Sound Advice: gigs (Sept 20-26)

The Black Lapels with guesy guitarist Rusty Red (right). Their Paul Simon tribute show is at Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre  this weekend.

BILLY SUTER reports on gigs in and around Durban this and next week – including jazz in Ballito, a Woodstock tribute in Pietermaritzburg and new music by Burton Naidoo.

THE popular Music in the Hills (MiTH) weekly meeting in a former barn at The Knoll Historic Guest Farm, Knoll Road, Hilton, every Wednesday, will be held fortnightly from October, when artists will also be paid.

MiTH is evolving in two important ways – and we need to make all our musical friends aware. As of the beginning of October, it will become a venue that pays musicians (our door charge will go up to R30 to help facilitate this),” says spokesman and performer Charles Webster.

“At the same time, MiTH will become fortnightly instead of weekly. Our first meeting in October will be on October 11.”

Lara Kirstin performs at Music in the Hills (MiTH) on Wednesday (September 20). The venue is a former barn at The Knoll Historic Guest Farm, Knoll Road, Hilton.

The move is because while MiTH started out as a jam among amateurs and anyone else who wanted to join in, increasingly professionals are now performing, adds Webster.

“The organisers have decided, after three years of maintaining a purely amateur ethos, that it’s important to recognise this. Also, we have now purchased more or less everything we need in terms of equipment (which is why we charged in the first place), and we aren’t in this to make a profit – so we’d like to pay the musicians.

“At the same time, we will keep space for amateurs, too. So the first few set will be dedicated to open-mic and amateurs, and will remain unpaid, and the last few sets of each meeting will be for musos who get paid.”

Meanwhile, getting back to the week’s lineup… on Wednesday (September 20), the fun will start at 7.30pm with the spotlight on St John Haw and Tanya Nicolson, offering jazz standards and soulful ballads.

Bowstring will perform from 8pm. This comprises Charles Webster and his daughter Rebecca offering  vocal harmonies and funky rhythms. Their influences range from John Mayer, Hozier and Lee Dewyze to The Beatles. Simon and Garfunkel, Led Zeppelin and Evanescence.

From 8.45pm to 9.45pm, the spotlight will be on Lara Kirsten, who has performed at the FynArts Festival in Hermanus and the Michaelhouse Music Festival in the Midlands. For the last four years, Lara has been based in the Midlands and teaches piano from her home there.

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 as you are – pop along and join the fun. Visit for more details and directions.


THE attraction for 7pm on Friday, September 22, at Sound Café in Warne House, 5 Garlicke Drive, Ballito, is Zethe – full name Zethembiso Mdletshe – who is an Afro-soul and jazz vocalist based in Durban.

Zethe… Durban date.

She has a degree in music, majoring in jazz, from University of KwaZulu-Natal, and has performed in various venues around the province. She has also worked in the Uzalo drama series, at the SAFTA Awards and Durban International Film Festival.

She will perform with Zibusiso Makhathini on keyboards, Dalisu Ndlazi on bass and Riley Giandhari on drums.

Tickets cost R50. Order tickets online (


THE Black Lapels return to Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre in Cunningham Road, Umbilo, with their fine Road to Graceland tribute to Paul Simon, at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (September 22 and 23) and 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday.

The group features Rob Warren, Garth Warren and Gareth Gale, with Rusty Red as a special guest.

Tickets cost R150. Book by calling Roland at 082 499 8636.


THE Burton Naidoo Group perform tracks from Naidoo’s debut album, Kintsugi, at Durban’s The Jazzy Rainbow, 93 Smiso Nkwanyana Road, Morningside, from 7pm on Saturday (September 23).

This event forms 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.

Durban-born pianist, composer and arranger Naidoo says the philosophical idea of “Kintsugi” (Golden Joinery) is the art of embracing damage, or recognising beauty in broken things.

Pianist Burton Naidoo.

Broken pottery is mended using gold or silver infused lacquer, and the damage is seen as part of the history of that object.

Burton Naidoo has revisited compositions that he wrote when processing a personal tragedy in 2010. he music has now been rearranged for a seven-piece band which includes some of Durban’s most creative and innovative musicians, namely Leon Scharnick, Riley G, Dalisu Ndlazi and Phumlani Mtiti. He will also feature some new music.

Naidoo started piano lessons at the age of six, with Simon Kerdachi ,at the Simon Kerdachi Academy of Music, taking a keen interest in Jazz from an early age.

In 2001 he enrolled into UKZN’S jazz programme and spent four years under Darius Brubeck. He was also awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Artisten, Gothenburg, Sweden, where he took lessons with Anders Perrson and Peter Burman.

Admission for Saturday’s event is R70. To book, phone (031) 303 8398.


DURBAN band The Reals, with Marion Loudon as guest singer, will perform their popular Woodstock show at the Rhumbelow Theatre’s Pietermaritzburg branch, at the Allan Wilson shellhole, at 8pm on Saturday (September 23) and 2pm on Sunday (September 24).

Celebrate the 48th anniversary of the ‘thrre days of peace and music’ celebration, where 32 acts performed to an audience of 400 000 young people. It took place from August 15th to 18th 1969 on Max Yasgur’s 600 acre dairy farm in the New York town of Bethel.

The Reals features Barry Thomson (guitar and vocals), Dawn Selby (keyboards and vocals), Mali Sewell (drums and vocals) and Jason Andrew (bass and vocals).

Tickets cost R150. Book by calling Roland at 082 499 8636.


BBC Beats is held every week at the Berea Bowling Club on the corner of Brand Road and Ferguson Road, Durban, where one can enjoy a game of bowls (bowls and advice provided, if need be) from 4pm every Monday

Rene Tshiakanyi… at BBC Beats.

Visitors are encouraged to stay on for varied live music from 6pm to 9pm, with a different artist every Monday evening, when the club pub will be open and eats can be bought.

On Monday, September 25, the spotlight will be on singer-songwriter René Tshiakanyi, who performs songs in French, English, Afrikaans and Portuguese. He describes his music as the combination of classic and pop ballads, R&B, reggae and folk music.

The cost is R50 for the music, which includes the bowls (you don’t have to play if you don’t want to). Different musicians perform each week.

If you require any further information contact Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636.


THE Centre for Jazz and Popular Music on the Durban campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal presents the Beam brothers, at 6pm on Tuesday, September 26.

Established more than 60 years ago in Mpumalanga, Hammersdale, the outfit has been through a lot of changes, but its values, love for music and commitment to the craft has kept it going strong.

While their sound could be easily mistaken for gospel music, the Durban-based quartet is all about reflecting on life through music which can be heard on their 15-track recording, Thuli.

The Beam brothers were two time nominees at the 2015 SA Traditional Music Awards.

Malusi G Gwala, Sam Mqina, Michael Mkhize and Nkosinathi Lucky Gama – all on vocals – will be backed by Mthobisi Mthalane (piano), Mandla Mgabhi (percussion), Mandla Zikalalala (bass) and Philani Atlas Duma  (drums).

The Centre for Jazz and Popular music is on Level 2 of the campus’s Shepstone Building. Doors open at 5.30pm and admission is R70 (R45 for pensioners and R20 for students). For more info phone Thuli at (031) 260 3385.

The Beam brothers were two time nominees at the 2015 SA Traditional Music Awards.

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