician producer Arthur Mafokate, who signed her to his label, releasing her debut album All My Love in 2003. The title track surpassed Beyonce's "Dangerously In Love" on a chart-topping run. She was then signed to Sony Music in South Africa and saw her debut Sony album win awards at the South African Music Awards (SAMA), the South African equivalent of the Grammy awards. In summer of 2010 she joined such artists as Alicia Keys, Shakira, K'Naan and John Legend as featured performer in the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert. That year she also made her cinematic debut as the support lead in the Italian feature film Consul. The Star newspaper in South Africa declared her the foremost Adult Contemporary solo artist in South Africa. The release of her high-end concert DVD, Live In Concert: A Celebration, was certified Triple-Platinum and knocked Celine Dion's Live In Las Vegas out of the #1 spot on the video sales chart. Her first two Sony albums were likewise certified Platinum. Lira has appeared on the cover of more than twenty magazines around the world and has the largest online social media network of any female African musician, with over 900,000 followers. She has also received a BET Awards nomination as "Best International Artist" in 2012. With the release of Rise Again, American audiences will at last experience the magic Lira has brought to audiences in Africa and Europe.
 

Lira

Manouche Gypsy jazz band

Manouche Gypsy

Album Available Now

Manouche got together as a result of a group of musicians' love for the style of music called Gypsy Jazz. This style was created by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli in 1934 and is a unique blend of American jazz standards and gypsy rhythmic and melodic concepts. This vibrant mix resulted in the hottest of Hot Jazz.

The band consists of Bernard Kotze(lead guitar, composer), Thomas Hugo(rhythm guitar), Rene Stander(violin), Lize Dekker(accordion, vocals), Eldred Schilder(double bass) and Martijn Van Der Merwe(percussion).They have been playing together for the last 2 years but have only recently burst onto the scene and are making waves in various venues and festivals across the Western Cape. With sometimes unorthodox instrumentation and a good deal of original material they truly make the style their own. Along with their own tunes they also pay homage to artists and composers like George Gershwin, Django Reinhardt, Fats Waller, Edith Piaf etc.

With moments of beautiful melancholy to foot tapping, hip swinging jazzy goodness and a couple of surprises in between, Manouche is a group not to be missed!

Manouche Gypsy Profile

Manouche Gypsy Jazz

McCoy Mrubata Quartet

The McCoy Mrubata Quartet is lead by the multi-award winning composer, arranger and versatile saxophone player McCoy Mrubata. McCoy Mrubata Quartet is made up of:
 
Mlungisi Gegana: University of Cape Town graduate, Mlungisi is no new name in the jazz circles particularly after dazzling jazz lovers with his smooth tunes in the Cape Town International Jazz Festival four weeks ago. Mlungisi is an internationally acclaimed Double Bass player.
 
Sam Mataure: This seasoned drummer from Zimbabwe has played with giants 
both in Zimbabwe and here at home. He played with Thomas Mapfumo, 
he for a long time played and still continues to record with Oliver Mtukudzi. 
In South Africa he is in Miriam Makeba’s band. He has performed and 
with Judith Sephuma and many more.
 
Kgothatso Laka: kgothatso is doing his final year at the Pretoria Technikon. This young and dynamic keyboard player hails from the East Rand. He has been in the band for two years. 
 
McCoy Mrubata: McCoy Mrubata is one of South Africa’s finest saxophonists, versatile on the tenor, soprano and alto saxophones as well as the flute, and has gained recognition internationally as well. The Nordic Black Theatre in Oslo invited him to perform in three musicals, two of which were based on the life of Bob Marley. The third, “Beyond the Blues” (The John Coltrane Story), ran for two months and saw McCoy playing the lead role. 
McCoy boasts six albums under his belt: including the two award winners Icamagu Livumile and Face the Music- two awards in succession. McCoy’s musical career spans as far back as the seventies. McCoy says he is humbled by the great masters that he lent from and will always pay tribute to both living and the late. He is also a member of the Sheer All Stars band. They have three albums hitherto: Dance with me, Indibano and Live @ the blues room.
 

McCoy Mrubata’s discography:

Icamagu Livumile
Face the music
Best of early years
Phosa ngasemva
Hoelykit?
Tears of joy
 
 
McCoy Mrubata

Mimi

 

 
Mimi

Nduduzo Makhathini








 
Nduduzo Makhathini

Nomfusi

NOMFUSI

With a gigantic voice and tons of charm, there is nothing small about the tiny songstress Nomfusi. With sheer will and determination she has risen from the squalor of South African squatter camps to glistening on the stages of the world. Likened by critics to a young Miriam Makeba with a twist of Tina Turner, the muitiple SAMA and Metro FM Award nominee embraces both her African heritage as well as the sounds of Motown she grew up with.
 
