Artists 2024 – Second Announcement

Second Artists Announcement 2024

Ami Faku (SA)

With a voice that commands the attention of any room she sings in, multi-award nominated and winning, and double platinum vocalist Ami Faku, is a rare musical gem hailing from the Eastern Cape in South Africa.  Gifted with the ability to work with various musical genres, Ami Faku finds her solace in the modern Afro-pop genre. Her music regularly racks up millions of views on streaming platforms – Abalele surpassed 25 million Streams and is growing – even finding herself on President Obama’s favourite music list for 2020 for her single Uwrongo, which was also a Time Magazine’s coveted “10 Best Songs Of 2020”.

Ami began her musical career at the age of six, singing in the church choir, which has influenced her sound along with her love for church, reggae, and hip hop. Following her success on Season 2 of The Voice South Africa, Ami released her first album in 2020, garnering awards and millions of fans and being named as the most-streamed female artist in the same year.

In addition to her solo work, Faku has collaborated with several notable artists, further expanding her musical horizons. Her collaborations with renowned South African musicians such as Sun-El Musician and Blaq Diamond have yielded chart-topping hits and garnered widespread praise for their seamless blend of genres and styles.

In addition to her musical pursuits, Faku is also known for her philanthropic efforts, using her platform to advocate for social causes and uplift marginalized communities. Through her music and activism, she continues to inspire and empower audiences, cementing her legacy as not just a talented artist, but also a force for positive change in South Africa and beyond.

Clint L (SA)

Clint L has carved out his own niche in the world of music as a DJ, specialising in the soulful rhythms of R&B. With an innate talent for blending beats and a keen understanding of the genre, Clint has risen to prominence as a YouTube sensation, captivating audiences with his mesmerizing mixes.  Clint’s passion for music was ignited at a young age. Growing up, he immersed himself in the sounds of R&B, drawing inspiration from legendary artists and iconic tracks that would later influence his own unique style.

Driven by his passion and fuelled by the love of his fans, Clint’s audience and fan base have grown exponentially, reaching nationwide acclaim. His YouTube channel has become a go-to destination for R&B enthusiasts, with videos amassing over 500k views and counting.  What keeps him driven, is witnessing the appreciation that many people share for his free-flowing mixing abilities as well as his music selection.

Daliwonga (SA)

Daliwonga, whose full name is Daliwonga Matiwane, was born and raised in the vibrant township of KwaThema, located in the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality of Gauteng, South Africa. Growing up in a community where music permeated everyday life, Daliwonga developed a deep love for music from a young age.  His journey in music began with him experimenting with various musical instruments and immersing himself in the rich sounds of South African genres such as amapiano and kwaito. Influenced by local artists and the vibrant music scene of Gauteng, he began honing his skills as a vocalist and songwriter.

Daliwonga’s breakthrough came when he collaborated with renowned South African DJ and producer Kabza De Small, who played a pivotal role in popularising the amapiano genre. His soulful vocals and distinct style quickly caught the attention of audiences and industry insiders alike, propelling him to fame within the South African music scene.  His collaborations have yielded chart-topping hits and cemented his reputation as a versatile and talented musician.

He has also released solo projects that have garnered acclaim from both fans and critics. His debut solo album, “Chameleon,” showcased his ability to seamlessly blend various musical influences while staying true to the infectious rhythms of amapiano.  His contributions to the genre have been instrumental in its global rise in popularity.

Darshan Doshi Trio ft Mark Hartsuch & Tony Grey (India/USA)

Darshan Doshi is widely known as the busiest drummer in India. In addition to working with legendary composers and artists, he fronts his own bands, namely “Darshan Doshi Trio,” which has released two albums “Live On Tour 2021” and “Live on Tour 2022” both of which won awards at the CLEF music awards. He currently endorses Pearl Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, AKG, Roland, BigFatSnareDrum, Kickblock & Slapklatz and VicFirth Darshan Doshi Signature Sticks.

Mark Hartsuch, USA saxophonist and producer, has made a significant impact on the music scenes in both the United States and India. Mark graduated from the University of North Texas where he was a featured soloist in the Grammy nominated, “One O’clock Lab Band.” Beginning in 2018, Mark Hartsuch created horn arrangements and played saxophone for Grammy and Oscar award-winning artist, AR Rahman, in his live performances “AR Rahman Live.”

Tony Grey is an English bass player, composer, producer, author, and award-winning music educator; Grey studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston and graduated receiving the “Outstanding Performer” Award in 2001. Grey is best known for his 6-string electric bass technique, melodic improvisation and warm tone as well as being a long-time member of pianist Hiromi’s trio.  Grey is the nephew of jazz guitarist John McLaughlin.  

