Greetings everybody. There is so much happening this month, that there's no time for music trivia!
Firstly, congratulations to Franco Prinsloo for winning the prestigious annual ImpACT award for young arts professionals. The entire composition community celebrates with you, Franco.
(Franco will direct the VOX Chamber Choir this month at the Wakkerstroom Music Festival and also sees performances of his major work Naledi at the University of Pretoria this month - see below).
Reminder of Opportunities
Sunday 4-7pm on the 10, 17, 24, 31 March and 7 April at Theatre Arts Admin Collective, Cape Town.
Performances take place on the 13, 14, 22, 23 March and 7 April at 8pm at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective, Cape Town.
Kevin Volans Talks and Concerts in Johannesburg
28-31 March 2019
RSVP: Mareli Stolp firstname.lastname@example.org
International Composition Competition 2019
Please note deadline: 31 March 2019.
8th Education Africa International Marimba and Steelpan Festival 2019
Closing date for entry fee is: 7 June 2019
Closing date for submission of composition is: 8 July 2019
PLEASE NOTE REGISTRATION DEADLINE of 15th MARCH!
SASRIM Call for Contributions
Please note deadline: 31 March 2019
PASMAE Call for Contributions
Please note deadline: 31 March 2019
*This conference features the keynote speaker William Chapman Nyaho, pioneer of African Pianism.
15th “Pablo Sorozabal” International String Quartet Composition Competition
The competition is open to composers of any nationality or origin born after 1st January 1984.
The deadline for entering scores expires on 30th August 2019.
And so on to our content for this month...
NB composers and performers: A fantastic opportunity to engage with a representative from Classical NEXT, the pioneering music festival of new music based in Rotterdam (The Netherlands).
Meet and greet with Jennifer Dautermann, head of the classical new music conference Classical NEXT, held annually in Rotterdam (https://www.classicalnext.com/) on her trip to SA. She will talk about the philosophy behind Classical NEXT and meet SA composers and performers of new music to find out more about music and musicians in SA. This will be in a very informal setting over some light refreshments.
Saturday March 16th in Joburg: 3-5pm
Sunday March 17th in Cape Town: 3-5pm
Please RSVP to email@example.com for exact location.
And now, an exciting concert by the singer and composer Odwa Bongo taking place in Cape Town on Sunday 3rd March:
Music Salon with musician Odwa Bongo at no. 5 Rowan Lane on Sunday the 3rd of March 2019, as part of the Salon festival Cape Town.
Tickets are available on quicket.
See link: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/66226-music-salon-with-odwa-bongo/#/
There are so many festivals happening in March, from the Cape Town International Jazz festival, the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees, Woordfees in Stellenbosch, the Wakkerstroom Music Festival - and more! - all featuring performances of new music.
Here are a few highlights starting with upcoming events in Gauteng, including the NSA Festival of the Arts, featuring a revival of the influential one act musical play Too Late by Gibson Kente, Simphiwe Dana's annual congregation, Naledi by Franco Prinsloo, and a ground-breaking tour to South Africa by Flemish dance companies.
This annual celebration is brought to you by Radio 2000 in partnership with The Bassline Live Series.
Date: 2nd of March
Simphiwe Dana is the first South African winner of the New York City Bessie Award in 2014: for Exit/Exist – Outstanding Music Composition in a Dance Production (composition by Simphiwe Dana; guitar arrangements and accompaniment by Giuliano Modarelli; harmonies by Complete quartet)
"The collaborative music between Simphiwe Dana, Giuliano Modarelli and Complete transcends many barriers, paying homage to Chief Maqoma, a historical figure."
(Simphiwe Dana, Giuliano Modarelli, and Complete Quartet for Exit/Exist choreographed by Gregory Maqoma - Vuyani Dance Theatre)
"The sensational Simphiwe Dana has just celebrated her birthday on 23 January with a major and lucrative deal with Universal Music where she will not only produce her own albums, but will also partner with the record label to identify, develop and groom the young, up-and-coming talent.
To catch the Simphiwe Dana Annual Congregation live at the Lyric Theatre in Gold Reef City, book your tickets now via Computicket. The show is expected to sell out fast."