Since launching her singing career in 2009 with her her debut offering “Kwazibani”, she has performed in more than 15 countries appearing with icons such as Angelique Kidjo, Bebe Wynans and Hugh Masekela. Her untamed performances have been described by critics locally and overseas as “an absolute riot to watch and hear”, “a refreshing blast of energy” and the Swazi Observer named her “the best artist in the overall line-up” at the 2011 Bushfire Festival.
 
The darling of the media back home, she has been profiled widely in the media, with live performances on “LIVE AMP” (SABC1),AFROCAFE, TOP BILLING, MORNING LIVE, THREE TALK WITH NOELEEN with regular feature articles in DRUM, TRUE LOVE, DESTINY,FAIR LADY and COSMOPOLITAN.
In 2012 Nomfusi captured all of her vocal excitement on a powerful sophomore album, crafted especially for the South African market, aptly titled “Take Me Home.” Produced by the legendary king of Afro-soul, Ringo Madlingozi, and fellow craftsmen Robbie Malinga and DJ Clock, the album spawned the tracks Uthando Lwam (“Qam Qam”) as well as a duet with Ringo, “Kunjalo,” which quickly made their way on to the charts of many leading radio stations.
 
In 2013 Nomfusi portrayed the character of Miriam Makeba in the Golden Globe winning film, “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom,” with appearances at both the Hollywood and Berlin premieres. She was also featured in the coffee table book companion to the film.
 
Nomfusi’s touching life story has been captured widely in the media, most significantly on SABC1’s series “My World,” seen by 9 million viewers. Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records, who discovered Bob Marley, Angelique Kidjo and U2 said of Nomfusi after viewing a documentary of her life and music: “What a terrific young artist, her genuine concern for her community and beyond comes through SO strongly.”
 
It is evident that Nomfusi, just as much a child of the soil as a woman of the world, cares deeply for her community, while not shying away from spectacular musical success. In a short space of time she has won thousands of fans across the globe. With two knock-out albums and a dazzling role in an award-winning international film, Nomfusi is steadily finding her way into the hearts and homes of millions.
 
 
Nomfusi

 

 

No Frets Jazz Trio

Olufemi

Olufemi

OLUFEMI is the new face of the African Renaissance. Combining Afrobeat and jazz, gospel and blues, West African highlife with a nostalgic Sophiatown flavour, his music is a rich blend of deep and sultry jazz and contemporary groove. His music is urban and urbane. His life’s journey - a story of migration to the South - resonates in his music, which creates a conscious dialogue between West African and South African sounds. This musical fusion demonstrates the path to a new and culturally integrated Africa in which a common heritage is renewed and reshaped to meet the needs of today's world.

OLUFEMI’s debut album “Just in Newtown” is evidence of the rich melodies that result from this fusion. Through his versatility on the saxophone, he breathes new life into African world music. He is also an arranger, a producer and a songwriter.

His love for music began when as a child, he danced around the village when the traditional drummers played in his father's compound in Akio town, Ikorodu Lagos Nigeria in the 80s. He then started playing trumpet as a choir member in his local church. He dabbled in the piano. But he soon discovered that his first love was for the saxophone.

His influences include Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Manu di Bango, Hugh Masekela, Salif Keita, and his elder brother, Kola Ogunkoya

He has played in the presence of all-time greats, including John Legend in his first South African tour in Cape Town. He has shared the stage with Youss ou N’dour and Yvonne Chaka Chaka at the CAF (Confederation of African Football Awards) 2009 in Lagos. He performed alongside the king of Juju music, Sunny Ade, at the Glo launch in the Republic of Benin. Other colourful festivals such as the Calabar festival in Nigeria have felt Olufemi's hypnotic music, where he performed alongside the late, great Lucky Dube.

The highlights of his career include performing at the Crowning of Miss World 2008 in Johannesburg, at the FIFA Confederation Cup Draw in 2008, at the CAF awards in Accra, Ghana in 2010, at the Afrophonie concert at the Bassline in 2010, at the Pan African Arts and Craft exhibition (PACE) in 2010. He was proud to honour Africa’s heroes by playing at the 50th year celebration of 17 African countries at the Pan African Parliament, in Midrand in oct 2010 He has been a willing supporter of the Haiti Campaign spearheaded by the National Department of Arts and Culture, performing live on SABC TV in April 2010 and composing a song devoted to the Haitian people. In recent months, he interests have further extended into the African Diaspora, with performances together with Afroflamenco groups from Spain in Johannesburg and for the Cubans in celebration of Africa Day. In 2009 he participated in the Joy of Jazz as one of the Nigerian all stars.

