Blu Bamboo

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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

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