ARTISTS 2016 (PG2)
(First Artists Announced) (Second Artists Announced)
First Artists Announced
MUZART AND KHULI CHANA (SA)
When a locally and internationally award-winning hip hop artist joins forces with a SAMA nominated pop sensation band that’s young and vibrant, you get a magical experience from watching a dynamic fusion of talent on one stage. The on stage chemistry between Khuli Chana and Muzart is a winning formula that appeals to both a youthful and mature audience.
Muzart comprises of multi-talented musicians Tshegofatso "Tazzy" Lehutso, Victory “Vic” Chauke and actress, singer, Rorisang "Rori" Thandekiso. The group has created a chart topping, afro-pop sound that has been described as “conjuring a vivid vision of unclouded sunshine and positivity; together they sculpt a truly uplifting sound”. Layers of jazz, pop, house, gospel and soul fuse to forge their sound – an interplay of genres, which is underpinned by positivity and a celebration of life and love. In celebrating this love, the group has also been named official ambassadors for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and is actively involved with related projects.
Singer-songwriter, humanitarian and rapper, Khuli Chana (Kholane Morule) brings a distinct flavour and sound to the hip hop and Motswako music genres. Motswako encompasses elements from various musical backgrounds, involving street-talk and highly influential messages in Setswana, English and other South African languages, which Khuli Chana has dubbed “Tswenglish”. In his short career, there have been many highlights including recently making it to #1 in the UK on BBC 1Xtra with his single ‘No Lie’ featuring Patoranking, and opening up for international acts such as Big Sean and Kendrik Lamar as well as the curtain raiser act for Drake’s South African tour.
NATHI with special guest VUSI NOVA (SA)
With no formal training, Nathi Mankayi, entered and won a small regional talent search competition called ‘Dare to Dream’. Winning this event, Nathi has embarked on a journey where his dreams and aspirations are indeed coming true. His debut album Buyel'ekhaya has racked up an impressive download following on iTunes with the hit track ‘Nomvula’ winning hearts and fans all over the country - #nomvulafever. The afro-soul singer who is also an artist and sculptor, has had his music described as ”meaningful and authentic”, addressing his past challenges and future hopes with a husky voice and an acoustic air. His story and lyrics resonate with a refreshing honesty that will appeal, inspire and motivate all who listen and truly hear.
The hugely talented R&B soul singer Vusi Nova heard Nathi sing as a result of the ‘Dare to Dream’ competition and asked the singer to collaborate with him on a single. The result was ‘Noma Kanjani’ which became a critical and popular success. Vusi himself is a multi-award nominated, highly accomplished and popular artist whose songs, ’I’d rather go blind’ and ‘Walk into the Light’ have garnered the respect and following of a loyal fanbase.
RAHUL SHARMA (INDIA) AND GEORGE BROOKS (USA)
Rahul Sharma has carved a niche for himself in the world of Indian classical and fusion music, with over 60 released albums. As an award-winning santoor player, he has experimented with his music and taken the 100-stringed instrument into various genres from classical to new age, jazz and world fusion/electronica. Rahul learnt music and the santoor from his father and Guru Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, who is a music legend in India and the world over. Rahul’s father was responsible for exposing the Kashmiri-based santoor to the world. Today, Rahul has taken this instrument on a journey crossing many borders and various musical genres, although his interest primarily stays with Indian classical, fusion and experimental music.
Some of Rahul’s recent works include his live concert recordings with the tabla wizard Zakir Hussain. In 2011, Rahul released one of India’s best-selling albums called “Namaste India” with Kenny G. Rahul has recently composed Rebel a santoor rock album; Kashmir Nature’s Symphony with folk musicians of Kashmir; and Call of the Valley – Revisited, a thematic instrumental album. In 2012, Rahul released Deep India, a collaboration with Grammy winning musician Eric Mouquet.
GEORGE BROOKS (USA)
George Brooks is a prolific and diverse saxophonist and composer, acclaimed for successfully bridging the worlds of jazz and Indian classical music. Brooks began his study of jazz with Count Basie saxophonist, Frank Foster and continued at the New England Conservatory of Music, with George Russell, Joe Allard and Jaki Byard. While attending the Conservatory, Brooks was introduced to Indian classical music and became entranced by its melodic beauty, rhythmic complexity and deep spiritual core.
Brooks has received numerous awards and grants. In addition to performing and composing, Brooks has taught at the faculties of UC Santa Cruz, Mills College and the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, CA and leads master classes at colleges and schools around the world. He is a prolfic composer and his most recent work, Ghalib - for saxophone, sarode and table, was commissioned by the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music.
roberto SOLO fonseca (CUBA)
Since the beginning of his musical career in the early 1990s, Grammy nominated and award winning Cuban-born multi-instrumentalist Roberto Fonseca has stated his mission clearly: “I want my music to reach people who don’t know me, and I dream of one day becoming a point of reference for my audience.” Although still very young by the standards of jazz, hip hop and world music, Fonseca has maintained a sharp focus on his mission that has already garnered him global recognition and established his reputation as a creative bridge between traditional Cuban music and the sound of a new era.