This is the African renewal in action, a flowering through a passion for music and the power of culture. Da Natives with Olufemi recently performed at the following event

1. Crowning of Miss World 2008, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2. Globacom Launch in Benin Republic, 2008.
3. Nigerian Vice President Welcome Dinner, Pretoria, South Africa. 2008
4. Johannebsurg City & Tourism Show, Johannesburg, South Africa. 2008
5. FIFA Confederation Cup Draw, Sandton, South Africa. 2008.
6. (CAF) Confederation of African Football Awards, Lagos, Nigeria. 2009
7. NEPAD Summit, Sandton, South Africa. 2009
8. Rebranding of Brandy Smooth Event, Cape Town, Durban & Johannesburg, 2009.
9.Joy of jazz (Nigerian all stars)2009
10.johannesburg food and wine festival,zoo lake 2009
11,CAF(confederations of African Football)awards,accra Ghana,march 2010
12. Haitti Campaign,national department of art and culture,Sandton April 2010
13 Afrophonie 2010,African synergy and institut’ Francais D’Afrique du sud,bassline,newtown ,south Africa ,april 2010
14,Cuban Embassy,African day Celebration,May 2010,Pretoria.south Africa
15 Afroflamenco in johoannesburg-Soweto,Embassy of Spain June 2010
16 windybrow theatre,2010 Gauteng Artist line up.south Africa june 2010
17Emoyeni African experience line up,june 2010
18 Pace 2010,Pan African art and craft exhibitions,art and culture june 2010
19 50th year celebration of the Pan African Parliament,midrand south Africa.oct 2010

 
Olufemi

Paul Hanmer

PAUL HANMER - BIOGRAPHY

Sheer Sound proudly presents the latest recording from piano maestro Paul Hanmer in the form of “Naivasha,” Paul’s 4th solo album.  “Naivasha” is a selection of music mostly written from Paul’s home.  The album is a dedication to the people in his life and pays homage to them in tracks like ‘Fanfare’, dedicated to his wife Angela, and “Naivasha” about the Lake of the same name in Kenya, where for Paul, the horn voices of McCoy Mrubata and Marcus Wyatt echo the exceptional bird-life which congregates around this particular lake.  Musicians on the album include Barry van Zyl, Basi Mahlasela, McCoy Mrubata, Marcus Wyatt, Kevin Gibson, Sydney Mnisi, and Denis Lalouette, just to name a few.  
 
Paul Hanmer was born in Cape Town in 1961.  His musical interest started at an early age. In the early 70’s he began classical piano and theory lessons. After three years at the University of Cape Town, studying for a B.Mus. degree, Paul started working in a variety of different fields. He took leave of absence from UCT to work with guitarist Paul Peterson (who replaced the late Russell Herman in ‘Saints Rejoice’), who also introduced Paul to many musicians. He performed with Top-40 bands, did jazz standards and played in several original bands.
 
In 1987 Paul Hanmer moved to Johannesburg and expanded his musical career by working with various cabaret acts and played in musicals and theatre productions, and was exposed to musicians like Khaya Mahlangu and other members of the now defunct Sakhile. It was here that he formed “Unofficial Language” with fellow Capetonian’s Ian Herman (drummer / percussionist for Tananas) and Pete Sklair (electric bass). The trio recorded the successful album “Primal Steps” in 1994, featuring the hit track “Tender Mercies”, for which a music video was made. The album, licensed by Sheer Sound, also featured Mauritz Lotz as a guest on the track “Unofficial Language”. Unofficial Language was to regroup again 4 years later and in 1998 released a second album “Move Moves”, this time through Wildebeest Records. The album also drew on the vocal talents of Wendy Oldfield, Frank Opperman and Waddy Jones. 
 
With his love for collaborative work, Paul has recorded with the likes of Tananas, Miriam Makeba, Ray Phiri, McCoy Mrubata, “Unofficial Language” and has worked with (amongst others) Fana Zulu, Khaya Mahlangu, Vusi Khumalo and Pops Mohamed. He also formed part of and toured with Tony Cox’s ‘Cool Friction Band’ and worked on a production with Pops Mohamed, which was showcased, at the “Main”, during the Grahamstown Festival.
In 1997 Sheer Sound released Paul Hanmer’s first solo album ‘Trains to Taung’, featuring the cream of South Africa’s musicians. ‘Trains to Taung’ features Denis Lalouette, Jethro Shasha, Louis Mhlanga, Basi Mahlasela, Neil Ettridge and Andre Abrahamse.
“Trains to Taung” was consequently nominated for three SAMA awards and continues to sell in considerable numbers throughout the country. Jazz and music lovers generally, have waited with baited breath for his follow up project, “Window to Elsewhere”. On this album Paul not only enhances his credibility as one of South Africa’s finest jazz pianists but also as a composer and arranger. The album was recorded live at the Musaion at the University of Pretoria, and promises to be one of the most eagerly awaited new jazz releases of the year. The album incorporates jazz improvisations and classic interpretations all written, composed, and arranged by Paul. 
 
