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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

THE ARROWS (article first published : 2007-09-26)

The Arrows is a trio, comprised of Pamela de Menezes, songwriter/piano player/vocalist, Christie Desfontaine, drums and Bongani Zondi, bass. Pam has performed extensively in jazz venues all over South Africa and has worked with many highly respected musicians.

A highlight for Pam’s jazz career was performing with Darius Brubeck at the 2007 Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Christie has played the drums in various venues in different parts of the world including the Caribbean, Hawaii, England and Australia. Bongani comes from the school of the street and his strongest influence is that of hip hop.

The sound of The Arrows is diverse in nature because each musician has a different musical background, but all of the songs are their own compositions. It is safe to say that their sound is a combination of new-school jazz, pop and rock, making The Arrows fusion anything but faint hearted. Strong melodies and clear messages in the lyrical content emerge with the hipness of groove and the purity of hook.

In their short time together, they have performed at various festivals, youth events and jazz venues. In 2006 this young band’s highlight was opening for Tumi and the Volume at a concert sponsored by Levi's. They also had the opportunity to play some of their songs on television in Hawaii last year.

As for 2007, the band has been working with renowned American producer, Tim Heintz, recording a five-track EP at Northwind Studios in Kloof, KZN. Their plans are to do a national tour this year, including Jo’burg, Durban and Cape Town. Because they’re just starting out, they would really like to build a relationship with a South African audience before they go overseas. They’re hoping to get word from Tim about completing the album in the States in 2008.

Pam, founder of The Arrows, says: “There are moments of jazz improvisation lying side by side with tightly orchestrated choruses which is what creates the contextual dynamics of The Arrows, I think. It’s really all heart music to us, with quirky one-liners thrown in the mix.”




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