From Shakespeare to Kente at NSA Festival
From 6-10 March 2019, the Joburg Theatre and the National School of the Arts in Braamfontein will be home to NSA’s Festival of the Arts.
Gibson Kente’s Too Late headlines a compelling programme of theatre, dance and visual arts. Directed by Makhaola Ndebele with designs by Sarah Roberts and featuring a live NSA band, the dramatic, at times humorous Too Late opens a heart-breaking window onto mid-70’s South Africa Soweto. “It is a significant choice for 2019 as South Africa reflects on 25 years of democracy and the NSA marks 50 years of being at the forefront of specialist arts education,” said Gary Natali, Principal of South Africa’s leading school of specialisation in performing and creative arts – the NSA. “The learners are dedicated to the task at hand. They are inspiring and inspired, and I know that their talent and commitment will move the audiences,” he concluded.
The evocatively titled Bridges & Arches is the 2019 edition of the NSA ’s popular Dance Spectrum and features the work of four leading female choreographers: Kitty Phetla (the recipient of the 2019 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Dance), Shanell Winlock-Pailman, Nadine Buys and Rosana Maya. Bridges & Arches sees the dancers seamlessly bridging the space between the stylistic demands of four different choreographers journeying from contemporary to neo-classical, from ballet to flamenco and back again. The arch represents a constant motion of moving forward and embracing new perspectives and opportunities.
Renaissance drama meets Generation Z in the reimagined A Midsummer Night’s Dream giving credence to Ben Jonson’s claim that Shakespeare was “not of an age but for all time.” Adapted and directed by Johan Anker and Laine Butler the creative team behind the critically acclaimed Afro-Punk Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is set in an urban plastic jungle that reflects both attitudes and materials and plays in the more intimate Fringe at the Joburg Theatre.
The gripping play, Evil, deals with the abusive and oppressive world of institutionalised bullying and features award-winning actor Jaques de Silva in a powerful tour de force solo performance. Produced by the NSA and directed by Laine Butler and Mike da Silva, this startling work was adapted and translated by Jens Svane Boutrup from the 1981 bestselling semi-autobiographical book by the acclaimed novelist Jan Guillou. Bullying remains a heart-breaking scourge in our schools and workplace. The stage adaptation was voted one of the top productions of the Imaginate Youth Festival in Edinburgh in 2016 and 2017 by a jury of teenagers and offers an invaluable reflection for high school learners.
On Wednesday 6 March the NSA is proud to be partnering with Ticket to the Moon and CH2 in presenting Guitar Wizards and the extraordinarily talented Polish teenager Marcin Patrzalek. The Festival is offering a guitar workshop which starts at 15:00 and a special Festival evening performance of Guitar Wizards in the NSA main Hall at 19:00. The line-up will also showcase the leading guitarists from the NSA. This workshop demonstration and performance is a must for all guitar enthusiasts across the age spectrum.
The NSA Art Department offers a variety of festival fare including a short animation film, titled Luna, “Rhythm” the 36-guitar transformation project, EcoBrick benches as well as a specially curated exhibition of student work.
The NSA Theatre will be home to the original works that came through the 2018 Original Works Festival. Comedy Improv in the spirit of "Whose Line is it Anyway?" will give audience members a chance to participate and share the spotlight with the anchor improv performers from the NSA.
Other festival work includes an African guitar-making workshop, the Climate Change Protest poem from the acclaimed Well Worn Theatre Co. led by the inspiring eco-activist award-winning theatre maker Kyla Davis, Vuyani Dance Theatre, a pop-up gallery on the field which focuses on Neil Le Roux’s eco-biological artwork – The Bramble Fountain Food Forest. There will be scheduled tours of the hydroponics tunnel and an opportunity to view the Bramble Fountain Food Forest.
Formerly known as the Festival of Fame, the NSA’s Festival of the Arts is the highlight showcase event of the first quarter of the academic year. 2019 marks the 18th Festival and is made possible through a social investment made by the FirstRand Foundation (made from the RMB Fund’s Education for a creative economy), the National Lotteries Commission, the National Arts Council, Business Arts South Africa and with the support of The Joburg Theatre, ASSITEJ South Africa and Tastic.