Picking up where “Windows To Elsewhere” left off and the culmination of recordings as far back as “Primal Steps” and “Trains To Taung”, “Playola” emphasized the incredible creative well from which he draws inspiration. Tunes like “Adrians Chord” reaches back even further to a time when Paul played with “Wired to the Floor”, a critically acclaimed outfit whose influence is still being felt eleven years after the bands’ demise. 
 
Paul also features on keys as part of the super group, The Sheer All Stars, together with McCoy Mrubata, Sipho Gumede, Errol Dyers and Frank Paco. 
 
Peter Pearlson received the SAMA award in April 2001 for Best Producer for “Playola” and Paul recently won the Geraas Musiek Toekenning on the 5th of November 2001for Best Jazz Album, also for “Playola”!
 
The 2002 SAMAs saw Paul’s latest album Naivasha nominated in the category of Best Contemporary Jazz Album.
 
“Paul Hanmer is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s foremost jazz players. The music in this gem takes you on a trip down the bowels of this continent. Grooves like ‘Umhlangano’, ‘Meeting Of The Women’, ‘Chef’s Groove’ and ‘Trains to Taung’ engage the mind - a potent potion of artistry.” 
Elliot Makhaya - The Sowetan 29 / 04 / 97
 
“ While it is unfashionable for a young artist to venture into the realm of the not-so-popular genre, Hanmer has taken the jazz - fusion route and his ‘Trains to Taung’ is already receiving rave reviews. He says it was a deliberate decision to follow his roots rather than mimic music influences from faraway places. ‘I felt I should look around where I am, here in South Africa. We should take pride in the place we come from.’”
Ntokozo Gwamanda - The Sowetan 06 / 05 / 97
 
“What do you get when you cross legendary pianists like Duke Ellington, Ramsey Lewis, Bob James, Joe Sample and South Africa’s greatest players like Abdullah Ibrahim and young Moses Molelekwa? A bomb - precisely what this enigmatic character Paul Hanmer is.”
Ramotena Matobe - The Star 29 / 07 / 97
 
“ ‘Trains to Taung’ is also seasoned with serious, even classical, intention in places, and - to add more interest to a distinctive man - Hanmer is wary of that cliché. He doesn’t aspire to being regarded only as a classical pianist, which was his training from a young age in Cape Town. Rather, he’s looking for a new edge to be chiselled out of everything he knows about Dvorzak. And he finds that on ‘Trains to Taung’ in goema and jive and Afro-jazz and the acidity of urban sounds stirred sweet with African tradition.”
Janet Smith - The Star 29 / 07 / 97
 
 
Paul Hanmer

Ray Phiri

RAY PHIRI

It has been indeed a long trip for Ray Phiri. From early days in Mpumalanga, where he was born and raised, where he used to dance to his troubadour father’s puppet shows. Ray had his first break when he, in 1962, managed to dance for the legendary Dark City Sisters when they performed in Mpumalanga. He made enough money giving him a chance to travel to Johannesburg. 
 
He became founder member of the soul music giants of the 1970’s, the Cannibals which were later joined by the late Mpharanyana. When the Cannibals disbanded Ray founded Stimela, with whom he conceived gold and platinum-winning albums like Fire, Passion and Ecstacy, Look, Listen and Decide as well as the controversial People Don’t Talk So Let’s Talk.
 
It came as no surprise when one of their most memorable tracks Whispers in the Deep was restricted for broadcast by the old South African Broadcasting Corporation. In fact, this contributed heavily to Ray and Stimela’s popularity. 
 
It was in the early 1990’s that American singer and musician Paul Simon asked Ray along with Ladysmith Black Mambazo to join his Graceland project, which was successful but also helped the South Africans to make names for themselves abroad. Ray was to collaborate with Paul Simon again on Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints album, which saw him perform on stages such as Central Park and Madison Square Garden as well as appearing on top television shows in the US. 
 
Ray has subsequently released a solo album, and has been active in education and cultural work, especially in his home province of Mapumalanga. His Mapumalanga based studio and production house have also had a hand in several productions. 
 
Commencing 2003, Ray has been playing a part in a revitalised Stimela.
 
Ray Phiri

Ringo Madlingozi

 

Ringo Madlingozi

TO millions of his followers in South Africa, on the African continent and around the rest of the world, he is simply known as Ringo - and to them there is only one Ringo.
He burst on to the scene during the Shell Road to Fame contest with his friends and fellow band members, Peto, back in 1986. Today he has proved to be a constant crowd-puller at concerts around the country, who remains a firm favourite with his fans.
 