Born into a musical family in Havana, Cuba in 1975, young Roberto originally gravitated to percussion, but started playing the piano at age 8. He began composing at age 14, drawing inspiration from afro-Cuban music and jazz musicians such as Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett, but also old American funk and soul classics. His appearance at Havana’s International Jazz Festival at the tender age of 15 was a revelation to audiences. Graduating with a degree in musical composition, Roberto has gone on to work with various members of the Buena Vista Social Club, touring the world and releasing multiple albums. His multidimensional and multicultural sound exists within an intricate mosaic that he looks forward to sharing with festival goers at the 17th Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
SWV is a Grammy nominated all-female jack swing trio from New York City. Their career has spanned over 25 years during which they have sold over 25 million albums, making them one of the best selling female R&B groups of all time. Coko (Cheryl Gamble), Taj (Tamara Johnson), and Lelee (Leanne Lyons) are school friends who sang together in church, which is where they learned to harmonise. Under the watchful attention of Teddy Riley (arguably the father of jack swing), the trio launched their debut album It’s About Time that went to double-platinum within its first year of release. A string of successes followed and after a 15-year hiatus when the girls followed solo careers, the trio are better than ever, following their reunited 2012 reunion album with a new studio album that will release on 30th October 2015, and houses the lush ballad ‘Ain’t No Man’, that picks up their 90’s appeal and sound.
THANDI NTULI (SA)
Pretoria-born pianist, vocalist and composer, Thandi Ntuli, grew up in a very musical family and owes her orientation to various genres and to the many influencers she had within her own family. Beginning her career as a pianist at the age of 4, she went on to graduate with a first class music degree from the University of Cape Town.
She first established herself as a supporting artist working with the likes of Judith Sephuma, The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, Jimmy Dludlu, Thandiswa Mazwai, Zara McFarlane (UK), Lady Alma (USA), Andy Narell (USA) and many more, before launching her solo career in 2014 with her debut album entitled The Offering. Received with critical acclaim, she has since had many nominations and received several awards, including a Metro FM award (2015) and a Mbokodo award for ‘Women in Jazz’ (2015).
Consisting of four accomplished musicians in and around Cape Town, this band has backed many local and international artists. Camillo Lombard (keyboards), Donveno Prins (saxophone), Charlton Daniels (bass) and Mornay Hoffmeester (drums) have become the backbone of many international music events, backing artists such as Jonathan Butler, Peaches and Herb, Tevin Campbell, Robin S, Cece Penistan, Sybil, Lloyd Cele, Loyiso Bala and many more.
The group is also focused on Youth and Community Development, thus sharing their time and talent teaching youth in impoverished communities and investing in charity performances. After years of performing across Africa (as well as Lombard and Prins playing to a packed audience at Carnegie Hall), TopDog are currently in studio recording their eagerly-awaited debut album.
TRIBUTE ‘BIRDIE’ MBOWENI (SA)
Even the largest avalanche is triggered by small things. If this saying is to go by, then the petite Tribute ‘Birdie’ Mboweni is a true testimony to how big things can really come in small packages. As a singer and songwriter, Birdie is proving to be a force to be reckoned with. Her voice is strong, soulful and wrapped up in both neo-soul and pop, yet still remains jazzy.
Birdie has joined a new breed of soul musicians that are putting their own modern take on the classic sound, and doing it justice. Her voice evokes raw, organic emotion that penetrates deep into the heart. She launched her album Birdie in May 2015 and she says “this album teaches us that music recognises no barriers and can penetrate the hardest of hearts and unwraps the most hidden emotions of love long lost in despair.” Her music expresses deep feelings and is profoundly emotional, jazzy, ethno and yet soulful. Her live performances – to which she is no stranger - are equally so.
TUMI MOGOROSI AND PROJECT ELO (SA)
Tumi Mogorosi is a SAMA nominated and award winning drummer of extraordinary virtuosity and range, whose debut album, Project ELO, has been receiving acclaim and a loyal following around the world. Acknowledged as one of the best jazz albums to come out of South Africa in recent years, Project ELO, under Tumi’s guiding and explosive composing and performance energy, leads listeners through a purposely crafted narrative that is compelling and spellbinding to the very last beat and note.
Besides his intermittent studies at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), Tumi has refined his brushstrokes alongside prominent local and international jazz musicians that include: American trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, Feya Faku as well as bassist Herbie Tsoaeli. With Project ELO, he has toured in Europe, including the United Kingdom and France, and is always refining his craft and thrilling his audiences.
VICTOR WOOTEN (USA)
Victor Wooten is an innovator, composer, arranger, producer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist. He is a skilled naturalist and teacher, a published author, and a five-time Grammy award winner. But those gifts only begin to tell the tale of this Tennessee titan. Known for his solo recordings and tours, and as a member of the Grammy-winning supergroup, Béla Fleck & The Flecktones, Victor has won almost every major award given to a bass guitarist. He was voted Bassist of the Year by Bass Player Magazine three times and is the only person to have won the award more than once.
His illustrious career started at age 3, performing neighborhood concerts with his brothers in the front yard of their home in Hawaii. At age 6, he was touring with his brothers as the opening band for soul legend Curtis Mayfield. Victor was influenced by bass mentors, Stanley Clarke, Larry Graham and Bootsy Collins, but sites his brothers and parents as his main influences. “In music and in life, my parents and brothers were the foundation.” He has recorded 30 albums – either as a soloist or as a member of the various bands and groups he still performs with, continuing to grow as a person, artist, teacher and performer and is currently working on a sequel to the book: The Music Lesson. He is guaranteed to remain a positive force in the music industry.