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LUNCH HOUR CONCERTS (article first published : 2002-09-5)

Every Wednesday, Durban Arts presents a free lunch-hour concert on the City Hall Steps. The line-up always presents an interesting variety of musical styles. Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, curtain raisers perform at 12h45 before the main attraction of the day.

September 4: Lazzlo & Jackson – R&B and cover songs.

September 11: The curtain raiser will be the Siyakhula Band (Jazz School) followed by well-known jazz musician Andile Yenana.

The Siyakhula Band consists of 9 learners, 8 Grade 5’s and 1 Grade 4, all from Carrington Heights Primary School. The project originally started in Nov/Dec 2001, where 5 of the learners performed at a rock Christmas Carol’s evening. At the start of the school year, the group grew and developed musically as we explored our potential. Three of the learners showed a keen interest in the keyboard/piano, so I began to teach them.

The instrumental line up is: 3 Jembes, a variety of percussion instruments, a xylophone and piano/keyboard. The music is mostly original, written and arranged by Fiona Hebrard, the music teacher at CHPS, and the co-ordinator of the band.

The musical style/flavour of the band can be described as Afrocentric with a strong Latin American influence. The ensemble is visually very exciting to experience, because of the life, excitement and wholehearted involvement of the members. There are funky instrumental breaks, great explosive drum and piano solos, and vibrant musical movement from the group.

Andile Yenana is a former student of jazz professor Darius Brubeck at the University of Natal Durban. His interest in jazz was triggered at an early age and he grew up amidst all forms of urban black music. On completing his studies, Andile moved to Johannesburg where he worked with seasoned musicians such as Zim Ngqawana with whom he recorded two CD’s under Sheer Sound - San Song (Norwegian and South African collaboration) and Zimology which was also recorded in Norway.

The Mahube project, the 12-piece collaboration of South African artists, is yet another big musical achievement in Andile’s career. He has also worked extensively with legendary musicians such as: Winston “Mankunku” Ngozi, Mike Makhalemela, Barney Rachabane and Stompie Manana. His musical talents have also been put to good use by vocalists such as S’bongile Khumalo, Gloria Bosman.and Suthukazi Arosi.

In 1996, he took part in a tour of Chicago titled Black History Month with Zim Ngqawana, returning the following year for an extensive tour of the Midwest. He was also involved in a collaborative project between South African and British Jazz musicians, a band formed primarily in England which played at London’s Royal Albert Hall for which they received rave reviews. After the concert in London, the South African contingent, led by Zim Ngqawana, went on to play in France at “Fin de Siècle” (a Johannesburg festival in Nantes).

Andile’s quest to find a voice and chemistry in a group set-up led to the creation of Voice which includes Herbie Tsoaeli, Sydney Mnisi, Lulu Gotsana and Morabo Morajele and the undaunted spirit of Marcus Wyatt resulted in the recording of Voice: A Quintet Legacy. He recorded his debut solo album with Sheer Sound, entitled We Used to Dance.

September 18: Happy Voices. Mlotshwa Happy Voices isicathamiya group originate from KwaMaphumulo. The group is formed by community members and was formed in 1995 and started to participate in Isicathamiya concerts in 1997. These were concerts staged in the villages.

The group is led by Mbongiseni Mlotshwa who resides in Umlazi. “I have been asking myself whether the type of music I am doing would be accepted by the community or not, this is because the other groups were singing differently from the way we were singing. One day, during the year 2000, our concert Kwa Maphumulo was visited by two Black Mambazo members, who then invited us to Durban North to sing our music to the audience where we were sharing the stage with the other Isicathamiya group called Happy Voices.”

The group is looking forward to record with the request to the people for the record CD sales. Anyone looking at supporting them should contact Mbongiseni Mlotshwa at 031 306-2266 or 083 565 4512.

SEPTEMBER 25 – Majidas (Kwaito) and main attraction Divine Solution. Divine Solution’s Nhlanhla Sibisi is a self taught guitarist and composer, whose songwriting skills have won him many accolades, the two memorable ones being the Hansa Pilsener Songwriter of the Year for 2000/1 and the First Kwa Nagoma (KwaZulu Natal Gospel Music Academy) competition. He is an Afro-Pop singer and a lead singer in the gospel group called Divine Solution. He has worked in Johannesburg as a session musician with the likes of Jabu Khanyile and is currently under Mbongeni Ngema’s Afrika Production 2. He has been writing songs for top South African Acts, the latest being Swazi Dlamini of Joyous Celebration. He has a full album with Ngema recorded 8 months ago and not released due to the Anandiya fiasco.

More information from Patrick “Big Boy” Zungu on 031 312-1236.




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