After Peto, Ringo started a band called Gecko Moon with Alan Cameron, a fellow Peto member. The band had a hit with Green-Green, a crossover track that was well received.
Since his debut solo album, Vukani, he has been unstoppable in his move up the music ladder. He has scooped multiple awards for his albums, including South African Music Awards (Samas) and Kora All African Music Awards, where, among others, he has won Best Male Artist in Southern Africa and the African Continent.
 
He recently collaborated with British reggae group UB40 as part of the United Nations global Aids awareness programme, recording the Xhosa lyrics of Cover Up. Brian Travers, UB40's saxophonist, describes Ringo's music as "fantastic"; this after listening to Ringo's Buyisa.
 
In May 2003, Ringo Live was recorded at the State Theatre in Pretoria and released in both DVD and CD format in August that year. It has sold more than 150 000 units, reaching multi-platinum status; the DVD has sold over 60 000 units.
 
The following year Ringo released his album Baleka, which has sold more than 75 000 units. On that album, he worked with Dillon O'Bryan, who wrote The Temptations' song Soul to Soul.
 
His latest offering, Love Songs, is a compilation was released on 14 February 2006, selling over 25 000 copies within the first month of its release.
Having established himself as a popular brand after seven studio albums, one live CD/DVD and one compilation album, Ringo is destined for greater things, as he works his way up the music ladder on his latest studio album and his next DVD offering.
On the local front he has produced the world renowned Miriam "Mama Africa" Makeba and Durban gospel greats Avante. There are few South African artists as in tune with the "rhythm of their soul" as Sindile Ringo Madlingozi. From his debut solo release, Vukani, in 1996 to his latest offering, Ndim Lo, Ringo - as this artist is affectionately known - has carved out a niche for himself as an artist who is able to craft songs that are rooted in an authentic African voice, yet appeal to a wide mass of people.
It wasn't always like this for this Gugulethu, Cape Town-born singer, producer and songwriter. It was a chance encounter with the renowned producer and head of Island Records, Chris Blackwell, that changed the course of Ringo's creative life.
"Blackwell chided me for not sticking to what I know best - my people, my language and my culture," Ringo says. "It was as if a bright light had been turned on in my mind and this led directly to the recording of my debut album, Vukani."
 
That album marked a new direction for Ringo. Literally meaning "Wake up", it firmly rooted Ringo in the African pop genre, giving expression to the ukuxhentsa rhythms that had inspired the singer in his youth when he used to listen to amagqirha, or traditional healers, in his neighborhood and appreciate their rhythms.
The addition of a contemporary sound while still being grounded in the tradition of the Xhosa guitar, cemented what has now become known as the "Ringo" sound. "It took 12 years to release an album that expresses the real me," Ringo says.
The sound has found its expression in several other releases, each one building on the success of the last. Among these are Sondelani (1997), Mamelani (1998), Into Yam' (1999), Buyisa (2000), Ntumba(2002) and Baleka (2004). They've earned Ringo several awards, including Best Male Vocalist in 1998 and 1999 at the South African Music Awards as well as Best Male Artist (Southern Africa) and Best Male Artist (South Africa) and Best Male Vocalist (African Continent) at the 1998 and 1999 Kora awards respectively.
His energetic live shows have also earned Ringo much acclaim and, as Ndim Lo shows, Ringo continues to push musical boundaries to create some of the continent's most awesome music.
In 2003 he wowed European audiences at the North Sea Jazz Festival (Den Hague, Netherlands) and Festival de Jazz De Vitoria Gastteiz Airtel (Spain). He continues to spread his wings around the globe, such as his 2004 stint in the United States that included the New Orleans Jazz Festival. He has performed in European countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Spain and Germany.
Ringo's mission and vision
Ringo's mission in life is, through his music, to preach about love, awaken the spirit of togetherness and fill the hearts of those who are destitute with hope and belief in a better tomorrow.
He also wishes to see a united society, striving for the betterment of all mankind without regard to one's race, religion, language, sexual orientation or creed. Ringo's success in life is not material but his quest to touch many a heart and spread the message of love.
 
Every day Ringo strives to stay true to his life purpose, which is comfort. Through his music and social responsibilities, he manages to achieve this to a large degree.
His life vision is, 'Using the wisdom of the universe to create music that will heal'.
Social responsibilities
 
For the past few years, Ringo has been working with, or assisting in the following centres: Takalani Home for the Disabled in Soweto, Sinethemba Home in Benoni, Van Rijn Place of Safety in Benoni, Siyazigabisa Home of Hope in Thembisa and in Port Elizabeth, Enkuselweni Place of Safety.
In Enkuselweni, Ringo works with the youth to motivate them and give financial assistance in the form of donations and benefit concerts. At Van Rijn he has been doing the same and assisting them with music training and together with Sindi Dlathu of Muvhango fame, they also coached the kids in dance.
He has assisted a few times with collecting clothes for and giving Christmas gifts to the children there.
 
