Sound Advice: KZN gigs (Oct 4-10)

Ithwasa Lekhansela, a maskandi artist from Umbumbulu, who has worked with maskandi giants Bahubhe  and Phuzekhemisi. Catch him at the Cultural Calabash event.

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BILLY SUTER reports on gigs in and around Durban this and next week – including a Pietermaritzburg salute to Francoise Hardy, various jazz events and the 12th Annual African Cultural Calabash.……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

THE Centre for Jazz and Popular Music on the second level of the Shepstone Building on the Durban campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal presents international music act Muriel Marco from 6pm on Wednesday (October 4).

You can also catch her from 8pm on Friday (October 6) at Sound Café, 5 Garlicke Drive, Ballito. Tickets for that gig cost R50.

Argentinian singer, composer and keyboard player Marco, who will promote her EP while here, is known for jazz and world musical styles.

Having performed as part of international group Tucan Tucan, as well as releasing her own music, the Muriel Marco – ND Project sees Marco composing and playing music with no boundaries regarding genre and instrumentation.

For her Durban performances her band will be Mxolisi Mdlalose on sax, Dalisu Ndlazi on bass and Riley Giandhari on drums.

Marco says she is excited to take to the stage. “I am thrilled to bring this dream to fruition because it is a musical project that I have envisioned for many years. A true reflection of my musical journey.”

ND Project music is well rooted on Marco’s Argentinian, Latin, African and Jazz background but alternative and even pop music influences emerge in the compositions.

At 19, Marco embarked on a journey from Argentina to South Africa to study English ,where she fell in love with Southern African music styles. It’s these styles, together with her love for Jazz and Argentinian folklore music, that inspired Marco to develop the Muriel Marco – ND Project.

Admission for the varsity gig is R70 (R45 for pensioners and R20 for students). Contact Thuli at 031 2603385 for more details.

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THIS weekend Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre at 42 Cunningham Road, Umbilo, will feature varied songs associated with stars who have played Las Vegas, while the theatre’s Pietermaritzburg branch, at the Allan Wilson shellhole, will feature singer-pianist Cat Simoni with songs made famous by Francoise Hardy.

Tie A Knot In It (Vegas Baby!), starring Rowan Bartlett, Darren King and Bryan Hiles, will be staged in Durban at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (October 6 and 7)  and 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday (October 8).

Rowan Bartlett, Darren King and Bryan Hiles present Tie a Knot in It at Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo.

It is a fun, original comedy-cabaret set in one of the lesser known venues in Las Vegas, where three of Durban’s most accomplished musical theatre performers unite in a chaotic and exuberant romp.

You can expect a cocktail of one part Dean Martin, two parts Sinatra, a dash of Robbie Williams and a twist of Cher…  served over crushed Celine Dion, shaken, not stirred.

Tickets cost R150 each and booking is at Computicket or by phoning Roland at 082 499 8636.

Tribute to Francoise Hardy will be staged at 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday (October 8) in Pietermaritzburg.

Written and directed by Paul Spence, it pays tribute to French pop star Françoise Hardy, who rocketed to fame in the mid-’60s with her intimate voice and sexy singing style – and her guitar, of course!

She matched English pop idol Petula Clark with her record sales, scoring this with All Over the World, Catch a Falling Star, Only You Can Do It and Only Friends.

Tickets cost R150 and booking is at Computicket or by phoning Roland at 082 499 8636.

Note that this show will also be staged at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo, Durban, next week (October 13 to 15).

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JAZZ pianist Andile Yenana and his band Umngqungqo Wabantu present Beyond Octave Trends in Durban this week after touring the Cape in association with Concerts SA.

Conceived as a musical metaphor, Beyond Octave Trends is described as a decade-long project through which pianist, composer and teacher Yenana aims to engage youths “who will carry the fabric and universal principles of jazz into the future”.

Umngqungqo Wabantu features Dalisu Ndlazi (bass), Phumlani Mtiti (saxophone), Zolani Rafuza (drums), Kgethi Nkotsi (trombone) and Thabo Skhakhane (trumpet).

Performances in Durban include one at The Headroom Studio, 21 Bridlington Road, Seaview, at 7pm on Friday (Ocotber 6). Admission is R60. To book phone 031 459 0840.