A day at the festival offers a unique experience of arts and culture, instilling and nurturing a love for all things creative; educating, entertaining and encouraging reflection.
Tickets from R80 for a full day pass to all shows (R70 for school block bookings) and R120 for evening and weekend shows at The Joburg Theatre. Book at www.joburgtheatre.com or 0861 670 670.
Guitar Wizards – workshop and evening show R180. Bookings through Charmaine Stander at the Festival Office at the NSA.
ALL SCHOOL BOOKINGS
011 339 6539 (ext 339)
On the dance theatre front, Dance Umbrella Africa at the State Theatre from the 31st of March to the 7th of April, with an important session to focus on Adrienne Sichel's recently published book giving an overview of contemporary dance in South Africa over the past forty years:
The South African State Theatre is proud to announce that the newly revived Dance Umbrella Africa (DUA) will launch under the theme, “Figure-ring – The State of the Dance in Africa”.
#DUA2019 will embrace all genres of the Dance, from authentic South African Dance Isipantsula to diverse classical, contemporary, dance theatre and performance art.
Mamela Nyamza, acclaimed Dancer and Choreographer, and SAST’s Deputy Artistic Director is at the helm of the festival as a curator. The week long festival looks forward to feature SA and Africa’s best dancer in their diversity. Focus and emphasis will be on the youth, female choreographers, emerging directors/curators, and a fair share of established artists and institutions.
A note on the book launch:
"Adrienne Sichel has over the past 40 years, painstakingly documented in her journalistic writing, and critiques the changing landscape of contemporary dance in South Africa pre and post democracy. Her contribution to the dance industry has earned her the respect of both the national and international dance community.
Body Politics: Fingerprinting South African Contemporary Dance is a blend of Sichel’s journalistic writing and experience combined with a vast collection of research material on the evolution of contemporary dance in South Africa. This fingerprinting exercise connects some of the dots of how a very valuable, even unique, heritage, has taken shape.
Featured in this one-of-a-kind book are artists, companies and festivals which include early pioneers and contemporary players such as: Sylvia Glasser, Tossie van Tonder, Carly Dibakoane, Robyn Orlin, Alfred Hinkel, Jay Pather, Debbie Rakusin, Jackie Mbuyiselwa Semela, Jayespri Moopen, Boyzie Ntsikelelo Cekwana, Vincent Sekwati Koko Mantsoe, Gregory Maqoma, Lliane Loots, Nelisiwe Xaba, PJ Sabbagha, Jeannette Ginslov, Dada Masilo, Mamela Nyamza, Fana Tshabalala, Jazzart Dance Theatre, Moving into Dance Mophatong, The First Physical Theatre Company, The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative, Flatfoot Dance Company, Via Katlehong Pantsulas, Dance Umbrella, JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience and The Baxter Dance Festival."
...and a visiting dance company from Flanders kicks of their tour of South Africa with Rule of Three at the Market Theatre, on the 16th of March.
Rule of Three by GRIP | Jan Martens in collaboration with NAH –
Dancers: Steven Michel, Courtney Robertson, Daniel Mussett
In Rule of Three, Flemish choreographer Jan Martens blends storytelling with live music to create a night-club vibe combined with the feeling of getting lost in the pages of a book, with the result of a stunning dance piece that is loud, bright and brilliant. A succession of dance tableaux unfolds with surprises lurking at every corner, unrelated short scenes give impressions of the profusion of information we are constantly subjected to.
American drummer and producer NAH sets the score for the entire performance mixing live and programmed drums with manipulated sounds, establishing a unique atmosphere where music, lights and movement, interact and overlap in a superb experimental mix. The layering of rhythm, light and music creates a variety of landscapes that might just as easily exude the sweet whiff of nonchalance as set bodies alight. Rule of Three is rebellious and fiery, it unleashes an untamed meditation on the contrasts of our era: numbness and explosion, the decided upon and the intuitive, the heart and the mind.
