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GOSPEL AND JAZZ DIVAS (article first published : 2005-08-1)

With albums commanding best-seller sales throughout the country, superstar Rebecca Malope is the Playhouse Company's headline act during the forthcoming South African Women's Arts Festival that takes place at the Playhouse in Durban from August 5 to 7.

The prestigious annual event, now celebrating its ninth anniversary, is held this year as part of Women's Month, in partnership with the African Renaissance and the Office of the KZN Premiere.

It will be preceded by a media briefing followed by a full day conference with 351 leading women role players at Sun Coast Casino on July 31. On the same day, a live SABC3 broadcast of the programme 3Talk will feature KZN's First Lady Zama Ndebele, Playhouse artistic director Linda Bukhosini and Prof Sihawu Ngubane.

The Playhouse's Women's Arts Festival will include a strong Gospel-singing component this year, with Rebecca Malope starring in a main-stage gala concert in the Playhouse's Opera on August 7. A gospel singing icon to thousands of fans, Malope has achieved the phenomenal feat of outdoing herself again and again in a string of mega hit recordings turning out a succession of albums that stand as landmarks on the African Gospel music scene.

Also billed to appear on the afternoon's artist roster are the popular group Avante and Durban's own Gospel diva, Deborah Fraser. The concert starts at 15h30. Tickets R60 booked in advance (R80 at the door).

Complementing the weekend festival's vibrant music component is Late Nite Jazz featuring Afro Blue, to be presented in the Playhouse Grand Foyer on August 6 from 21h30.

Artists performing in this not-to-be-missed gig include lead vocalist Lilhle Ngidi, backed by vocalists Nthabiseng Motsepe, Nwabisa Meth, and Samke Manjeya, with Susan Barry on piano, Philani Ngidi on bass, Ayanda Sikade on drums and Zoco Dimande on guitar. Tickets R30.

Booking for all events being presented in the SA Women's Arts Festival is through Computicket or the Playhouse's Dial-a-Seat on 031 369 9555.

Further information from the Playhouse Company's Marketing department on 031 369 9456 or e-mail marketing@playhousecompany.com




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