Jazz pianist Andile Yenana has two Durban dates this weekend. Picture by Steve Gordon.

Yenana and band will also entertain from 7pm on Saturday (October 7) at The Jazzy Rainbow, 93 Smiso Nkwanyana Road, Morningside. The cost is R70 and booking is by calling 031 303 8398.

Yenana’s band celebrates the modern jazz shaped in the Cape, primarily among Xhosa-speaking people.

The roots of Xhosa language and music track back to the Khoisan people whose sounds, instruments and collective music-making still echo today: “clicks”, flutes and bows; the heptatonic scale; the oscillating harmonics of a bow’s stretched string; a polyphony of human and instrumental voices, each cycling through its own sequence of notes and beats and adding its own “salt” to the tune.

Yenana has 25 years of experience in the music industry. He has performed with musicians such as guitarist Jimmy Dludlu, composer-saxophonist Zim Ngqawana, and trumpeter Feya Faku.

He has won Sama Awards twice, for the productions he did for Suthukazi and Winston Mankunku Ngozi.

A graduate of the University of KwaZulu-Natal School of Jazz in 1995, Andile has two albums to his name: We Used to Dance and Who’s Got the Map.

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THE 12th Annual African Cultural Calabash and African Cuisine – Rootless Africa, Remembrance of Who We Were – will be held on Friday (October 6) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).

This is one of the main cultural events of the UKZN African Music Project and provides a platform to celebrate various cultural traditions, and for exiting students to have hands-on experience producing and hosting a large-scale cultural event.

The university’s African Music and Dance third-year students will host what is one of the biggest concerts at the university to be held at Howard College Theatre at 7.30pm.

The concert, which celebrates cultural diversity in both music and culture, will feature Ithwasa Lekhansela, a maskandi artist from Umbumbulu, who has worked with maskandi giants Bahubhe  and Phuzekhemisi.

Also to be featured at this event is a young group from the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, Emzini Arts Youth Production. They integrate music, dance and theatre, and have performed in various venues.

Burundi Drummers, a percussion ensemble originally from Burundi in Central-East Africa, established in Durban in 2009, is also on the bill, along with UKZN African Music and Dance Ensemble, a group of first- and second-year African Music and Dance students. The Nkosinathi Ntshangase Quintet will also entertain.

Tickets cost R80 (R40 for students) and after the show there will servings of African cuisine (samp, dumplings, biryani, sweet potato, tripe, ujeqe, chicken curry, inhloko and more).

For more information contact Thulile Zama at 031 260 3385 or Lihle James at 079 0705 940.

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THIS year’s Mzantsi Jazz Award-winner Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane will perform with his band, Mash Trio, at Durban’s Workshop complex in the city centre from noon to 2.30pm on Sunday (Ocotber 8).

Mashiloane, who has two albums out – Amanz’Olwandle and Rotha –  will be on piano, Dalisu Ndlazi on bass and Riley (just Riley) on drums. They are popular for contemporary and traditional jazz which draws inspiration from soul, gospel, lounge and tribal sounds.

Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane will perform with his band, Mash Trio, at Durban’s Workshop on Sunday.

Mashiloane’s objective for his band’s busking session on Sunday is to expose his music to members of the public who would normally not have an opportunity of seeing live jazz music.

Through this project, Mashiloane hopes to inspire young people who may consider taking music up as their profession. He says he also intends contributing to developing new jazz music audiences, and hopes his music will bring hope, a smile and positivity to everyone who will witness his performance.

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GUITARIST Nux  Schwartz, musical all-rounder Greg Leisegang and drummer Steve du Plessis, all formerly of hit Durban band Scooter’s Union, are reuniting for a gig from 7pm to 10pm on Friday (October 6) at the Berea Bowling Club, on the corner of Brand Road and Ferguson Road, Glenwood, Durban.

Admission is R50 for this gig and more details are available by calling Roland at 082 499 8636.

Meanwhile, note that this is also the venue for BBC Beats, held every week at the Berea Bowling Club Durban, where one can enjoy a game of bowls (bowls and advice provided, if need be) from 4pm every Monday

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, October 9, the spotlight will be on popular Barry Thomson, singer-guitarist from The Reals, who will perform solo.

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.

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