African première: Sat 16 March 2019, Market Theatre, Johannesburg
Age restriction: 16+ (full nudity)
Then, not to be missed in Pretoria, VOX Chamber Choir present Franco Prinsloo's remarkable multi-lingual choral work Naledi:
UP Performing Arts Presents: "Naledi - An African Journey".
UP Youth Choir in collaboration with Vox Chamber Choir will perform Franco Prinsloo Composer/Performer's multilingual choral work in concert version this March, 2019.
The story of Naledi, the morning and evening star, will be magically told by African story telling specialist and actress Galeboe Moabi.
An ensemble of exceptional musicians will accompany the UP Youth Choir and Vox Chamber Choir including Magdalena de Vries - Percussionist & Marimba Specialist, Francois Lessing and Faye Prinsloo.
Audiences will be taken on this enchanting journey with movement artists: Brandon Thespian Olifant(TBO), Abe Pupunyane and Thato Paul Menoe; and beautiful animations created by Louis Minnaar.
Directed by Karina Lemmer
Conducted by Franco Prinsloo and Herman Nicolas Swanepoel
Double Bass: Neville Nhlanhla Radebe
Flute and Piano: Faye Prinsloo
Violin: Calayde Davey
Percussion: Francois Lessing
Marimba and percussion: Magda de Vries
Story and music: Franco Prinsloo
Two concerts will be held at the Aula - University of Pretoria - Theatre:
16 March 2019: 18:30 for 19:00; and
17 March 2019: 14:30 for 15:00.
Ticket price per person:
- Online: R150.00; and
- At the door: R170.00.
Do not miss this proudly South African collaborative production. Book your tickets at Tixsa today!
Just click here: https://tickets.tixsa.co.za/…/up-performing-arts-presents-n…
To Kwazulu-Natal - where Concerts SA and iSupport Music Business introduce the Cape Town based pianist and composer Lihle Dunjana to audiences in Groutville, Hammarsdale and KwaMashu.
Dunjana will be performing on Friday 1 March at Luthuli Museum in Groutville, Saturday 2 March at Seaman’s Corner in Hammarsdale and Sunday 3 March at Artizen in KwaMashu.
The project Dunjana is presenting is titled iGugu. It is a mix of African-American hardbound style, South African jazz and soul music- a unique sound that tells of her experiences and influences of past musicians.
“In my band, I always strive for openness, for musicians to be themselves, so we can fully collaborate. When there are no limits or boundaries, there is room for so much creativity and the birth of infinite things.” says Dunjana.
For this performance Dunjana will be accompanied by Thabo Sikhakhane on trumpet, Dalisu Ndlazi on bass guitar and Tefo Mahola on drums.
Thembelihle Dunjana is a young pianist born in one of S.A’s historical townships, Gugulethu in Cape Town. She is an improviser and teacher who has, over the years, been very influenced by the transcendent realm of music and its ability to capture true honesty in a specific moment, never to be relived again. Dunjana started playing piano at the age of about 11, with a particular interest in searching and finding something new in the music every day However, with the classical teaching she had at the time, this curiosity was somewhat inhibited and she later found herself taking a large interest in improvisation and jazz, since graduating at the University of Cape Town with a BMUS in Jazz.
Dunjana is continuously seeking to evolve her sound and perception of music and is strongly influenced by not only the greats, but by ordinary South Africans who choose to dig deeper into their musical and social norms. In her youthful career Dunjana has thus far performed at the Grahamstown festival, Cape Town fringe festival, Olso Jazz festival and recently at the Cape Town Jazz festival with the Delft Big band- as well as at many other venues around her city- and is ready to share her music with the rest of the country, and the world.
This series of performances by Lihle Dunjana is part of the Concerts SA Venue Circuit which aims to foster a love and support for live music in our communities, as well as anchor small and medium sized venues in urban and rural Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Western Cape.
Concerts SA is a joint South African/Norwegian live music development project housed within the SAMRO Foundation. Concerts SA receives financial, administrative and technical support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SAMRO, the SAMRO Foundation and Concerts Norway. Working with musicians, promoters, venue owners and audiences, and providing support to the sector through research and skills development for music professionals, the project aims to build a vibrant and viable live music circuit in southern Africa. It also aims to develop an interest in and appreciation of live music by showcasing music performances and conducting workshops at schools.