YouTube link – “After the Gig” from the album “Better than Sax”

Francesca Biancoli (ITALY/SA)

Italian singer and songwriter and guitarist, Francesca Biancoli strives for authenticity in the music she creates.  Life experiences are interwoven in her work and reflect the daring, explorative style Biancoli pursues. Her sound is a contemporary melding of jazz and Neo-soul, offering audiences a fun and original sound. 

Francesca was born in Bari, South Italy, a multi-cultured seaside town famous for its Greek, Arabic, and Turkish influences. Growing up with access to such rich and varied diversity helped inform her spontaneous and non-conformist musical path. Her musical career took off in 2011 after winning the Orsara International Nuoro Jazz and Berklee scholarships, which helped refine her skills as a musician.  Francesca Biancoli puts a great deal of thought into the heartfelt music she creates and is an exceptional example of an artist that priorities the lessons of self-awareness, the beauty of multiculturalism, life and spirituality in their music. 

“She has cemented her presence in the international music arena as a pioneering creative force hellbent on offering new ways of expression; armed with nothing a great voice, incredible guitar skills and an awe-inspiring creative mind, through which she connects with her audience in the flesh, in the spirit and emotionally.”  Honest in her expression, she revels in her truths and by doing so, creates easy pathways for people to relate and connect to her.

Hilton Schilder (SA)

Cape Town born composer, pianist/keyboards multi-instrumentalist, and raconteur Hilton Schilder, is always producing something new. His mastery with 16 indigenous and conventional instruments is renowned. Hilton has undoubtedly helped to mould the sound of what is now known as Cape Jazz. This globally recognised artist has featured on more than 40 Jazz, Rock, Punk, Goema, World Music and Classical albums.

Schilder was born into a musical family – his father was well-known pianist and bandleader, Tony Schilder.  His love of music and curiosity was ignited at an early age, playing drums at 3 years old, with his craft subsequently being heavily influenced by his surroundings, which have led him to describe himself as being a “mind freedom fighter”.

Jab A Jaw (SA)

Jab a Jaw, is, conversely, a man of few words – he lets his music speak for him, and it certainly does.  With loyal followers across South Africa, this open format DJ, co-founder Of T.H.A.T. (Tell Honest & Authentic Tales) and co-founder of Open4Mat.Za, and Twitch Streamer, is growing a fanbase that knows how to groove to his beats.

The popular Gauteng-based DJ has current residencies at T.H.A.T Tuesday Funk the last Tuesday of every month), and Open4Mat.ZA (every Friday & Saturday).

Judith Sephuma (SA)

Judith Sephuma is an internationally acclaimed songstress and a multi-award-winning artist. Dubbed The Queen of Afro Jazz, she is a prolific and versatile singer with an angelic, soft, sultry, and melodic voice that has continued to dominate the airwaves for more than two decades. 

Since the release of her triple platinum status debut album titled, A CRY A SMILE A DANCE in 2001, Judith has attracted interest and acclaim from jazz, Afro-soul, and gospel music lovers all over the world. By the time A CRY A SMILE A DANCE was released, Judith had already performed at several major jazz festivals both in South Africa and internationally. 

2005 saw the release of Judith’s NEW BEGINNINGS album; and in 2008 the album CHANGE IS HERE was released. In 2012, Judith travelled to Addis Ababa to perform for Heads of States and in the same year was nominated as an ambassador of THE ONE CAMPAIGN. In 2014, Judith travelled to Addis Ababa and Washington DC, USA to perform for Heads of State. 

She has worked with and shared the stage with international artists like Bebe Winans, Oletta Adams, Jonathan Butler, Al Jarreau, Randy Crawford, and Chaka Khan. Her collaboration with Michael Bolton singing the old classic ‘Over the Rainbow’ and another with Kenny G on her A CRY A SMILE A DANCE album qualifies Judith as one of the best international singers and performers that South Africa has produced.

MacG (SA)

MacGyver Mukwevho, better known as MacG, is a prominent South African media personality, comedian, and content creator. Born and raised in Limpopo, he was drawn to the world of comedy and storytelling at an early age, harbouring dreams of making people laugh and sharing stories that resonated with audiences.

He started honing his craft as a comedian and content creator, utilizing platforms like social media to showcase his talent and connect with fans. His natural charisma and comedic timing quickly garnered attention, paving the way for opportunities in the media landscape.

