Sound Advice (July 18-24)

Pianist Andile Yenana…  gig tonight (July 18) on the Durban campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.


South Wolves… performing in Hilton tonight, Wednesday, July 18,

BILLY SUTER with his weekly gig guide. Gigs in and around Durban include performances by Femi Koya and Gcina Mhlophe, and a ’60s tribute show.

THE Centre for Jazz and Popular Music on the Durban campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal presents a double bill gig at 6pm today, Wednesday (July 18) – Andile Yenana Sextet: Umnqgonqgo Wabantu and Burton Naidoo, in Celebration of the Mandela Centenary.

Pianist Yenana’s presents his latest compositions, recorded during his Swiss residency in 2017. His music is notable for its evocative, soulful power and the sensitivity of his touch and ensemble playing.

The project features arrangements of traditional Xhosa initiation songs worked into jazz-inspired sensibilities and pulses, all the while celebrating free and boundless improvisation.

Drummer Michi Stulz, from Switzerland.

Pianist, composer and arranger Naidoo has transcribed some of Neslon Mandela’s most iconic speeches. The words are pitch classed and harmonised in an effort to create a musical backdrop to these iconic pieces.

Burton has also written new compositions to compliment the performance. Written for piano solo, the audience can expect speeches from the Rivonia Trial, Praise Singing from Sthembile Mlangeni and Zolani Mkhiva at the Inauguration as well as Mr FW de Klerks announcement to free Nelson Mandela at Parliament, 1990.

The event will feature Marcus Wyatt on trumpet and flugelhorn, tenor Linda Sikhakhane on vocals, Siyasanga Charles on trombone, Andile Yenana on piano, Ariel Zamonsky on bass and Michi Stulz from Switzerland on drums.

The Centre for Jazz and Popular music is on Level 2 of the Shepstone Building at UKZN Howard College Campus. The doors open at 5.30pm and admission is R80 (R50 for pensioners and R25 for students).

For further details contact Thuli at (031) 260 3385.


THE Antonio Ravell Band, a blues-rock outfit, performs from 7pm today (Wednesday, July 18) at the fortnightly Music in the Hills (MiTH) at The Knoll Historic Guest Farm in Hilton.

The group, offering a mix of folk, rock and blues on acoustic guitar, will be followed at 7.40pm by Kristen Koning, an indie-folk musician living in Cape Town. Having grown up bilingual, she performs originals and covers in both English and Afrikaans. She’s originally from Pietermaritzburg, where she performed in choirs, worship teams, and bands growing up. She’s currently studying music at UCT, majoring in Classical Singing.

Kristen now focuses her attention on writing music and developing her sound into something honest and relatable, but never losing her sense of experimentation. She’s inspired by artists such as Kings of Leon, Bon Iver, Coldplay, Spoegwolf, Alice Phoebe Lou, and Mumford and Sons.

Brown Jam, a cover band from Pietermaritzburg, is the MiTH pick for 8.20pm.. The band consists of Mitchell Reddy on drums, Nathaniel Naidoo on piano,, Timothy Naidoo  on guitar and vocals, Kevin Williams on lead vocals and Jordan Govender on bass.

The headliner this week, entertaining from 9.10pm, is South Wolves, a four-member indie-pop band featuring Joel Scott (drums), Ricky Annandale (bass), Jason Hogan (synth and backing vocals), and Eric Scott (guitar and lead vocals). Their influences are Death Cab for Cutie, The Killers and The National. They love to write original songs and express their life experiences through their songwriting.

MiTH is a semi-open mic music club. An opportunity for musicians to share the joy of their music with a friendly audience which includes fellow musicians – who have all “been there” too. (Non-musicians welcome too!) 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!

Bring your own booze. Food and soft drinks are available for sale. Musicians who want to play at MiTH, should contact Charles Webster (082 331 7271) or Doug Borain (072 340 7034).


THE Durban branch of the Rhumbelow Theatre, at the venue in Cunningham Road, Umbilo, will present this weekend seasoned Irish singer and musician Dave Monks, alongside Durban singer Marion Loudon, in a salute to the hits of the 1960s.