In Takalani home he has given some entertainment for the residents in the form of free unplugged sessions and also gives food and financial donations whenever necessary. At Sinethemba, he plays more of a parental role to the kids, as it is a fairly small home, with fewer kids. He guides and motivates the kids and accompanies them to their school functions, such as matric dances.
 
He assists with buying clothes and gifts for the children and assists wherever and whenever it is necessary. In Durban, together with Nkosi Ngubane, he started the Adopt a Child Project, where a person supports an orphaned child.
 
All this, he does because there is great need for children to be guided, assisted and comforted, because of the challenges they face in our country today. He expects no rewards from the work he does, but seeing a smile light up a child's face is all the reward he needs.
 
In the recent past he has been given ambassadorship for HIV/Aids and Anti-Women and Child Abuse Campaign by the Gauteng department of social welfare.
He has also worked with Khuluma Ndoda, an anti-women abuse movement started by Patrick Shai.
 
 
 
Ringo Madlingozi

Sans of Time

Sans of Time - The Band

 “Easy to Work with, Reliable, Professional and set World-Class Service Standards”

Sans of Time will be 12 years old this year. In addition to being voted “The Best Value-for-Money Band” by Dlamini Weihl and Sunday Times, this band was also reviewed as the Top “Image Band” by Joshua Still of the Argus.

The Product

A vocal display of music covering virtually every genre (Pop, Jazz, Rock, Latino) from the 60’s to this week’s hits. Marysa and Alrick were both lead singers in different bands that joined forces to form this unique vocal display of cover music backed by the internationally renowned vocalist/guitar sensation, Paul Petersen. All their tracks are high quality and perfectly sequenced to provide world class sound quality for the ultimate audio-visual experience. This vocal recipe of experience and talent could well make them SA’s most versatile band. This Band has the Perfect Balance between early dinner expensive ballads and Party till-you-drop Music!
Sans of Time historically had 4 band members – depending on client needs, a 4th, 5th and even 6th band member can be added. So, Sans of Time has the ability to add more vocalists, keyboards, guitar, sax and trumpet.

Past and Present Audience

Sans of Time have performed for virtually every large Corporate brand in South Africa. This Group has been many Booking Agents first choice for entertaining Foreigners visiting Southern Africa. They specialise in crowd diversity regarding language barriers, Race, Age, Gender and Cultural Differences. Whilst they’ve placed themselves squarely in the Corporate/Tourism markets, they remain very affordable for Weddings, Parties or any event that needs new memories made! 
The Band has performed at most major hotel groups throughout South Africa particularly in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Internationally they have performed in London and Zambia. 

Equipment and Sound

Part of Sans of Time’s value for money package is the fact that they own and supply their own sound and technicians for their performances for groups under 350 people (restricted to within 100km of the Cape Town CBD unless otherwise arranged). 

Why Hire Sans of Time

Simply put…This is the WHOLE PACKAGE and the REAL DEAL! It is not often that you find musicians that sound amazing, look good and most importantly, understand corporate culture and service delivery! This is a shining example of what South Africa can produce!
 
 
Sans of Time

Sibongile Khumalo

Sibongile Khumalo

RETROSPECTIVE

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.

PROFESSIONAL PATH

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).

GLOBAL PRESENCE

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.

RECORDING CAREER

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.

KEEPING UP WITH SIBONGILE

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.

CURRENT YEAR

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
Sifaniso

Simphiwe Dana

Simphiwe Dana

It was Women’s Day, and the young and old gathered to celebrate at the Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg. Simphiwe Dana was one of the artists on the line up and I waited in anticipation, excited to see her perform live, because from what I’ve heard this girl can really do her thing. After what seemed like a very long time the MC announced that she was coming up next. The crowd waited anxiously as the three background vocalists were settling in their positions. The background music began playing and as Dana entered the stage the crowd erupted with excitement. 
 
Dressed in a long oriental design skirt and a tight fitting vest with the words ‘I’m an African showing off her pregnant belly’ printed on it, Simphiwe looked stunning, and, unlike many good looking female singers, she fortunately has the voice to go with it. 
 
Born and Raised in the Eastern Cape, her name means ‘gift’ and many of her fans would agree that she is just that, a gift to the SA music scene. In a short period of time this Soul Sistah has become one of South Africa’s favourite daughters. Her music has a fresh sound and her unique voice complements it perfectly. Her debut album Zandisile took a lot of music lovers by surprise. It is modern South African music with a timeless revolutionary message. 
 