MacG’s rise to fame accelerated when he ventured into podcasting and online content creation, subsequently launching his now famous “Podcast and Chill with MacG,” where he engages in candid conversations with fellow celebrities, comedians, and influencers. The podcast’s laid-back and unfiltered approach resonates with audiences, attracting a dedicated following.  He now produces a wide range of content, including interviews, comedy sketches, and vlogs, showcasing his versatility as a content creator. His ability to engage with diverse audiences and tackle a myriad of topics has solidified his influence in South Africa’s digital landscape.

Outside of his entertainment career, MacG is known for his philanthropic efforts and community engagement. He has used his platform to raise awareness about social issues and support charitable causes, demonstrating a commitment to making a positive impact beyond the realm of entertainment.

Mervyn Africa (SA)

Mervyn Africa, born in Cape Town, is a distinguished jazz pianist whose music resonates with the rich cultural tapestry of South Africa. Throughout his illustrious career, Africa has not only mastered the piano but has also become a symbol of artistic resilience and cultural activism.  His journey into the world of music began at an early age, nurtured by the vibrant sounds of South African jazz and the rhythmic melodies of his surroundings. Influenced by the likes of Abdullah Ibrahim, he quickly found his passion for jazz, a genre that would become the cornerstone of his musical identity.

Mervyn found the political regime if the 1980s incompatible with his multi-cultural approach to music and relocated to the United Kingdom, meeting up with other exiles and founding the London-based group ‘District Six’ among others.   In the 1990s, he was commissioned by the Greater London Arts Council to compose a jazz concerto for piano and orchestra, the original score of which is housed in the British Music Archives.  

The turn of the century, saw Mervyn playing for royalty and presidents and returning home to South Africa for a performance – the first in 20 years since he left.  He returned to his birthplace in 2016.  His virtuoso performances have captivated audiences worldwide, showcasing not only his technical prowess but also his profound emotional depth and sensitivity.

At age 73, he is just getting started!

Mi Casa (SA)

Multi-platinum trio, J Something (Singer, songwriter), Dr.Duda (producer, DJ and multi-instrumentalist), and Mo-T (trumpeter) make up the multi-platinum selling band Mi Casa.  The band’s sound is a mixture of the many genres they grew up listening to; house, soul, kizomba, Afro-beat, funk pop, and jazz.  Their message is rooted in love, with the band using their music to uplift society and impact culture in their own authentic way.

Over the years, (they started out in 2010), the band has accumulated many impressive accolades, including multiple South African Music Awards (SAMAs), being nominated at the MTV European Music Awards, nominated for Artist of the year, best group, and best live act at the MTV African Music Awards, and many more.

The band say that: “Making music isn’t about making what you hear out there, it’s all about making the music you hear in your own head”.  Their albums produce hit after hit, but it is their lives shows where all the magic happens, as fans at sold out shows in South Africa, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, the UK, America, Canada and more than 30 African countries can attest to.

MonoNeon (USA)

MonoNeon, is a Grammy award-winning American bassist and experimental musician from Memphis, Tennessee. He is known for his presence on YouTube playing bass guitar and being one of the last people to work with Prince. Thomas is a Grammy Award winning artist, for his participation on the 2020 Nas album King’s Disease. Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers has referred to Mono as “The greatest f…ing electric bass player”. On November 1, 2022, Fender released the MonoNeon Collection, which included the MonoNeon Jazz Bass V signature. According to Fender “From avant-garde to southern soul, funk and all notes in-between, MonoNeon’s astounding musical range, tone and taste are always on full display.” 

MonoNeon (real name Dwayne Thomas Jr), began playing the bass at the age of 4 years.  Although right-handed, he plays he plays left-handed on an upside-down right-handed bass guitar which provides him with the scope for heavy string bending on the upper strings.  His has a unique slapping style/technique as a result, which further allows the artist to experiment with sound and length of note control.  When it comes to his sound, MonoNeon cannot be buttonholed – his playing has been described as “gunky with unusual characteristics.”

Moonchild (USA)

Alternative R&B, neo-soul group Moonchild (Amber Navran – vocals/saxophone, Andris Mattson – trumpet, keys, and Max Bryk – saxophone keys) released their fifth studio album last year, ‘Starfruit’ which was nominated for Best Progressive R&B Album at the 2023 65th Annual Grammy Awards.  Bringing together a host of beautiful melodies and personal lyrics, this work beholds offerings from Lalah Hathaway, Alex Isley, Tank and The Bangas, Rapsody, Ill Camille, Mumu Fresh, Chantae Cann and Josh Johnson. 