For more information please visit our website http://concertssa.co.za, follow @ConcertsSA on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ConcertsSA or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ConcertsSA.
Friday 1 March
Luthuli Museum – Groutville
6pm / R30- at the door
Saturday 2 March
Seaman’s Corner – Unit 3, Hammarsdale
7pm / R40- at the door
Sunday 3 March
Artizen Restaurant & Lounge – KwaMashu
Distell Wine Tasting
Also on stage: Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane and A Tribute to Sophiatown
4pm / R80 at the door, incl. free canapes and wine
And in Durban, at The Phansi Museum, catch composer and pianist Nduduzo Makhathini supporting a book by Graham Alcock, on Tuesday the 5th of March.
To Mpumalanga, where the Wakkerstroom festival includes a number of exciting concerts of new music, with performers such as the DUO KP (Khanyisile Mthetwa and Peter Cartwright), pianist Tinus Botha, marimba and flute duo Magda de Vries and Malané Hofmeyr-Burger and the aforementioned VOX ensemble...
Wakkerstroom Music Festival (20-24 March 2019)
"DUO KP, with Khanyisile Mthetwa and Peter Cartwright, present a programme of three sonatas for flute and piano. Otar Taktakishvili’s Sonata for flute and piano is inspired by Georgian folk music and was composed during Soviet isolation in the cold war, with striking similarities to Prokofiev. César Franck’s monumental Sonata for flute and piano was originally written for the violin, and popularized on the flute by Sir James Galway. Presenting immense challenges for both musicians, this is a rare opportunity to hear the piece in this form. Mike Mower’s Sonata Latino uses combinations of South American dances including Salsa, Rumba, Bossa Nova and Tango, as well as extended techniques from both instruments."
"Tinus Botha (piano) presents Meditations for Piano, a celebration of introspective, meditative, and transcendental works from the mid-19th century and the present. The programme consists of Schubert’s monumental last piano sonata, contrasted with more recent compositions by South African composer Hendrik Hofmeyr. Hendrik Hofmeyr’s Elegy from Partita Romantica was written in remembrance of the lives of two deeply loved canine companions who died too soon. Three distinct musical ideas are shaped and developed to convey a gamut of visceral emotions: pain, emptiness, bitterness, remembrance, and finally, acceptance. Hendrik Hofmeyr’s Variations on an African Lullaby is a masterful re-imagination of the Zulu song, Thula Baba, made famous by the late Miriam Makeba. The well-known melody is touchingly caressed and guided through a series of gentle transformations during which the colouristic capabilities of the instrument are explored to maximum effect. Schubert’s epic narrative conveys the full spectrum of human emotion; the slow-paced melodic development in the opening movement allows for inward contemplation by the listener, while the intensely expressive second movement has often been described as a spiritual experience. This is followed by the gentle frolicking of the scherzo, and the alternating brooding, playfulness, and final exuberant release of the coda. Leave behind the noise and bustle of everyday life, and give in to an hour of inward contemplation."
"Mart-Marie Snyman (piano, synthesizers), Siobhan Lloyd-Jones (violin), Ronald Davey (cello), James Robb (percussion), Pieter de Klerk (sound engineer) present Piccadilly Foxtrot:
Piccadilly is a silent film released in 1929 directed by E.A Dupont in which Valentine Wilmot owns a nightclub featuring dancers Mabel and Vic. After a confrontation with Wilmot, Vic quits performing at the club. When the club starts losing business, a desperate Wilmot hires former dishwasher Shosho as a dancer. She is an instant hit and forms a rapport with Wilmot, which leads to jealousy and a mysterious murder.
Have a 1920’s experience of your own with the intimacy of a live band playing alongside this film – with a twist. Expect 21st century music combined with a 90 year old silent film, as well as a few classical and jazz turns. The rare combination of modern music played on vintage instruments adds to the unpredictable and exciting nature of this film – Ronald Davey on cello, trumpet and theremin, Siobhan Lloyd-Jones on violin, Mart-Marie Snyman on piano and analogue synthesizers, and James Robb on percussion. In 2017 IMPAC commissioned the musicians to compose an original score for Piccadilly. In this re-creation of another era, although originally inspired by above mentioned genres, the musicians intentionally subvert dominant aspects of the genres to create a new sound."