Simphiwe Dana says that her music is mostly influenced by what is going on in people’s daily lives. She talks about the struggle that black people are going through, despite South Africa’s supposed freedom, and status as a democracy. Tracks like Thwelubunzima and Vukani call for people of colour to wake up and see the light, but then she also has tracks like Zandisile which is a song of hope, and Ndiredi, the hit single for which she won a couple of South African Music Awards. 
 
'I am a very cultured person’, she says, ‘as an African person we were made to feel inferior and a lot of African people stopped practicing their culture because it was seen as witchcraft or uncivilized. My music is inspired by African people and the love they have for song. I grew up in a rural area and every time there was some kind of gathering, such as a wedding or circumcision, we sang to celebrate the event. Music has always been my first love, but because of financial problems I was forced to study IT after matric in order to survive and I have worked in the IT industry until reality caught up with me and I couldn’t ignore my calling to become a musician anymore. I started off performing at poetry sessions in Yeoville and Newtown and one day after a performance a talent scout from Gallo records approached me and asked me to give her a demo tape, which I did, and weeks later they asked me to sign up with them. The rest, as they say, is history’.
 
Simphiwe has two lovely children. 
 
'I want my children to grow up the way I did, knowing where they come from and so I speak to Zazi in our language, Xhosa. This is for the same reason I sing in Xhosa. It is very important to preserve our languages and pass them on to our children’. 
 
Some of Simphiwe’s favorite artists are Dorothy Masuka, Miriam Makeba and Bob Marley just to name a few. ‘I like the fact that I have a unique sound and I don’t purposefully follow trends. I would advise other people who want to become a musician to be creative about what they do rather than trying to imitate others. If you have the love for something and you are passionate about it, then you will stop at nothing to do it. And no matter what you do in life always remember where your roots lie’
 
 
Simphiwe Dana
Solly Mabena

Steve Kekana

With over 44 albums to his credit (excluding singles and compilations), singer-songwriter Steve Kekana has been a consistent force in the South African music scene since the late 1970's.
 
Born in 1958 in Zebediela in South Africa's Limpopo Province, he lost his sight at age five, and attended a school for the blind in Polokwane. During his school years, he nurtured his love for singing, and was a member of amateur group whilst a teenager.
 
In 1979 and 1980, Kekana won what was then known as the "SABC Black Music Award" for Best Male Vocalist. Further awards followed, with the singer taking the "Top Male Vocalist" award on Radio Zulu, and being the runner-up on the Tswana and Sotho Radio Stations.
 
Kekana and his music have been featured in movies. He has collaborated with several artists over the years, his duet with PJ Powers on the song "Feel So Strong" assisting him to cross to new audiences.
 
He has frequently collaborated with fellow vocalists, the late Nana Coyote on the track "Take your love", Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse on the track "Burn out", the late Jabu Khanyile on the track "Siyashweleza". His links with a younger generation have been solidified through his association with the singer / producer Joe Nina, who produced his album "African Lady". Steve Kekana, Nana Coyote and Joe Nina regularly appeared on stage together in the early 2000s, and have recorded an album titled "My Pride, My Joy" under the name "The Trio", the album also features South African musical legends Hugh Masekela and Tshepo Tshola.
 
His latest album "Risen" was released in 2014, and includes a mixture of some of his classics and some new material.
 
Steve Kekana holds B Juris and LLB degrees, LLM in Labor Law and has written on Intellectual Property from the perspective of a songwriter.

ACHIEVEMENTS 

• 1978-date: Produced 44 albums and received more than 70 Golden Disc Awards.
• 1980: The Best Male Vocalist Award (Radio Zulu).
• 1984: The Four Outstanding Young South African (FOYSA) Award. 
• 1985: The Ten Outstanding Young People of the World (TOYP) Award
• 1986: The OKTV award
• 2010: Mama Bheka Community Awards
 
Steve Kekana

Thandiswa

Thandiswa Mazwai is one of the most influential musicians on the South African music scene today. She began her career in 1998 with Bongo Maffin, one of the pioneering bands of Kwaito. After 6 award winning albums with Bongo Maffin she ventured onto a solo career. Her first project 'Zabalaza' (2004), reached double platinum status and won numerous awards including a Kora award for Best African Female Artist and Four South African Music Awards. It was also nominated for the BBC Radio 3 Planet Awards. Her critically acclaimed second album 'Ibokwe' (2009) reached gold status in the first few weeks of its release and her recent live DVD 'Dance of the Forgotten Free' (2010) won South African Music Awards for Best Female Artist and Best Live DVD in 2011. The Guardian recently called her "South Africa's finest female contemporary singer."

