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BAFO BAFO (article first published : 2004-04-21)

The Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre will host a unique musical event later this month when two local guitar greats; Syd Kitchen and Mzwakhe "Madala" Kunene appear live in concert. The two highly individual guitar stylists will appear on April 23, each performing a one-hour set of original, solo material. The following evening, April 24, will see them appearing together as Bafo Bafo. Both evenings will be recorded live and filmed for DVD.

Bafo Bafo have just returned from a very successful appearance at Splashy Fen with visiting Danish percussionist, Lars Stork and are currently in the studio putting the finishing touches to their debut album, What Kind?!.

Madala Kunene's music is rooted in ritual and tradition, and he has developed a completely original style. He is renowned for the transcendental and ethereal quality of his songs and his uncanny ability to develop a groove that burrows itself into your consciousness. He plays the guitar and isitololo, a kind of mouth bow and has built a solid following for his mesmerising musical mix of Zulu, West African and blues elements; both at home in South Africa, and abroad. He is unquestionably one of South Africa's finest maskanda musicians. Kunene will be performing in the US in early July.

Syd Kitchen's unashamed mix of folk, blues, jazz, Afrikaans, African, Cajun and other elements into an eclectic sound that is entirely his own has earned him an enviable reputation. Besides his solo work and his collaboration in Bafo Bafo, Syd is also part of The Aquarian Quartet (with Steve Newman, Tony Cox & Greg Georgiades). Syd will be travelling to the United Kingdom in June where he will perform at The Glastonbury Festival, The Half Moon in London and at a variety of venues across the United Kingdom before joining Madala for appearances in Europe in July, including an appearance at the Kongsberg International Jazz Festival in Norway.

Kitchen has just released Quintessentially Syd Kitchen; a collection of 17 tracks spanning the 30 years he has spent recording compiled from several critically acclaimed albums he has released to date. These have all been born of an eclectic, curious spirit unfazed by market-place considerations or the wishes of others. The album draws tracks from Africa's Not For Sissies (2001), Waiting for the Heave (1987), Amakoologik (1999) and City Child (1995), as well as including a Kitchen Brother's track from 1973 and three previously unreleased recordings.

The appearances at The Elizabeth Sneddon will be recorded for the intended release later in the year of solo albums by both artists. The recent completion of a documentary detailing the collaboration of these two highly individual musicians will also be released later in the year. Syd Kitchen will record at 20h00 on Friday and perform for an hour after which there will be an interval before Madala Kunene performs for an hour also. On Saturday, Bafo Bafo will perform two sets beginning at 20h00.

These shows offer audiences the opportunity to be a part of history as these two artists are recorded solo and as Bafo Bafo. The ticket prices have been kept low - R15 at the door, and advance booking will be available through Computicket at R20.

Visit: www.bafobafo.co.za and www.sydkitchen.com




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