"Vox Chamber Choir is a Pretoria based chamber choir of 24 singers. Founded by composer and conductor, Franco Prinsloo, in 2017 with a focus on quality recordings and performances of his own music, as well as a selection of music by other contemporary Pretoria based composers.
Vox Chamber Choir also focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration and seeks to create hybrid choral music experiences that expand traditional performance practices. The singers of Vox Chamber Choir are huge choral enthusiasts and comprises choral conductors, composers, music educators, and semi-professional singers. We strive to promote South African contemporary choral music throughout the world and seek to inspire with our unique focus on music by living composers.
This unique programme includes songs in Afrikaans, English, Setswana, isiZulu and Latin."
Other noteworthy performances at the Wakkerstroom Music Festival include:
Viola Flowers presented by Judith Klins (viola) and Eugene Joubert (piano) and featuring Niel van der Watt’s Flowers of the Drakensberg which is a suite in 7 movements depicting species of flowers found in the mountains there.
Faire un Voyage presented by marimba and flute duo Magda de Vries and Malané Hofmeyr-Burger "will take the audience on a musical journey to Japan (composer Michio Miyagi), South America (Maximo Pujol), Austria (Joseph Haydn), Estonia (Arvo Pärt) and Hungary (Béla Bartók).
To the Eastern Cape, where Nelson Mandela University host the 97th AGM and conference of the South African Society of Music Teachers (SASMT) under the theme Let the Music Speak...
"For the first time in 40 years, the SASMT National Conference will be hosted in Port Elizabeth, the Friendly City. This is an historic event and of great significance to all music lovers in the Eastern Cape Region. The conference will be taking place from 14 to 16 March and will be guided by the general theme ‘Let the Music Speak…’ Apart from musical performances, ‘hands on’ choral and orchestra workshops will be offered. The keynote speaker will, most fittingly be Dr Richard Cock, a proud son of the Eastern Cape. Expect presentations and panel discussions on relevant topics such as Music Technology, Decolonisation and the effective incorporation of contemporary music into the school curriculum. The Committee furthermore wishes to offer a platform to as many of our bright young music stars as possible, making the involvement of the spectacular school orchestras for which the Eastern Cape has come to be known, a top priority."
Look out particularly for Jeff Brukman's presentation, "Let the music speak through young composers".
Lastly, in the Western Cape, where the KKNK in Oudtshoorn, the Woordfees in Stellenbosch, and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, all promise invigorating experiences of new music in March.
The KleinKarooKunsteFees (KKNK) presents KROG - Babette Viljoen, Hilandi du Toit and Olga Leonard's unique settings of Antjie Krog's poetry for voice, piano accordion, piano and guitar.
Afrikaans | Geen o/12 |Taal | 60 min.
R135, R150 (by die deur)
NG Kerk Moedergemeente
24 Maart 12:30, 25 Maart 16:00
Also on the programme, the inimitable Amanda Strydom presents MISS MANDY with pianist Coenraad Rall. Expect to be taken on a musical journey through Amanda Strydom's genre breaking songwriting career, which includes 25 appearances at the KKNK and memories of her collaboration with Johannes Kerkorrel.
Afrikaans, Engels, Frans en Nederlands
Gesin | 70 min. | R155, R170 (by die deur)
Die Windpomp Restaurant Teater
20 Maart 21:00, 21 Maart 14:00, 24 Maart 21:00, 25 Maart 10:00
DIE ONBEKENDE COENIE sees Coenie de Villiers, at the height of his powers, presenting his compositions accumulated over the past forty years.
Afrikaans | Geen o/5 | OB | 60 min.
R145, R160 (by die deur)
Die Windpomp Restaurant Teater
25 Maart 14:00, 26 Maart 21:00, 27 Maart 10:00
For more information on these and other concerts, browse to the web link below.
Oudtshoorn to Stellenbosch is a lovely drive on the R62...