The Swinging Sixties is scheduled for performances at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (July 20 and 21) and 2pm on Sunday, July 22. Admission is R150 a head (R130 for pensioners). Call 082 499 8636 to book.

Expect to hear classics associated with 20 different artists, including The Carpenters, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Beatles, Sonny and Cher, Nancy Sinatra, the Bee Gees, The Monkees and Cliff Richard.

Meanwhile, the Rhumbelow Theatre at Tina’s Hotel, 14 Beryldene Road, Kloof, presents something different this week – Gcina Mhlophe’s My Travelling Bag. This sees Durban’s master storyteller, author and poet reflect on 33 years of suitcases bought, stamps in her passports, friendships, missed flights, mementos and memories. They can only be told and shared one bowl at a time.

Performances are at 8pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (July 18 to 20) and again at 2pm on Sunday (July 22). Three day-time Saturday performances (at 10am, 1pm and 4pm) have been scheduled for school audiences,

Tickets cost R150, seating is at tables of six, and booking is by phoning Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636.


IN association with Concerts SA, Afrobeat saxophonist Femi Koya releases his new album, Village Afrobeat, and presents it live on a national tour thatreaches Durban this weekend.

Diarise 11pm on Saturday (July 21) at The Chairman, 146 Mahatma Ghandi Road, when admission will be R150 a head. For more details and bookings call 079 753 6313.

Afrobeat saxophonist Femi Koya

From 4.30pm on Sunday, July 22, Koya will entertain at The Jazzy Rainbow, 93 Smiso Nkwanyana Road, Morningside, Durban, when R100 will get you in and allow you to have a free drink. To book phone (031) 303 8398.

Note that Koya will also perform at Pretoria’s African Beer Emporium, 367 Helen Joseph Street, at a free event scheduled for 7.30pm on Thursday, July 27.

A composer and performer, versatile saxophonist and dynamic vocalist, Femi Koya released his third album, Village Afrobeat, on April 20.

The Village Afrobeat national album release tour commenced in Cape Town in May.

Born in Nigeria and based in South Africa, Koya is said to be the new face of the African Renaissance. He combines West African highlife and jazz, South African Sophiatown with nostalgic Afrobeat root sounds. and his music is a rich blend of deep and sultry Afrobeat and contemporary groove.

“I believe that Africa will have its true homecoming when people see themselves as first and foremost African. Until then I will continue to make music suggestive of this homecoming and what the future holds for Africans united. It is our destiny”, says Koya.

Femi’s new album is an African party, jazzed up with Afrobeat’s horn arrangements, with talking drum and percussions driving the African heartbeat. Songs such as Babalawo, Lerato, Alo and Kongo enable new generations to understand the significance of these narratives as well as providing a nostalgic look at village culture and its life lessons.

Koya says: “These songs tell stories of what happens in villages and especially in fables, with animals like the tortoise, the role of the town criers, village men and women as part of the whole village lifestyle. The songs also depict nature, fertility, rituals, change of seasons and traditions essential to village life.”

Koya is touring nationally with his nine-piece Afrobeat ensemble, presenting Village Afrobeat in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

The band comprises Koya on sax and vocals, Maxwell Baloyi on keyboards, Olusegun Oyedele on talking drum, Peter Adesola on trombone, Karo Ndoite on guitar, Seun Adebari on drums, Felix Arimoro on flugelhorn, Lanre Kununji on trumpet and Gabriel Atabe on bass.


THE Rockwood Theatre at Sibaya Casino is presenting a new show, Jukebox Hits, until September 2. It is probably the best show there to date, full of great songs and a fine lineup of vocalists including Liesl Coppin, Janine Cupido, Kyle Matthews and Percy Smith. Check it out from Thursdays to Sundays. Expect music by Ed Sheeran, Michael Jackson, Etta James, Def Leppard, Donna Summer, Diana Ross, Beyonce, Elvis Presley, Michael Buble and more.


LAST GASP… note that varied fare by Durban band Salty Dog will be provided at no cost at Gasoline Alley, Goodwood Road, Mahogany Ridge, from 7.30pm on Friday, July 20. The kitchen will be open. For more info phone Jason on 072 283 1327.


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