Music in the hills… and in Durban

The Jack Mantis Band… performing on Wednesday (March 8) at the Music in the Hills event in Hilton. The band has performed at MiTH several times – following extensive tours across the US and Europe last year, and having travelled SA in recent months.


FOUR diverse music acts have been assembled for this week’s Music in the Hills (MiTH) event, held every Wednesday evening in a former milk barn at the Knoll Farm in Hilton.

It is a semi-open-mic music club allowing an opportunity for musicians to share the joy of music with a friendly audience that includes fellow musicians – who have all “been there” too. Non-musicians, or course, are also welcome.

“Whether you’re a ‘newbie’ looking for your first opportunity to perform publicly, or a more experienced/mature musician simply looking for people who are as passionate about music, this is the place to be,” says spokesman Charles Webster.

Admission is R25 a head, the start time is 7pm, and food and soft drinks are available. Visitors are permitted to take along their own booze. Visit for more details and directions.

This Wednesday (March 8), the evening’s entertainment will start at 7pm with a performance by Toni Hemming, a pupil at Grace College, who makes her first appearance at MiTH.  She plays piano and is said to have a lilting, yet forceful, vocal quality.

At 7.30pm, the spotlight will be on Idols SA star and newlywed Nosi Zulu, who was one of two recipients of MiTH sponsorship last year.

“Nosi, a music student at UKZN, has an incredible voice. and buckets of talent on the keyboards as well. We are very excited to have her back at MiTH ,” says Webster.

At 8pm, music will come from St John and Tanya.

“ Tanya leaves her heart on the stage – the utter abandon with which she delivers jazz standards, jazz not-so-standards and soulful ballad covers has left MiTH members tearful on more than one occasion,” explains Webster.

“St John, in his unique, quiet way, provides a perfect foil for Tanya, with smooth and evocative keyboard work and a raspy vocal that is as surprising as it is visceral. Their talent is undoubted and self-evident. Their impassioned performances, however, are clearly a function of deep pools of emotion.”

The Jack Mantis Band is set for the 9pm slot.

Led by Jack, a musician, graffiti artist, adventurer and soul-searcher, the Jack Mantis Band has performed at MiTH several times – following extensive tours across the US and Europe last year, and having travelled South Africa in recent months.

“This gifted poet-songwriter and his band bring their unique style of ‘gypsy rock’ to the MiTH stage. They will be joined by MiTH’s own Nishalin Pillay, whose stage personality is legendary.

Viwe Mkizwana, who plays double-bass with his Mkziwana Ensemble, which has two Durban dates soon.

Still talking music, note that Mkizwana Ensemble will promote their debut album, African Skies, at two venues in Durban this weekend.

They will first perform from 11pm on Friday (March 10) at The Chairman, 146 Mahatma Gandhi Road, when admission is R150 a head. For more info phone 078 387 1408.

The outfit is also to entertain at Durban’s Jazzy Rainbow, 93 Smiso Nkwanyana Road, Morningside, from 7pm on Saturday (March 11). Admission is R80 including one free drink). For more details phone 031 303 8398.

Presented in association with Concerts SA, the Mkizwana Ensemble are touring nationally to perform their debut.

Formed in early 2014, the group comprises five musicians who have been friends for years.

Named after musical director Viwe Mkizwana, the band performs a variety of original compositions jointly arranged by the collective.

Viwe plays double bass, Ntsikelelo “Jack” Mcwabe is on trumpet, Malusi Masia handles tenor saxophone, Sphelelo Mazibuko plays drums, Thandi Ntuli is on piano, Lebo Mabe plays trombone and Keorapetse Kolwane provides vocals.

The ensemble produces a unique sound and also Xhosa and other African genres. The ensemble’s organic style of creating and performing aids the adaptability of the young collective.

Having met at the Tshwane University of Technology, the collective has a variety of training, ranging from jazz to popular music in addition to various qualifications from the Trinity Guildhall and the Royal School of London.

Vast travel experience across African, Asian and European regions has also boosted the band’s understanding and creation of music – the craft which feeds the group’s collective spiritual journey.

In their brief period of being active, the ensemble has performed a variety of gigs both public and private. They also had the pleasure of gracing the Moretele Park Festival addition to performing at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival which bears testament to the ensemble’s passion for performing.

Also of note on the local music scene is that another Sol Sunday Sessions at Crusaders is planned for noon on Sunday (March 12). And good news is that there is no charge!

The first of the Sol Sunday Sessions at Northwood Crusaders Sports Club was a great success, with top-notch live music, perfect weather and an awesome vibe, reports organiser Pedro Carlo.

The March 12 session once again promises to be a fun-filled afternoon with family and friends.  There will also be bucket specials, hampers and prizes up for grabs, courtesy of Sol Beer.

“On the music front, the line-up includes top SA guitarist Seb Goldswain performing an acoustic set; Eshowe singer-songwriter-guitarist Dave Starke, who is guaranteed to get you in the party mood; as well as Charelle Hurd, a talented Durban musician who also happens to play hockey for Crusaders,” says Pedro

Entry is free –  and there is plenty of secure parking, as well as undercover seating if the weather doesn’t play along.

Scheduled for every Sunday in March, the Sol Sunday Sessions will help to raise funds for Crusaders to continue developing sport in the community.  Non-members are welcome.

Food and drinks will be on sale and no alcohol may be brought onto the premises.

For more information, contact 031 564 4621 or 031 563 0824.

This week’s programme:

12:00   Background music

12:30   Charelle Hurd

14:00   Seb Goldswain

16:00   Dave Starke

17:00   Background music

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