Hosted by the University of Stellenbosch (US), Woordfees features a stellar programme of music concerts, among them the following concerts featuring new music:
CAPE TOWN INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL
On the 29th and 30th of March, the twentieth edition of this spectacular annual festival features a notable line-up of local and international artists, and particular attention is to be given to the masterclasses, which this year includes the likes of:
Bickram Ghosh (INDIA)
Cory Henry (USA)
John Scofield (USA)
Nicole Mitchell (USA)
(these are all exceptional composers and performers and will no doubt deliver outstanding workshops, not to be missed!)
A few other picks of the festival include the following performances:
NUBYA GARCIA (UK)
London-based saxophonist and composer Nubya Garcia is one of the leading forces behind the resurgence of jazz-influenced sounds in the UK. Her afro-tinged jazz has made her a key component in a string of new and established groups. Alongside her original music, Garcia has a burgeoning reputation as a DJ.
THE REZA KHOTA QUARTET (SA)
Reza Khota’s formal music training led him to a master’s degree in solo guitar performance from the University of the Witwatersrand in Joburg. He plays with saxophonist Buddy Wells who has earned significant recognition for projects across genres. Musicians Shane Cooper on contrabass and Jonno Sweetman on drums make up the rest of this prolific quarter. The conversation between these four artists is wide open, and as likely to manifest sparse restraint as it is to explore visceral excitement.
THE MILL (SA/ SWISS)
This South African/Swiss collaboration comes as a result of the Swiss Arts Council and the efforts of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival’s support for vibrant exchange between musicians. This multifaceted collaboration between Swiss and South African musicians is set to break new grounds in the pairing of two distinct and yet seemingly dissimilar worlds. The Mill is a mish-mash of horn arrangements, piano and razor-sharp guitar. Participating musicians include Marco Müller (double bass), Matthias Tschopp (alto and baritone saxophone), Fabian Willman (bass clarinet and tenor saxophone), Florian Egli (soprano and alto saxophones), Yonela Mnana (piano and vocals), Siya Makuzeni (trombone and vocals), Mandla Mlangeni (trumpet) and Vuma Levin (guitar).
GOGO PENGUIN (UK)
This Manchester-based leftfield piano trio’s music has been described as acoustic-electronica but they draw equally on rock, jazz and minimalism, game soundtracks and glitchy-electronica to create their unique sound. It’s music for the heart, head and feet and saw their album v2.0 (Gondwana Records) named a Mercury Prize album of the year 2014 alongside albums from Damon Albarn, Young Fathers and Jungle. In 2015 they signed to Blue Note Records and released the album Man Made Object in 2016. More recently they have been touring their own score to Godfrey Reggio’s cult film Koyaanisqatsi. They perform music from their recent album A Humdrum Star as well as new music and hits from their powerful back catalogue.
EDGAR MUZAH & FRIENDS (SA)
Edgar Muzah is a bass player originally from Zimbabwe and now residing in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and the winner of espAfrika’s 2019 talent search competition. Muzah has toured extensively in Zimbabwe and South Africa as well as to other countries across the world.
Notably, he has performed at the Bayimba Festival in Uganda, Belfast Alive in Ireland and the Finnish Jazz Festival in Finland. He makes his debut at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in March 2019.
Project Dimensions, one of his initiatives featuring most of the artists he has worked with, produced and written music for, has also toured to various European countries.
Apart from personal projects, Muzah has also worked as a producer and composer for a number of other artists. His efforts with Zimbabwean world music artist Willis Wataffi received three Zimbabwe Music Awards awards in 2016. Other award-winning musicians he has worked with include Chumani Ngojo, the 2015 Crown gospel award winner; Phumlani Mtiti, a 2013 South African Music Award winner; and multi-award winner and platinum selling afro soul rising star Nathi.
AFRICAN TIME MEETING LEGENDS OVERTIME featuring Herbie Tsoaeli, Sydney Mnisi, Feya Faku, Andile Yenana and Kevin Gibson (SA)
This ensemble features Herbie Tsoaeli (bass, vocal); Sydney Mnisi (tenor, sax); Feya Faku (flugel horn, trumpet); Andile Yenana (piano); and Kevin Gibson (drums). Its sound is the music of the present and future, guided by spirits, energies and vibrations from the past. It is inspired from the soil and soul of Africa. Herbie Tsoaeli has spent over three decades making music, as the preferred side-man to some of the South Africa’s and international jazz and commercial artists. With this project he enters centre-stage with an entourage of seasoned African jazz masters, styled in true South African jazz format that collectively presents songs from the African Time album and new compositions.