Alongside their Grammy nomination, Moonchild have charted on the Billboard genre charts and been named Soul Act of the Year by Jazz FM.  Moonchild, known and loved for their smooth sounds, have collaborated, and toured with highly respected names from across music including Kamasi Washington, Stevie Wonder, The Internet, Jill Scott and have built up a host of iconic supporters from Robert Glasper (who has collaborated with Amber on his own projects) and Laura Mvula to James Poyser, Jazzy Jeff, 9th Wonder and Tyler, The Creator.


DJ and producer, Bongani Mohsana, known as MÖRDA, gained recognition in 2009 as a member of one of South Africa’s most renowned DJ Duos, Black Motion. MÖRDA’s love for music began as a child where it has spiralled into an astounding career.   

Black Motion’s rise to fame started when they released music online which instantly gained the attention of dance music lovers throughout South Africa.  MÖRDA obtained a strong following in the SADEC region in countries such as Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.  The duo eventually went their sperate ways, which led to the kickstart of MÖRDA’s solo career.

MÖRDA broadened his horizons with international performances in countries like Greece, Belgium, Spain, USA, England, and France, and in 2022, he released his first solo album, a ten-track masterpiece entitles ‘Asante’, named after his daughter.  The feel-good album includes featured artists such as Murumba Pitch, Mwha Keys, Nkosazana Daughter, Oscar Mbo, Yallunder and Vanco and more.  

The album went double platinum and set the tone for his second album, ‘Asante 2’, which he dropped in 2023. This has earned him three South African Music Awards (SAMAs)nominations and two wins, including Best Dance Album as well as Best Remix of the Year.

Thandi Ntuli Presents Rainbow Revisited with Tlala Makhene and Sphelelo Mazibuko (SA)

Thandi Ntuli negotiates a wide palette of sound and genre which embraces her family lore – a classical singer aunt, after whom she is named; her uncle (Selby Ntuli) who was a member of Afro-rock band Harari; and her grandfather Levi Godlib Ntuli, who fostered among his children a tradition of composing, playing, and singing music together.  That tradition lives on and can be experienced in Thandi’s music. 

Spanning a 13-year career, Thandi has carved a unique space for herself with her frank-yet-empathetic and vulnerable self-introspection and that of the world, that has birthed a body of work that facilitates our access to our histories, presents and futures.  For young South Africans and creatives – not least of all, women – Thandi represents a home-going to oneself, each other, and our communities. For Thandi, music is community, and community care.  Her work is an unapologetic ownership and celebration of all that we are.

Being accustomed to presenting her craft in different formats, the much loved and highly respected South African jazz vocalist, pianist, and composer, will present Rainbow Revisited with Tlala Makhene and Sphelelo Mazibuko at the CTIJF.

Tunde of Lighthouse Family (UK)

Tunde Baiyewu (born Babatunde Emmanuel Baiyewu, 25 November 1968) is a British singer-songwriter of Nigerian descent and is a member of the multi-platinum selling, Lighthouse Family. Tunde was born in London but moved to Nigeria at the age of five. Ten years later he returned to Britain, attending the University of Northumbria in Newcastle upon Tyne, and obtained a degree in accounting. He subsequently met Paul Tucker who was also studying at university in Newcastle and working in the bar scene – their partnership began, and they formed Lighthouse Family.

The duo released their debut album ‘Ocean Drive’, with the lead single Lifted reaching the top five on the UK Singles Chart. ‘Ocean Drive’ was certified six-times platinum by the end of 1997, selling more than 1.8 million copies in the UK alone and spending 154 weeks on the UK Album Chart. Lighthouse Family’s follow-up albums, ‘Postcards from Heaven’ achieved similar status in 1997, reaching 6 times Platinum status, and ‘Whatever Gets You Through the Day’ also receiving Platinum status. They subsequently sold over 15 million albums throughout their career.

Tunde’s first self-titled solo album was released in 2004, with his second solo album, ‘Diamond In A Rock’, released in 2013.  In 2019, Lighthouse Family released a new album ‘Blue Sky in Your Head’. It was the group’s first album in 18 years and was supported with two sell-out UK tours. 

Over the past few years, Tunde has been working on a new collection of recordings, inspired by the artists and the singer-songwriter era of the 1970’s. Reunited with Lighthouse Family producer Mike Peden, they recorded a selection of Troubadour influenced songs. Songs recorded are gems written by Elton John, Crosby, Stills & Nash, James Taylor, Leon Russell, Cat Stevens, Van Morrison, America, David Gates, Bill Withers, Todd Rundgren and Barry White