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JAE WITH ZZZING (article first published : 2008-06-25)

The Catalina Theatre in Wilson’s Wharf hosts local songbird Jae and Zzing, a close harmony singing group from Newlands, in a short season directed by Hamish Kyd which opens on June 28.

Jae is a former member of the original band Zzzing, and like the band, is also from Newlands. In this production devised and directed by Hamish Kyd, they use music to tell a story, taking from history and finding inspiration in the most unlikely places. Jae started out her career performing with the original Zzzing. For both Jae and Zzzing, this is a return to their roots as well as a nostalgic opportunity to join musical forces together on stage. The original Zzzing band is probably best known for performing in the late Mervyn Goodman’s Motown shows in the then-Playhouse Cellar.

The concept of a vibrant close harmony group has been re-invited under the Zzzing banner but now with a different line up – the new generation Zzzing comprises Victor Dhudlu, Mo’Anquitine, Loncey Smith, V-Tec Majola and Kerzia de Vries. They pay tribute to the original band and the part they played in putting local soul and R&B music on the KZN and national musical map.

V-Tec Majola is credited for bringing together an astonishing line up of fine voices from Newlands – all neighbourhood chums who have gigged together in various combinations over the years but have formalised themselves into a group for the first time earlier this year. They are already hard at work on their fist album – which includes re-worked numbers from the musicals Jimbo and Candyman, as well as Motown hits and original numbers. The production team is Hamish Kyd writing the lyrics and melody line, Chris Ruiters who composed some of the tracks, and Grant Jacobs who wrote music for some of the numbers.

What's known in music industry parlance as a breakout artist, Jae is taking time out of the studio where she is in the process of releasing a new album. In just two weeks her debut solo single Missing you had been play-listed on over 60 radio stations countrywide, achieving numerous number one placings over a diverse range of radio categories. Missing You became one of the biggest musical events of 2002/3. Also featuring the funky single It's Over, the EP has gone on to bestow upon Jae the enviable distinction of being the first South African R&B Artiste to achieve platinum sales status in her country. The success of Missing You remains - in the annals of the South African Music Industry - an extraordinary and awesome achievement. To prove that she was not a one hit wonder, she followed up with three other hit singles off her debut album: It’s Over, I Love You and Falling.

Jae brings an astonishing rage of experience to her trailblazing career. The sensuous Durbanite has been singing since she was a young girl when she recalls watching a musical play at her primary school when she was six years old. Jae says she knew at that moment that all she ever wanted to do was sing. She has since then blossomed into a respected singer and songwriter who writes all her own songs.

Jae and Zzing’s show runs from June 28 to July 6 nightly at 20h00 from Tuesdays to Saturdays (Sunday at 14h00 and 18h00), no show Monday. Tickets R75 (R45 pensioners and students) with Buy One Get One Free specials on Tuesday and Wednesday nights as well as on Sundays. For more information or to book, contact the Catalina Theatre on 031 305 6889.




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