Mahube, a Setswana word meaning ‘new dawn’, is a collaboration and celebration of Southern African music. It is a dynamic regional voice with influences sewn together seamlessly to create a showcase for all artistry in the region – proof that creativity knows no boundaries.
The original Mahube, conceptualised by Steve Dyer in 1998, has been re-invented to acknowledge much of the youthful creativity that is shaping the cultural landscape today. Musician Bokani Dyer is a co-director of the new project that features Mbuso Khoza – a haunting voice and social commentator from KZN; the ever-inventive singer and trombonist Siya Makuzeni from the Eastern Cape; the graceful singer, dancer and mbira player Hope Masike from Zimbabwe; and dynamic singer and dancer Xixel Langa from Mozambique.
Together with a stellar band of top instrumentalists, Mahube gives voice to contemporary music born on African soil.
MORRIS GOLDBERG (SA)
New York-based composer, saxophonist, clarinettist, penny whistler and vocalist, Morris Goldberg recently completed recording his third album with his group, OJOYO, and wrote most of the original music.
The OJOYO sound is Safrojazz, a combination of South African and American music. Goldberg grew up in Observatory, Cape Town, and nurtured musical roots that span jazz, classical music, bebop and mbaqanga. He won popular acclaim through his featured performances on Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’ album.
Goldberg has also performed with Hugh Masekela, among others, before leaving South Africa to broaden his musical horizons. He regularly recorded and performed with artists such as Miriam Makeba and Harry Belafonte. He also worked with Jonathan Butler and exiled singer Letta Mbulu. In 1974, Goldberg returned to Cape Town and participated in Abdullah (Dollar Brand) Ibrahim’s recording, ‘Manenberg’. He has regularly returned to perform in South Africa.
NDAKA YO WIÑI (ANGOLA)
Ndaka Yo Wiñi is a musician, composer and cultural researcher, born in the Angolan city Lobito. Music has been part of his life since his youth. His performance resembles something that approaches a magical ritual act. And it is strongly linked to his local cultural heritage. It has resulted in the creation of a concert project called ‘Lundongo no Lwandu’ which means Ancestral Rhythm of Cradle. He has meanwhile performed at various jazz festivals, including the Meeting With Africa festival in Brazil; the Dipanda Forever Project in Portugal; Expo Milan in Italy; and various events in Luanda. Film is another avenue for his music, most notably producing the soundtrack for the film On the Other Side of the World.
RICHARD BONA (CAMEROON)
Cameroonian Richard Bona’s seemingly effortless voice, fierce skills on the bass, unique songwriting/arranging expertise and ability to learn just about any instrument simply from watching, position him as a rare African artist to have established an international reputation that transcends cultural boundaries.
His new album is a compilation of art inspired by the shared heritage, rich folkloric and traditional music of West Africa and Cuba.
Preserving the traditions of the western African slave Cabildos, Bona and the Mandekan Cubano bring the music, dance, rituals, and oral history of the island to the world.
BCUC (Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness) (South Africa)
BCUC is a live music-performing band from Soweto and draws inspiration from indigenous music. The band sings ritual songs, shebeen songs, church songs and infuses these with raps and a rock ‘n roll attitude. Their music has been described as South African afro-psychedelic future pop. That seems like a live experience not to be missed.
So there you have it, when it comes to performances of new music I am sure you will all agree there is an absolute smorgasbord of variety on offer this month.
I will now probably need to be forgiven for adding that iconic British band The Cure are touring to South Africa, performing on the following dates:
16 March 2019 – Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area, Cape Town
21 March 2019 – Festival Lawns, Carnival City, Johannesburg
And if you happen to be in London, don't forget about the evening of African Art Song at The October Gallery on the 30th of March (as posted in last month's newsletter - scroll below).
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Till next time,