Born in the year of the Soweto Uprising (1976), she has always felt that she has the soul of a rebel. Both her parents were journalists and political activists and she was raised in a home filled with books and thick with political discussions. It was this environment that nurtured her perspective as an artist. Her work has always been inspired by the writings of people like Biko and Fanon, Achebe and Nkrumah, she says, "My work gave me an opportunity to share my thoughts and have a meaningful conversation with my generation about Blackness, Africaness, about some of the social ills that plague us, and also about freedom and joy. Music gave me an opportunity to feed my revolutionary self." Her music travels travels through the village into the ghetto and raises the roof in the city. Her compositions today include traditional Xhosa rhythms, mbaqanga, reggae, kwaito, funk and jazz. Through this, Thandiswa straddles the urban and the rural, effortlessly melding the traditional with the modern.

And it is with this spirit that Thandiswa has performed all over the world at venues including: the FIFA 2010 World Cup Opening Ceremony, The Apollo Theatre, Radio City Hall, Womex, The Cannes Film Festival, The Barbican, Africa Brazil Festival, Fespaco Film Festival, BBC World Music Awards and several Mandela 46664 concerts. She has shared the stage with Salif Keita, Skunk Anansie, Cesaria Evora, Stevie wonder, Angelique Kidjo and many others. At home, Thandiswa has collaborated with several musicians like Hugh Masekela, Stimela, the late Busi Mhlongo, and the BLK JKS. Her creativity has led to collaboration with stellar international artists too. For instance, Thandiswa collaborated on two songs with US musician Meshell N'degeoCello on her album 'The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams' which was nominated for a Grammy in 2007. Most recently, she featured on Paul Simon's Graceland 25th Anniversary Tour, performing to audiences all over Europe.

Thinking about the future, she says "I would like to play all over the world to new audiences and share my music and perspective. I also want to make albums that will merge the sound from my part of the world with the sounds of Mali, Jamaica, the jazz underground in the USA, Brazil, Cuba, and the Congo. I am also interested in exploring electronic music, dub and funk, even punk... I guess I want to do it all."
Thandiswa Mazwai is one of the most influential musicians on the South African music scene today. She began her career in 1998 with Bongo Maffin, one of the pioneering bands of Kwaito. After 6 award winning albums with Bongo Maffin she ventured onto a solo career. Her first project 'Zabalaza' (2004), reached double platinum status and won numerous awards including a Kora award for Best African Female Artist and Four South African Music Awards. It was also nominated for the BBC Radio 3 Planet Awards. Her critically acclaimed second album 'Ibokwe' (2009) reached gold status in the first few weeks of its release and her recent live DVD 'Dance of the Forgotten Free' (2010) won South African Music Awards for Best Female Artist and Best Live DVD in 2011. The Guardian recently called her "South Africa's finest female contemporary singer."

Born in the year of the Soweto Uprising (1976), she has always felt that she has the soul of a rebel. Both her parents were journalists and political activists and she was raised in a home filled with books and thick with political discussions. It was this environment that nurtured her perspective as an artist. Her work has always been inspired by the writings of people like Biko and Fanon, Achebe and Nkrumah, she says, "My work gave me an opportunity to share my thoughts and have a meaningful conversation with my generation about Blackness, Africaness, about some of the social ills that plague us, and also about freedom and joy. Music gave me an opportunity to feed my revolutionary self." Her music travels travels through the village into the ghetto and raises the roof in the city. Her compositions today include traditional Xhosa rhythms, mbaqanga, reggae, kwaito, funk and jazz. Through this, Thandiswa straddles the urban and the rural, effortlessly melding the traditional with the modern.

And it is with this spirit that Thandiswa has performed all over the world at venues including: the FIFA 2010 World Cup Opening Ceremony, The Apollo Theatre, Radio City Hall, Womex, The Cannes Film Festival, The Barbican, Africa Brazil Festival, Fespaco Film Festival, BBC World Music Awards and several Mandela 46664 concerts. She has shared the stage with Salif Keita, Skunk Anansie, Cesaria Evora, Stevie wonder, Angelique Kidjo and many others. At home, Thandiswa has collaborated with several musicians like Hugh Masekela, Stimela, the late Busi Mhlongo, and the BLK JKS. Her creativity has led to collaboration with stellar international artists too. For instance, Thandiswa collaborated on two songs with US musician Meshell N'degeoCello on her album 'The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams' which was nominated for a Grammy in 2007. Most recently, she featured on Paul Simon's Graceland 25th Anniversary Tour, performing to audiences all over Europe.

Thinking about the future, she says "I would like to play all over the world to new audiences and share my music and perspective. I also want to make albums that will merge the sound from my part of the world with the sounds of Mali, Jamaica, the jazz underground in the USA, Brazil, Cuba, and the Congo. I am also interested in exploring electronic music, dub and funk, even punk... I guess I want to do it all

Thandiswa Mazwai
Thembisile Ntaka
The French Embassy
Tuxedo Junction

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